Toolstation Western League: Clevedon Town FC 3-0 Barnstaple Town

Both teams came into this vital second versus sixth game lacking match practice, but it was Clevedon who ended a great day with a double celebration, marking the completion of the mural on the wall of the stadium and earning a hard won three points digging in when they were up against it and then taking their chances when they came.

With Glen Hayer back from injury, both teams struggled to get into any rhythm early on, but Barnstaple dominated the first 20 minutes without creating any clear chances until a Sam Beresford broke down the left for Clevedon.

Then on 29 minutes and completely against the run of play a great Beresford ball sent Freddie King scampering through the middle to plant the ball past Kingston and Clevedon had their noses in front.

Clevedon almost doubled their lead 3 minutes later when Beresford broke free down the middle, but this time Kingston was quickly out to smother the shot. Then Kieran Ireland’s shot was blocked, and King put the rebound wide of the post.

Although enjoying less of the possession Clevedon continued to create the best chances and when Ireland’s ball in was headed clear, Kingston was in the right place to take Beresford’s return shot, so at half time Clevedon went in with their tails up leading 1-0.

Barnstaple made two changes at half time bringing on the pacy Nelson Iseguan and Harvey Dorothy and again they dominated play. Tucker’s corner went over, Iseguan headed just over, and Dunn produced a diving save to keep out Aidan Whitfield’s effort.  A great tackle by Joe Teall stopped Iseguan in his tracks and Dorothy’s cross from the right drifted harmlessly behind.

On 66 minutes it was Clevedon’s turn to make a double change when Sol Kent and Harley Vozza replaced Brad Probert and Sam Beresford.

As Barnstaple seemed to run out of ideas, substitute Vozza and player of the match Freddie King grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. On 73 minutes a great Vozza run and cross saw the ball just eluded Kent coming in, a King interception almost put Alex Camm in on goal and another strong Vozza run down the left saw his cross-shot just clear the bar.

Tucker hit a screamer off target for Barnstaple, Kent shot wide from a corner on 70 minutes, but from the goal kick Barnstaple were straight down the other end and Dunn’s diving save kept out Iseguan’s shot.

With 5 minutes to go Clevedon made Barnstaple pay for some lax defending.  Vozza was alert to ex Seasider Archie Whittaker’s back pass, charged down Kingston’s clearance, controlled the ball, and took aim into the empty net to make it 2-0.

As the clock ticked into added time it got even better for Clevedon and again Vozza was at the centre of the action when his shot was saved by Kingston, but King was quickly on to the loose ball to stick away the rebound.

The Seasiders successfully ran down the clock to see out a 3-0 win and this Saturday are home again to Welton Rovers.