Toolstation Western League: Clevedon Town 1-0 Bridgwater United

A disciplined performance by Clevedon saw them complete the double in another close game against play-off rivals Bridgwater United where keepers James Dunn and Luke Purnell were outstanding.

Both sides traded chances in the first half. Former Seasider Jay Murray saw an early shot deflect off Callum Kingdon for a corner and Freddie King replied with a shot just wide. Then Dunn was in action with two saves in succession, first pushing Adam Wright’s header from Tom Llewellyn’s free kick wide and then coming out quickly to punch Murray’s effort away.

Just after the half hour the heavens opened, and conditions got difficult, but to their credit both teams kept playing football. A Clevedon corner was not cleared, and Glen Hayer put a good chance over the bar from close in.  Purnell tried to catch Dunn out with an audacious shot from his own half which went wide, but then was back to block with his legs when Alex Camm got round the back after Henry Westlake also tried his luck from distance.

Bridgwater thought they had gone ahead right at the end of the half when Adam Wright’s rocket header produced a magnificent save by Dunn, but it remained goalless at half time.

After a quiet start to the second period Camm headed over from Brad Probert’s cross from the right. Another former Hand favorite Morgan Williams shot straight at Dunn but when Williams brought King down, King’s free kick was headed just over by Hayer and Llewellyn shot wide after a clearance fell nicely for him.

The deadlock was finally broken on 71 minutes after a break by substitute Sam Beresford and King down the left saw the ball into the box not cleared and Henry Westlake set up King to fire left footed past the diving Purnell into the back of the net to put the Seasiders 1-0 ahead.

Clevedon then looked to consolidate and hit Bridgwater on the break. Purnell saved twice when Beresford was right through, Camm was blocked by Ben Griffith and Mark Armstrong cut out a King run.

With time running out Bridgwater looked to rescue something – Murray put a shot wide, and Llewellyn fired a free kick from just outside the box well over. Both keepers were again in action in added time. Purnell saved twice from Beresford breaks after substitute Owen Punsellie had put him through and Dunn pushed a dangerous cross from the right over and then pushed a shot from Jack Thorne away for a corner which came to nothing.

Clevedon were happy to see the game out for a solid 1-0 victory which keeps the Seasiders in second place, nine points in front of Bridgwater. Manager Alex White said, “It was a performance which epitomized everything Clevedon Town are about this season. We were solid and played with real intelligence, but it took something special from our match winner Freddie King to beat Luke Purnell and secure a big win which keeps us in touch.”