Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Bridgwater Town 3, Clevedon Town 3

None of the 288 fans at Fairfax Park could have gone home feeling short changed after witnessing a game full of incident, controversy and some stunning goals on Friday evening, writes Mark Hollidge.

A point each was a fair return for these two sides, who are locked together just above mid table.

Clevedon’s young, fast and skilful side tested Town a great deal and one could see how they have developed over the last couple of seasons.

The visitors settled into the game quickly and little was seen from Town as an attacking force until the midpoint of the first half.

Jay Murray fired a shot wide of the near post early on and then Clevedon went ahead in rather controversial circumstances.

Luke Manley went in for a challenge near the halfway line and sustained a head injury.

The game carried on and within a matter of seconds Jack Sell was cutting in from the left and shooting at goal. The ball hit a Town defender and deflected above Jake Viney.

Had Manley not been injured he would have been well placed to defend this situation.

One can only assume that the referee failed to see the injury incident.

The game became tempestuous and in danger of boiling over.

Most tackles became fouls for a while and the captains had to be called together to try to take some heat out of the game.

When there was some football to watch it was Clevedon who looked like scoring.

A volley from Morgan Williams missed by a yard and Viney had to dive right to gather a low effort from Jay Murray at the second attempt.

The mood changed around 30 minutes as Town belatedly showed that they were an attacking force.

A header by Owen Irish, so dominant in the air, was cleared off the line and in the next attack Town got level.

The ball was worked from the left and Oscar Latas’s miskick on the edge of the box inadvertently set up the ball for Jack Taylor.

He was marked but a quick exchange of the ball from right to left foot followed by an instant shot had unsighted keeper Mike Dangerfield well beaten.

The game was still feisty by half time and there was a longer than usual interval, after which the second half was more serene but still competitive and with plenty of good football.

Brilliant opportunism by Taylor gave Town the lead three minutes after the break, the striker lobbing a 25-yard volley into the net after a poor headed clearance from Clevedon goalkeeper Dangerfield for his 20th goal of the season.

Town looked comfortable but Clevedon got back in it with a penalty.

Impressive left winger Sell had canned heat in his heels all night and his pace took him around Irish, who fouled him for a clear penalty.

Viney guessed correctly but Syd Camper’s spot kick was placed right in the corner.

Camper was a yard wide with a free kick and Sell brought a save from Viney as play became end to end, Harry Horton’s deflected shot soon passing inches wide of the right post.

Then came two goals in a minute.

Jake Llewellyn, very good throughout, had been delivering some great dead balls and it was one of his corner kicks that was buried by the formidable Tom Ellis.

Almost immediately, Ethan Feltham was running onto the ball and creaming a 25-yarder high past Viney for a very impressive equaliser.

Town always looked dangerous from dead ball situations with their height advantage but the final chance of the game was for Clevedon.

Sell took the ball down on his chest and volleyed at goal from 10 yards but the well positioned Viney stopped the ball with his chest and the ball was cleared.

Bridgwater Town: Jake Viney, Luke Manley (Oliver Morris 83), Fin Wilkinson (Jake Brown 73), Mark Armstrong, Owen Irish, Tom Ellis, Sam Towler, Harry Horton, Jake Taylor, Oscar Latas (Noah Coppin 82), Jake Llewellyn