Toolstation Western League
Premier Division
Clevedon Town 2, Bridgwater Town 0

NOT for the first time this season, Bridgwater Town’s excellent first-half performance was not backed up after the break, and they went down to a 2-0 defeat to Clevedon Town at the Hand Stadium which was possibly more comprehensive than it looks on paper, writes Kerry Miller.

The squad was again down to the bare bones, with most of the bench also carrying injuries, but with Conor Bryant starting up front alongside Jack Taylor they dominated the first half-hour.

Bryant headed wide, before Taylor brought a fine save out of young Harley Wilkinson, who signed for the Seasiders from the Robins at the start of the season.

Bryant was unlucky again before Clevedon’s Finlay Biggs saw a 30-yarder fly inches wide.

Adnan Hiroli and Taylor combined for Bryant to tee up Sam Towler, who shot over, as the visitors continued to pass up opportunities.

Taylor’s wicked cross-shot just before the break deserved more, but the Robins were ahead on points on the restart... until it all went wrong once more.

Young Mitch Osmond was given too much room and glanced in a header to give the home side the lead, compounded when Jack Taylor said too much to referee Mark Loughlin and was sent for a 10-minute spell in the sin bin.

Taylor is now on the verge of a ban for cautions with the FA Vase game with Welton Rovers coming up, and while he was off the field the game was effectively put out of the Robins’ reach.

Osmond put the diminutive Jay Murray through, and his pace and finishing was far too good for the visiting defence.

Town tried to rally, with Fry’s free-kick finding Tom Ellis who shot over, but it was almost 3-0 when a wild scramble ended with Elliot Nicholson hitting the bar, before Morgan Williams was denied by goalkeeper Jake Viney when clean through on goal.

Murray then showboated when again clear in front of Viney and missed badly, and Nicholson did likewise as Viney seemed to be playing the home attack on his own at times.

Another Fry free-kick reached Mark Armstrong, who hit the post with a header, and the visitors knew it was not their day when Towler and Fry went close in time added on.

It can only be hoped that some of the lingering injury problems can be resolved soon as Welton Rovers are lurking in the FA Vase on Saturday week; they are unbeaten this season and sit proudly at the top of Western League Division 1.

That Vase tie at Fairfax Park has been restricted to a crowd of 300, and tickets should be purchased in advance.

Tickets can either be purchased online or by attending this coming Saturday’s home game with Chipping Sodbury Town; tickets will be on sale from 12.30pm until shortly before the 3pm kick-off.