Toolstation Western League: Bridgwater United 7-2 Nailsea and Tickenham

THE fans who decided that it would be more fun to watch the Robins in preference to seeing England on television were handsomely rewarded for their sagacity by an exceptional display, writes Mark Hollidge.

The only problem with following the Robins at the moment is that you can run out of fresh superlatives!

You may look at the scoreline and see the winning margin and think it was a a replay of the Torpoint game. However, it was a very different type of contest because Nailsea and Tickenham came to play whereas Torpoint came to defend.

The first goal wasn’t far away. The almost untouchable Jay Murray danced in from the left side of the area and shot low to the keeper’s left. He couldn’t hold on and Taylor was ideally placed to score from 10 yards. 1-0

Had the referee been more favourable to United they would have been awarded two penalties. George  King was obviously pushed in the back when trying to greet a Taylor cross. The ball quickly reached Jack Thorne and his instant shot brought the best save of the night from Mellors. Playing advantage?

Joe Berry and Lucas Vowles comprised a useful attacking spearhead for the visitors and they were involved in the surprising equaliser. Berry found some space on the right side of the penalty area and , although his low cross-shot wasn’t struck too cleanly, it was well aimed for the bottom left corner. 1-1

United responded to this minor setback like an elephant swatting away a fly with its trunk. Within 15 minutes they had established a three goal lead. Taylor received a ball from King , cut inside two defenders and shot at goal from 15 yards with his left foot. The ball took a slight deflection off a defender and Mellors was left stranded. 2-1

A Murray shot was pushed aside and in trying to retrieve the ball Mellors seemed to have pulled Taylor to the ground. Nothing given.

Jack Thorne beat Mellors to a lofted ball. After his shot was blocked the ball landed at the feet of Harry Horton. He could have shot but he was unselfish and astute in laying on a better opportunity to Taylor. He was able to measure a careful low left footed shot which went inside the right hand post. 3-1

The last of this trio of goals was possibly the best. Jack Thorne dinked the ball over the defence, King laid it square to Horton. From the edge of the area he drilled a low shot into the right corner of the net. Perfect. 4-1

Half time United 4 Nailsea and Tickenham 1

United were momentarily discomforted when the visitors were awarded a penalty. Vowles had the ball at his feet, but not in a dangerous position, when he was adjudged to have been fouled. If that was a penalty then United should have had two. He sent his spot kick down the middle as Jake Viney dived to the right. 4-2

The visitors were encouraged by this unrepresentative scoreline, kept attacking, and left even more gaps at the back – just waiting for them to be exploited. In a  moment of outrageous skill Jack Thorne dumbfounded two defenders with his quick turn and his 40 yard curling cross had just enough on it to clear the left back and land perfectly at Murray’s feet. His rasping shot hit the bar but stayed out.

For the fifth goal Dave Thorne did most of the heavy lifting. Through dogged persistence he won the ball near the right corner flag and crossed to the near post. Jack Thorne had seen it coming and he nipped in and , from an acute angle, directed his shot into the net off the crossbar. 5-2

Very quickly it became six. Again Jack Thorne burst through. His shot was half saved and the loose ball gave Taylor the chance of a straightforward finish for his 4th goal. 6-2

Dave Pearse emptied the substitutes bench , so everyone had a run out, and it was one of these substitutes who ended the scoring. A long ball was directed down the right. Adam Wright hared after it but Mellors, with a head  start, was favourite to deal with it. Under pressure from Wright, Mellors missed the ball and Wright precisely rolled the ball into the net from 25 yards and wide out on the right. 7-2

This scoreline will send shockwaves across the division. United are playing with supreme confidence, skill and interplay that verges on the telepathic. Watching them play like this is the top ticket in the town. It is a shame we can’t watch them every day!