Southside Secure Rare Win at Cleeve

Under 18s Bristol Combination

Last Updated: Feb 9, 2014 07:32pm
Lansdown, Cheltenham
By Tim Carter
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Southside secured a rare victory in the U18s Bristol Combination even though they let a comfortable position slip and had to work hard for the win.

Southside U17s secured a rare victory in the U18s Bristol Combination League against local rivals Bishops Cleeve even though they let a comfortable half-time position slip and had to work hard in the 2nd half to be sure of the win.
The away team were ahead inside the first few minutes as Cleeve failed to properly clear an early corner and the ball was hooked cleverly back into the danger area for Connor Fry to head the ball home from close range. A second goal was soon to follow for Southside when Tom Witcomb was sent clear on the right wing from a through ball from Harry Evans. Witcomb still had a lot do but used his speed to round the fullback and then fired past the keeper from a tight angle to make it 2-nil.
However, Bishops Cleeve were soon back in the game when Southside failed to clear the ball on the edge of the box and the Cleeve forward found the far corner to halve the deficit. Southside came straight back to increase their lead when another long ball over the top, this time from George Moran, played into the hands of the speedy Witcomb who ran through and slotted the ball coolly past the keeper. And there was more bad news shortly afterwards for the home goalkeeper when he ran from his area to close down a long clearance from the Southside keeper and inadvertently handled the ball outside the box. Following a long talk from the referee he was grateful to receive only a yellow card for his misdemeanour. However, further punishment was inflicted from the resulting free-kick as George Britton fired the ball in low from 25 yards and it was too powerful for the stopper to keep it out of the net. He did deny Britton just a few moments later though when a speculative effort from long range from the Southside midfielder was spectacularly tipped over the bar but Southside still had a comfortable 4-1 lead to take into the break.
After the interval the home side had the wind behind them and were determined to use this to their advantage. The Southside midfield found they had less time and space on the ball and fewer outlets for a pass and they surrendered possession far too easily at the start of this second period. Forced to concede a throw-in deep inside the Southside half, they then gave away a cheap free-kick on the edge of the box and, before they knew it, Bishops Cleeve struck this cleanly into the net to give themselves some second-half momentum. Just minutes later they pulled back another goal when a green shirted player evaded at least three Southside challenges in midfield before striking an unstoppable volley high into the top corner from 30 yards past a stunned keeper.
Southside were on the ropes and needed to re-focus quickly. Finally some experienced heads stepped up to settle the nerves as James Oddy showed composure at the back and the captain, Moran, further increased his determination in midfield. Debutant goalkeeper Peter Sullivan-Smart showed good handling skills from a couple of crosses into the box and Southside weathered the storm.
At the other end Scott Adams was finding more room coming forward on the left while right back Tom Carter also had a chance late on when he found space at the far post and pulled his shot just wide. The lively Evans was a constant threat with his close control as he always sought to attack the Cleeve defence while Witcomb tried his best in the 2nd half to secure a hat-trick goal. With just a few minutes to go the ball was bouncing around in the home goalmouth with no-one taking charge when a superbly sliced shot from winger "JJ" Jimpety looped, almost in slow-motion, into the far corner, giving him his first Southside goal and making sure of the victory by 5 goals to 3.
Team: Peter Sullivan-Smart; Tom Carter, Connor Fry, James Oddy, Scott Adams; Adam Harb, George Moran, Harry Evans, George Britton, JJ Jimpety; Tom Witcomb.



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