Western Counties Floodlit Youth League: Bishops Lydeard U18s 1, Wellington U18s 0

Our  U18s gave their best performance of the season so far as they lost narrowly away to league leaders Bishops Lydeard last night (Tuesday, October 19th).

The Tangerines travelled to Lydeard knowing their free-scoring opponents would provide a difficult challenge having hit nine goals in their previous game.

Lydeard started well and their well-drilled team knocked the ball around in the early stages with the Wellington lads struggling to get a foothold.

Despite the early pressure, the visitors’ back four of Ben Fowler, Dylan Groves, Matt Harper and Dylan Sellick held firm and kept the talented frontline at bay. They were well supported by the midfield who snapped into tackles and covered the Lydeard wing backs.

Keeper Charlie Hawkings swept up well behind the defence when Lydeard tried the occasional long ball.

As the first half wore on, Wellington started to get to grips with the Lydeard movement and to get at their defence.

Unfortunately, as an attack broke down, a long ball through the middle fell to the Lydeard winger who produced a high-class finish, smashing the ball into the top corner of Hawkings’ goal, giving the keeper no chance.

Wellington didn’t let their heads drop and, with Ned Ogilvie. Lenny Old and Josh Sibands all driving the team forward, more chances started to come their way.

They were unlucky not to equalise on a couple of occasions as some last ditch defending kept them out. The forward line tried to stretch the Lydeard defence and a couple of good crosses by Sean Conway and James King nearly found the hard-working Matt Brereton.

Both wingers did an excellent job of tracking back and all the team put a huge effort in the first half.

Wellington rang the changes bringing on Jon Wasey at half time for the injured Harper, with the hard-working Ogilvie dropped in alongside the dependable Groves to ensure the defence remained solid.

Sam Snook came on to try to give the forward line fresh legs and his energy unsettled the Lydeard centre backs. They also brought on the other subs Reuben Nicholls Searle, Josh Cashmore and James Clarke to replace players who had played their hearts out for the cause.

All of them got up to speed really quickly and help to ensure there was no further scoring. At the end, Lydeard were happy to play out the final minutes and secure a narrow victory.

Credit must go to all 16 Wellington players who, despite losing again, should be really proud of the skill and effort they showed. If they continue to perform at this level, the wins will start to come.

Travel sponsors: AG Plastering and The Green Dragon.

Next up for the lads is a home game against Chard Town U18s at the Playing Field on Wednesday, November 2nd (ko 7.30pm).