Minehead 2 Burnham United 1

Minehead opened the campaign with a narrow victory over Burnham United in a keenly and evenly contested match between two good sides, looking to play football.

The Blues started the liveliest and Luke Bloys went close with a 20 yard effort which visiting keeper Will Lamb pushed away for a corner. Another effort from slightly further out saw the returning Luke Howells beat Lamb but his drive came back off the crossbar.

With Minehead applying the majority of the pressure, the next goalmouth episode happened when nippy visiting centre forward Joe Selway broke through the heart of the Blues’ defence only to be rushed into shooting wide when confronted by imposing keeper Kyran Wilkins.   

Howells was not to be denied ten minutes before the break when having won the ball inside the centre circle, he jinked his way past a handful of opponents during a menacing direct run through the heart of the defence, then played a keeper-eliminating one-two with debutant Matt Harvey before sliding the ball into the empty net.

Burnham came back strongly and both Warren Whitfield and Joe Selway had chances to level before half time.

An even second period erupted into a frenzy five minutes from time when substitute Steve Leaf blocked an attempted clearance by home keeper Kyran Wilkins and Curtis Bradshaw reacted swiftly to slot home and level the scores.

The home reply was almost instant, and minutes after Paul Smyth’s free kick was saved by Lamb, Callum Barnfield nicked the ball from a defender and shot home from six yards out.

Both sides should be pleased with their opening performances but it was Minehead who just about deserved to take the points. 

Minehead: Kyran Wilkins, Stefan Phillips, Matt Cracknell, Paul Smyth, Mike Mullen, Lee Todd, Callum Barnfield, Luke Bloys, Matty Harvey, Luke Howells, Rob Vickers

Subs: Tristan Hawkins, Cody Truscott, Ethan Palmer (All Used)

Gerry Hatrick Man of the Match: Paul Smyth

Minehead are at home again next Saturday when they face their closest (geographically) league opponents Staplegrove, back in the First Division after being relegated last season from the Premier Division. The game at Irnham Road kicks off at 3pm.

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