Fighting spirit shown by Clevedon

PUBLISHED: 12:46 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 25 May 2010

Clevedon Town 0 Brackley 3 - CLEVEDON went into their first home match for a month against second-placed Brackley with a number of changes from the team that capitulated to Rugby in December.

Clevedon Town 0

Brackley 3

CLEVEDON went into their first home match for a month against second-placed Brackley with a number of changes from the team that capitulated to Rugby in December.

Gone from the side that played Rugby were Molyneaux, Brigham, Wring as well as Blakemore, Billing, Easter and Fisher and in came the returning Chris Collins as well as Ollie Barnes, Phil Hartnup, Chris Hartland, Jason Cowan along with young Aaron McQuaid from the Under-18 side making his first appearance in the squad.

On a chilly afternoon, it was Clevedon who might have taken a shock first minute lead when Chris Hartland got into a good position but slipped at the vital moment and sent his shot high and wide.

fter that it was a largely lack lustre first half with plenty of endeavour but little result, although the visitors showed why they are going so well with Owen Story and Mark Rawle looking dangerous throughout.

In a half of few chances it was they who could have opened the scoring but were thwarted by a great save from Danny Greaves and a vital challenge by Ollie Barnes on 23 minutes. Clevedon's only clear chance came from Pete Sheppard in the 18th minute when his effort was well blocked by Jamie Gould and the half time whistle fell on a quiet half with the scoreline goal-less.

The second half was a different affair as Brackley came out with far more aggression and determination. Clevedon were forced to defend and they did so with great spirit and closed down the visitor's attacks, restricting them to half chances, with Matt Rawle wasting their best chance when he headed straight at Danny Greaves on 65 minutes.

Four minutes later Brackley went ahead when Josh Green smashed home the loose ball after Matt Rawle's header from a corner was blocked. Clevedon responded well and, unlike the previous two home matches, they never gave up and Craig Loxton sent in a long shot that whistled wide.

The Brackley goal seemed to stir them and they went off in search of an equaliser, although they were well shackled by the visitors' defence.

It became 2-0, and essentially game over, on 74 minutes when the well travelled Tom Winters shot past Danny Greaves from the edge of the penalty area. Clevedon were beaten by now but it was re-assuring to their supporters that their heads never dropped and they kept coming at Brackley, with Pete Sheppard going close.

Clevedon had a strong penalty shout when a home shirt was clearly pulled but despite their efforts Brackley's more experienced side always looked in control, and they added a third with six minutes remaining when Rawle swept home a cross after Clevedon lost possession on the half-way line.

Clevedon fell further behind in the relegation fight but their display was far better than home fans had seen in previous games and a new spirit, epitomised by the non- stop running of Chris Hartland, was great to see, and with the addition of Nana Baah up front, it showed hope for the future.

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