Football in 2020: How our clubs fared

Weston beat Larkhall Athletic in the FA Cup and Trophy

Weston beat Larkhall Athletic in the FA Cup and FA Trophy at The Optima Stadium - Credit: Peter Barnes

Sport was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic during 2020, with most competitions suspended from mid-March before the UK began a seven-week lockdown. 

Results were eventually wiped from the record books as leagues took the difficult decision to declare their 2019-20 campaigns null and void. 

But sport restarted in the summer months, only for a second wave of the virus to raise serious concerns about whether the current season might follow a similar path at the dawn of 2021. 

With most of the UK living currently under the tightest restrictions to combat the spread of the virus, leagues have again paused their competitions until later this month. And the odds appear to be against them being in a position to start up again in the short-term. 

The Pitching In Southern League and Toolstation Western League, in which our local clubs compete, released statements late last week regarding delays to their fixtures, so we look back at how each of them fared during the past calendar year, spanning the two different campaigns their pre-season. 


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WESTON-SUPER-MARE (Step 4) 

Played 28; won 14, drew 5, lost 9, for 60, against 41 

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The Seagulls began 2020 with a thrilling 3-2 New Year’s Day home win over Southern League Premier leaders Truro City in front of a crowd of 651 at The Optima Stadium. 

Injury-time goals from Scott Laird and Mike Symons secured the points for the hosts, who were sat in 10th place in the table (13-6-10, 54-45, 45 points) when the 2019-20 season was cut short by coronavirus pandemic and all results were expunged. 

Scott Bartlett’s men were back in action in August, playing their pre-season friendlies later than normal, and enjoyed back-to-back league and FA Cup wins over Dorchester and Cowes Sports when the competitive campaign started in September. 

They reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup before bowing out at National League Eastleigh and, despite going out of the FA Trophy against Chesham soon after the second national lockdown ended in early December, had banked £17,600 in prize money overall. 

However, they have fulfilled just six of their scheduled 38 league games to date (W1-D2-L3, 5 points) for the 2020-21 season and sit down in 15th place.  

Jan: Weston 3 Truro 2; Hendon 4 Weston 0; Weston 2 Hartley Wintney 1; Weston 1 Hayes & Yeading 5; Gosport 1 Weston 0. 

Feb: Beaconsfield 2 Weston 2; Weston 1 Walton 0; Weston 5 Wimborne 0; Dorchester 1 Weston 2. 

August (friendlies): Bridgwater 1 Weston 2; Weston 10 Banwell 0; Weston 1 Totton 1; Clevedon Town 1 Weston 0; Slimbridge 1 Weston 2; Weston 2 Bristol City XI 1. 

September: Dorchester 1 Weston 3; Cowes Sports 0 Weston 5 (FAC1q £2250); Weston 1 Met Police 1; Tiverton 3 Weston 1. 

Oct: Weston 2 Swindon Supermarine 2 (4-2 pens, FAC2q £3375); Harrow 1 Weston 1; Weston 6 Larkhall Ath 0 (FAC3q £5625); Weston 1 Wimborne 2; Eastleigh 3 Weston 1 (FAC4q £3125); Salisbury 2 Weston 1; Weston 2 Larkhall Ath 1 (FAT3q £2450). 

December: Weston 1 Chesham 3 (FAT1 £775); Weston 2 Willand 1 (friendly). 

FA prize money = £17600 

CLEVEDON TOWN (Step 5) 

Played 35; won 16, drew 6, lost 13, for 63, against 62 

The Seasiders endured a tough start to the calendar year, but certainly ended it in much better form. 

Micky Bell’s men lost seven of the nine league and cup matches played, drawing the others, before the 2019-20 season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. 

They were sitting in ninth place in the Western League Premier Division (12-5-12, 58-62, 41) when results were expunged, but won three of five pre-season friendlies in August. 

They won through two rounds in the FA Cup when competitive action returned but took just three points from a possible 15 in the league before claiming their first win. 

But they went on to win 10 of their next league and FA Vase matches, losing a nine-goal thriller at Brislington, and having climbed up to fourth in the table (7-3-3, 24 points) are also looking forward to competing in the last 32 against Plymouth Parkway or Fareham. 

Jan: Clevedon 2 Buckland Athletic 3; Hallen 2 Clevedon 1; Tavistock 3 Clevedon 1 (cup); Clevedon 1 Bradford Town 4; Bridgwater 3 Clevedon 3. 

Feb: Street 4 Clevedon 0; Clevedon 0 Plymouth Parkway 2. 

March: Brislington 4 Clevedon 4; Clevedon 1 Bitton 2. 

August (friendlies): Clevedon 1 Clevedon United 2; Clevedon 2 Taunton 2; Clevedon 2 Nailsea United 0; Clevedon 1 Weston 0; Clevedon 2 Yate 0. 

September: Portland United 0 Clevedon 1 (FACxp £1125); Clevedon 1 Westbury 1; Bridgwater 2 Clevedon 1; Sherborne 1 Clevedon 2 (FACp £1444); Cribbs 2 Clevedon 2; Clevedon 0 Romas Glass St George 3; Winchester City 3 Clevedon 2 (FAC1q £750); Bradford Town 2 Clevedon 2; Clevedon 2 Shepton Mallet 1. 

October: Clevedon 2 Keynsham 1; Roman Glass St George 0 Clevedon 2; Axminster Town 0 Clevedon 2 (FAV2q £725); Clevedon 2 Wellington 0; Clevedon 2 Bridgwater 0; Clevedon 3 Bridport 1; Brislington 5 Clevedon 4; Clevedon 2 Whitchurch Utd 1 (FAV1 £825 Oct 31). 

December: Clevedon 4 Bitton 3 (FAV2 £900); Clevedon 1 Yate 5 (friendly); Clevedon 2 New Milton 0 (FAV3 £1125); Clevedon 3 Chipping Sodbury 0. 

FA prize money = £6894 

Clevedon Town's Jay Murray takes on Axminster's Cameron Vere and Alex Gray

Clevedon Town's Jay Murray takes on Axminster's Cameron Vere and Alex Gray in their FA Vase tie - Credit: pitchero.com/clubs/clevedontown

ASHTON & BACKWELL UNITED (Step 6) 

Played 28; won 19, drew 4, lost 5, for 58, against 40 

The Stags started the calendar year in fine form, with eight wins in a nine-match unbeaten run in Toolstation Western League Division One. 

That saw Stuart Jones’ men sitting in fifth place (15-6-5, 42-39, 51) and just outside the promotion places on goal difference when the 2019-20 season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic and eventually made null and void. 

After a mixed set of results in pre-season, they lost on the opening day of the 2020-21 campaign at Calne Town but then won six in a row and drew twice. 

Their eight-match unbeaten run ended with FA Vase defeat at Cheddar, but they sank Wells before Christmas and sit in fourth place in the table (7-2-1, 23 points), dreaming of promotion as they head into 2021 hoping history doesn’t repeat itself. 

Jan: Lebeq 2 A&B 3; Welton 1 A&B 2; A&B 1 Devizes 1; A&B 1 Welton 0. 

Feb: Almondsbury 0 A&B 1; A&B 2 Wincanton 1; Longwell Green 1 A&B 2; A&B 2 Cheddar 0. 

March: A&B 0 Lebeq 2 (March 7). 

August (friendlies): A&B 1 Mendip Broadwalk 1; AEK Boco 0 A&B 1; Highridge Utd 0 A&B 10; Keynsham Town 5 A&B 0; A&B 3 Bridgwater 2; Chipping Sodbury 1 A&B 2; A&B 0 Bristol Manor Farm 7. 

September: Calne Town 3 A&B 1; A&B 3 Longwell Green 2; Almondsbury 1 A&B 5; A&B 2 Wincanton 1; Lebeq 2 A&B 3; Sherborne 1 A&B 3. 

October: A&B 3 Radstock 1; Cadbury Heath scr A&B wo (FAV2q £725); A&B 2 Wells City 2; A&B 1 Hengrove 1. 

December: Cheddar 2 A&B 1 (FAV1 £250); Wells City 0 A&B 3. 

FA prize money = £975 

Ashton & Backwell and Cheddar do battle

Action from the derby between Ashton & Backwell and Cheddar - Credit: Backwell Camera Club

CHEDDAR (Step 6) 

Played 29; won 14, drew 1, lost 14, for 55, against 61 

The Cheesemen endured mixed fortunes in the early part of 2020, winning three of the seven league matches played and bowing out of two cup competitions. 

They sat in 10th place in Western League Division One (10-4-10, 38-37, 34) when the 2019-20 season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic and made null and void.  

And after a steady pre-season, they bounced back from successive opening league losses to thump Wincanton and win a nine-goal FA Vase thriller at Sidmouth. 

They won three and lost three of their next six fixtures, before Shaun Potter stepped down as manager in mid-October after 114 games in charge (64 wins, 20 draws, 30 losses). 

Craig Mawford took the managerial reins and, after a heavy loss at Sherborne, oversaw wins against high-flying Calne Town and local rivals Ashton & Backwell, in the FA Vase before an emphatic exit at Tavistock prior to Christmas. 

They will hope to start climbing the table from their current 16th place (4-0-6, 12 points) when the season restarts. 

Jan: Hengrove 1 Cheddar 0; Welton Rovers 4 Cheddar 0; Longwell Green 0 Cheddar 1. 

Feb: Cheddar 0 Radstock 1; Cribbs 1 Cheddar 2 (Les Phillips Cup); Devizes 1 Cheddar 4; Hengrove 3 Cheddar 0 (Som Prem Cup); Hallen 1 Cheddar 1 (4-3 pens, LPC); A&B 2 Cheddar 0. 

March: Bristol Telephones 1 Cheddar 0 (March 3). 

August (friendlies): Cheddar 3 Winscombe 2; Cheddar 6 Uphill Castle 1; Cheddar 2 Clevedon Utd 1; Shepton Mallet 6 Cheddar 2. 

September: Cheddar 2 Wrington 0 (friendly); Cheddar 1 Lebeq 5; Portishead 3 Cheddar 0; Cheddar 7 Wincanton 1; Sidmouth 4 Cheddar 5 (FAV1q £550); Bristol Telephones 2 Cheddar 1; Devizes 0 Cheddar 3. 

October: Cheddar 1 Corsham 3; Cheddar 3 Ivybridge 2 (FAV2q £725); Radstock 1 Cheddar 3; Cheddar 2 Welton Rovers 3; Sherborne 5 Cheddar 1; Cheddar 2 Calne Town 1. 

December: Cheddar 2 A&B 1 (FAV1 £825); Tavistock 6 Cheddar 1 (FAV2 £275). 

FA prize money = £2375 

Portishead Town's Louie Elliot in action against Almondsbury

Louie Elliot in action during Portishead Town's 2-1 defeat against Almondsbury. - Credit: Portishead Camera Club

PORTISHEAD TOWN (Step 6) 

Played 26; won 11, drew 5, lost 10, for 40, against 36 

The Posset had won four, lost five and drawn one of their matches in the early part of the year when the 2019-20 season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Dave Hewitt’s side sat in 13th place in Western League Division One (9-4-13, 45-46, 31) when results were expunged and the season made null and void. 

After their August pre-season campaign, they earned back-to-back wins when league play resumed but bowed out of the FA Vase at the first hurdle after a penalty shoot-out at South West Peninsula League side Ilfracombe. 

They took eight points from a possible 12 in a four-match unbeaten run following that setback, but had lost three in a row before the second national lockdown began in early November and did not subsequently get a chance to return to action. 

They occupy a mid-table position in 12th place (4-2-4, 14 points) at the turn of the year and will also be hoping for the chance to improve their fortunes in 2021.  

Jan: Portishead 0 Corsham 2; Portishead 1 Wells City 1; Calne Town 2 Portishead 1; Hengrove 0 Portishead 3; Portishead 0 Oldland Abbotonians 1. 

Feb: Bishop Sutton 1 Portishead 2; Wells City 4 Portishead 0; Devizes 0 Portishead 1. 

March: Radstock Town 1 Portishead 3; Wincanton 2 Portishead 1 (March 7). 

August (friendlies): Portishead 5 Nailsea Utd 1; Portishead 2 Shirehampton 0; Cribbs 3 Portishead 0; Brislington 1 Portishead 1; Portishead 1 Thornbury Town 0. 

September: Sherborne 0 Portishead 2; Portishead 3 Cheddar 0; Portishead 1 Welton Rovers 2; Ilfracombe 3 Portishead 3 (5-4 pens, FAV1q £160); Portishead 3 Longwell Green 2; Bishops Lydeard 1 Portishead 2. 

October: Portishead 2 Warminster 2; Portishead 1 Lebeq Utd 1; Hengrove 2 Portishead 1; Portishead 1 Almondsbury 2; Radstock 2 Portishead 0 (Oct 24). 

FA prize money: £160. 

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