Unbeaten Nailsea & Tickenham leave it late to beat Worle
- Credit: Josh Thomas
Nailsea & Tickenham left it late to ensure they would go through the whole Somerset Premier season unbeaten as they beat Worle 3-2 today (Saturday).
The Swags looked to be heading for their first league defeat of the campaign in their 30th and final league game of the campaign, with 25 and four draws before today's encounter, after the visitors frustrated their opponents for 89 minutes.
But Dan Cook’s header and Luke Osgood’s superb strike late in stoppage time ensured they celebrate with a win on the day they picked up the league title.
Nathan Hughes had opened the scoring with a strike at the near post before Jacob O’Donnell levelled the score nine minutes before half-time.
However, Scott Timberlake’s stunner from the edge of the area looked to have put Worle on their way for a famous victory and end their three game winless run.
But Nailsea & Tickenham’s late heroics ensured they picked up victory and make it an invincible season.
As for Worle they had to settle for a respectable 13th place finish after their fourth straight defeat.
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The Stags made two changes from their May Bank Holiday Monday’s 1-1 draw at Clevedon United with Chris Gale and Jared Ford named in the starting line-up in place of Joshua Benjamin and Oliver Carter.
Whereas Worle were without 11 players due to injuries, suspension and people on holiday, with manager Ben Dancey naming himself as the only substitute.
But the visitors showed great character and battled hard throughout the contest.
And they broke the deadlock after 18 minutes.
Jonny Parker’s beautiful weighted ball over the top was controlled superbly by Hughes inside the penalty area and from about six yards out he slotted it home at the near post to Jason Mellor’s, and everyone’s, surprise at Fryth Way.
However, the hosts pushed forward and would have scored a a lot more but found goalkeeper Dave Purkiss inspired form with 10 world class saves throughout the contest.
But there was nothing he could do when O’Donnell, who rescued Nailsea & Tickenham with a late point at Coleridge Vale last time out, stabbed home Joe Berry’s teasing cross from six yards out.
O’Donnell then struck the post with a ferocious drive as the two sides went into half-time all level.
With people expecting the floodgates to open it was Worle who once again surprised the hosts when Timberlake scored an absolute stunner two minutes after the break.
Hughes ran forward and with nothing seemed on as the ball was knocked into the path of Timberlake who placed the ball into the top corner with a superb first-time shot for his seventh goal of the season.
With the Stags continuing to push forward the unlucky Janes Seeley saw his curling effort hit the crossbar as it looked like it was going to be one of those days.
However, with time running out O’Donnell turned provider when his corner was headed home by Cook with one minute of normal time remaining.
Osgood then looked like he had snatched all three points when he prodded home from close range moments later but his effort was ruled out for offside.
However, Nic Steadman and Jamie Smith’s side didn’t have to wait long for their winner.
And in the fifth minute, of five minutes added on, it was Osgood who scored it. The forward took the ball on his chest and lifted it over Purkiss to score the winner. The goal sparked wild scenes as all the coaching staff and players ran towards the corner to celebrate Osgood's smart finish.
The final whistle sounded after as Nailsea & Tickenham celebrated a remarkable end to a remarkable season.
The Swags now then their attention to Wednesday’s Premier and First Division Cup final against Chilcompton Sports at Bishop Sutton.
While Worle will look back at having completed their first stage of their five year plan of staying up and will surely regroup this summer ahead of the 2022/23 Somerset Premier season.
Nailsea & Tickenham: Mellor, Manning, (Benjamin 73), Gale, Freeman, Cook, Pilgrim, Trueman, Ford, (Sealey 46), Berry (C) (Wilcox 80), O’Donnell, Osgood
Worle: Purkiss, Walters, Hodrien, White, Buxton, Timberlake, Parker (C), Flynn, Jeffries (Dancey 87), Bell-Langford, Hughes