Sherborne welcomed Clevedon Town to Raleigh Grove for the first time looking to put some day light between the two sides who are both languishing in the wrong end of the league table. Sherborne manager Jamie Manley had drafted in Ben Wood on a dual registration from Bideford and Mark Caines was available following work commitments, Haydn Hodges was serving the last of his three match suspension.
Following an impeccably observed minutes silence to commemorate Armistice Day it was Clevedon who were to start the match on the front foot,Will Manning the first to try his luck from distance curling an effort wide of Jamie Beales post.Beale then had to be alert moments later to bet out another Clevedon strike on goal.It took the home side a quarter of an hour to register their first effort on goal Ben Cohrane getting on the end of a Harry Montacute throw to head weakly into Fraser McDiarmids arms in the Clevedon goal.
The visitors continued to look the more likely to score the first goal forcing as succession of corners that the Sherborne rear-guard dealt with well.Clevedons Syd Camper picked up what was to be the first of many unjust yellow cards on the night for bringing down Marc Caines as he looked to make progress down the right flank.
The 31st minute saw the best move of the half, a quickly taken free kick to Will Manning saw him strike a fierce drive towards goal that Beale did superbly well to get down low a tip the ball around the post.Five minute later Manning struck the side netting with another strike at goal. The half ended with two bookings in quick succession for fouls from Caines and Cochrane.
The second half was only two minutes old when Sherborne got on the score sheet, a quickly taken free kick found Elliott Man out wide who send a ball across the box for the onrushing Tony Cunningham to slam past an exposed McDiamid in the visiting goal. It looked like Sherborne were going to kick on from there but alas one long ball through the heart of the defence on 54 minutes saw Beale bring down Adam Sandy just outside his box, the referee adjudged this to be denying Clevedon an obvious goal scoring opportunity and sent Beale from the field of play. Sherborne had reserve keeper James Smith on the bench and he came on at the expense of Marc Caines.
The free kick was well defended however before the ball was cleared properly it found its way out to Jake Harris who fired a shot past Smith and into the near post. With the extra man Clevedon were over running Sherborne forcing Manley into a change of formation to try and halt the pressure.
This worked momentarily as Sherborne pushed forward looking to snatch a goal on the break,Ben Cochrane was fouled on the edge of the Clevedon penalty area in the 75th minute up.Elliott Mann stepped up and hit a great effort destined for the top corner until McDiamid flung himself to his right to pull off a fine save and turn the ball over the crossbar for a corner.
Sherborne were very nearly done with another long ball through the middle of their defence, this time Smith came to the rescue at first forcing the attacker wide and then getting back on his goal line to make a fine stop. The home side never learnt from this however and on 79 minutes an almost exact replica of a ball came through the middle for Jake Harris to latch onto and fire past Smith into the Sherborne goal.
Sherborne did have one last chance to take a point from the game following a goalmouth melee but again McDiamid was on hand to produce a fine relex save to keep the ball out. The second half ended as the first with a couple of cautions in quick successions for Clevedons Jake Harris and Sherborne’s Harry Montacute….What ever happened to the days of man management?
A deeply disappointing result and performance from the home side who never showed any sign of their recent improved form giving away two poor goals, Clevedon will be delighted to take the three points that has lifted the off the foot of the table back up the M5.