Musings from the stand (some might try to call it a Match Report).......
Both sides took time to settle on a pitch that had uneven and unpredictable bounce and it was twelve minutes before Gosport had an opportunity when Dan Woodward was put through by Justin Bennett but his shot went straight to Jason Mellor. With a long clearance from Jason and a favourable bounce Leigh Edwards-Samuels was able to return the compliment when he shot straight at Nathan Ashmore in the Gosport goal.
Steve Claridge, making one of his home appearances for Gosport had a good chance to get on the score sheet on twenty one minutes but his effort from within the six yard box brought a point blank save from Jason Mellor, one of several such saves in this game.
Both sides had the opportunity to go in at half time with a lead but some unfortunate finishing and uneven bounce prevented either side establishing this position. Although Clevedon played some excellent football and at times outplayed Gosport, with Lloyd Mills
in particular overshaddowing Steve Claridge and keeping him out of the game for a lot of the time.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with both sides creating chances and squandering them, the pick of the misses were an effort from Nathan Kirby on sixty nine minutes which was cleared off of the line by Cameron Ricketts and on seventy three minutes a shot from inside the six yard box from Justin Bennett that struck the outside of the post and rebounded to him, his snap shot was blocked by Jason Mellor and the second rebound back to Bennett he managed to blast wide of the goal for a goal kick.
With the game appearing to be heading for a draw, Clevedon had a free kick just inside of the Gosport half, the ball was played to Henry Muggeridge who put in a beautiful cross to the penalty area where Reeko Best
placed a glancing header that beat Ashmore in the Gosport goal and went in off the post.
Almost immediately Gosport hit back when a corner from Nathan Kirby found Justin Bennett in the box and his firm header beat Jason Mellor on the far post to bring the scores level. In the dieing minutes of the game Clevedon had a chance to snatch all three points when a scintillating run down the left by Reeko Best
saw him pull the ball back inside to beat the defender and his first time shot was tipped round the near post by a diving Nathan Ashmore for another corner to Clevedon.
The game ended shortly after at 1-1 with Clevedon still taking the game to their hosts to earn a very well deserved point and a big boost to their confidence ahead of the Cup Final first leg on Tuesday. Well done to the whole squad who proved yet again what application and commitment can do against a team much higher up the league.
Man of the Match - for some of the best saves I have seen for a long while, Jason Mellor.
Clevedon Town Line-Up:
1. Jason Mellor (c)
2. Henry Muggeridge
3. Matt Fisher
4. Lloyd Mills
5. Steve Kingdon
6. Cameron Ricketts
7. Cameron Brown
8. Jack McKenna
9. Reeko Best
10. Leigh Edwards-Samuels
11. Gianni Kapika
14. Joe Flurry
(replaced Leigh Edwards-Samuels on 74 minutes)
15. Micky Bell
0-1 Reeko Best
on 77 minutes
1-1 on 80 minutes