New Milton Town's best FA Vase run in 12 years came to an end with a 2-0 away defeat against an in-form Clevedon Town on Saturday.
The win sealed the home side’s 10th win in 11 games with a goal in either half from Jay Murray and Will Gould. With the match drawing to a close, New Milton were reduced to 10 men as tempers began to fray.
The visitors made the better start, and they perhaps should have taken the lead on more than one occasion. Charlie Turner had a decent chance to break the deadlock, but his well-struck shot fizzed just wide of the upright, and Conor Jevon drew an impressive save from Clevedon Town keeper Harley Wilkinson.
Somerset’s Clevedon Town, who play a step higher in the Western League Premier, began to fashion chances. The best of these was a near-post effort that New Milton keeper Luke Dennison saved easily.
New Milton were in the ascendancy, and an unmarked Tyrrell Sampson missed a gilt-edged chance to beat Wilkinson after Chris Long’s ball into the box. With 38 minutes gone, Clevedon found the breakthrough when referee Rob Cockle pointed to the sport after Callum Parnell’s sliding tackle caught Morgan Williams. Clevedon number 10 Jay Murray imperiously converted sending Dennison the wrong way.
The second-half was a closely-contested affair with challenges getting more and more physical. Clevedon won a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box after a mistimed Louis MacArthur challenge, but it was placed way over the crossbar. Then, Sampson was harshly given a yellow card after sliding in with a firm challenge and a late Clevedon tackle brought down Luke Stone. The Clevedon defender was shown a yellow card, but it could have been red.
The home side killed the game in the 83rd minute when Callum Gould’s first touch shot curled into the bottom right corner catching everyone off guard. With frustrations growing, New Milton’s Elliott Eavis received a straight red for sliding through his man. After a brief moment of push and shove, which seemed to involve every player of the pitch, the situation calmed down.
Full Time: Clevedon Town 2-0 New Milton Town
New Milton: L. Dennison, E. Eavis, C. Parnell, L. MacArthur, J. Kimber, A. Booker, T. Sampson, C. Turner, C. Jevon, B. Cooper, C. Long.
Subs: L. Stone, M. Turner, G. Richardson, E. Jones, E. Lines.