PAULTON ROVERS U18s 4 WELTON ROVERS U18s 3
What an advert for youth football in North East Somerset and a credit to both clubs’ future prospects in an exciting local derby at Winterfield Road last Thursday evening.
Although a Western Counties Floodlit Youth League game, the outcome decided the annual Bert West Cup, currently held by Welton.
Paulton got off to a flying start in the second minute as the ball was played out to Captain, Ali Sen, wide on the left, who sweetly chipped the onrushing visiting Keeper, Robson Cole, to open the scoring.
Minutes later they nearly increased the lead, as Jake Curtis outpaced the defence, only for his shot to cannon off the crossbar.
On sixteen minutes it was 2–0 as Curtis’ shot was parried by Cole and Lucas Hawkins turned and drove the ball into the net.
Welton slowly got back in the game and reduced the deficit on 28 minutes as striker, Harvey Palmer, wove along the byline evading two tackles to slot past Paulton keeper, Sean Salter.
Salter was alert to Dave with his foot as Palmer cracked a goal-bound half volley.
Welton equalised on 33 minutes as a defence-splitting through ball from left back, Zak Payne, found Freddie Blacker to make no mistake.
Paulton’s response saw Cole save with his foot from Curtis, and as they laid siege to Welton’s goal, a cross from Archie Blacker was headed home by Blaine Lawrence on 35 minutes.
The second half started cautiously until the hour mark, as Freddie Blacker missed a golden chance to level, shooting wide.
Three minutes later, Paulton scored a fourth as Curtis ran on to a pass from Sen to round Cole and tap into an empty net.
There was some stellar defending from Paulton centre back, Harvey Lawrence, as his team mates soaked up intense pressure.
Curtis twice had the chance to increase the home side lead, outpacing the defence only to shoot into the side netting. With six minutes left, a nail-biting conclusion was set up as a cross from Reece Barry was headed home by Jacob Peters.
With a healthy crowd baying for a draw and thence to a penalty shoot-out to decide the Bert West Cup, it was Paulton that hung on for the league points and win the Cup Competition, too.