Bristol Manor Farm completed their home pre-season schedule with a pleasing comeback win against former local league rivals Odd Down (Bath).
The home side began the game well with Jordan Metters curling a free kick from 25 yards out just wide and low of the far post after five minutes and moments later the lively Matty Groves went inches close when he forced himself into space in the inside right channel before drilling a fierce shot just into the side netting from a narrow angle.
With quarter of an hour played Groves again produced a nice bit of skill on the edge of the penalty area, turning the defender before looping a testing shot which goalkeeper Dan O’Brien did well to tip over the bar.
Then, a minute later, Odd Down took the lead entirely against the run of play when the advancing Farm keeper Ashley Clarke did well to get first to a loose ball behind the back four that was quickly being hounded down by Odd Down striker Anthony Conradi. Unfortunately for the Farm keeper his rebounded clearance fell to Ash McGrane who was able to pump a slide-rule side-foot shot into an empty net from all of forty yards out.
There was nothing the Farm No 1 could do about Odd Down’s second goal just past the half hour either when Jake Elliot unleashed a bullet of a volley from 25 yards out.
The energetic and versatile Jay Adams almost pulled a goal back for The Portwaymen two minutes into the second half when a skilful turn and shot on the edge of the area was just tipped over the bar by O’Brien.
It was the wholesale substitutions made by Farm boss Lee Lashenko ten minutes into the half however that finally turned the tide in the home side’s favour.
Owen Howe, replacing young Rex Mannings upfront, hit a superb strike from the left edge of the penalty area high into the roof of the net to give Farm a foothold in the game and Dean Stamp drew the sides level two minutes later when he capitalised on a poor first touch by Odd Down’s replacement keeper on the other side of the box, robbing the ball away before curling it with his left foot into another empty net.
Manor Farm’s winner came with just under twenty minutes to play when central defender Lloyd Mills – outstanding all pre-season – was on hand to stab home a powerful shot from 12 yards out amidst a crowd of players following another corner from the left.
Manor Farm travel to Plymouth this weekend for a weekend visit to Saltash FC before the season kicks off in earnest back at The Creek on Saturday August 18th when Cirencester Town will be the first visitors of the 2018/19 campaign. See you there….
STAR MAN (Jordan Metters, Bristol Manor Farm)
1 x Owen Howe
1 x Dean Stamp
1 x Lloyd Mills