Bristol Manor Farm ended pre-season with a win as dry weather plagued a sun-kissed pitch at Avonmouth, writes Jack Davies.
The opening exchanges witnessed two teams struggling to keep a semblance of control of the bounce, and goals were few and far between.
Unsurprisingly the first chance of note came with the ball in the air. The corner from Jake Gosling was headed by Lloyd Mills, but it smashed against the inside of the post and was scrambled clear.
Aaron Harvey in the Avonmouth goal was drafted into the starting 11 just minutes before kick-off, due to the late arrival of the would-be number one, but he was on the pitch long enough to play a key role in the opener. Ben Bament latched on to a superb sweeping pass by Theo Llewelyn and he was clattered by Harvey inside the area. The keeper did get a fingertip to Gosling’s penalty, but the ball did find the home net for 1-0.
The second came before the break and was superbly taken. Marcus Day nicked the ball and defied the bobbles to smash through the legs of the original goalkeeper to double the lead.
The Farm could have had three before the break too. Youngster Harry Lucas sliced the hosts’ defence open with a slide rule pass to Mason Winter, but striker Ben Bament could only lash his cutback wide.
Avonmouth were also struggling with the conditions but did find a route back into the game. An almighty scramble following a set piece was eventually stabbed home, Kyle O’Donovan taking the credit from his teammates.
Lee Lashenko turned to talisman Owen Howe late on and the striker was inches away from a certain goal as he felt Gosling’s deep cross whip just ahead of him just seconds after his arrival.
A few pot shots for Evander Grubb and Llewellyn were Farm’s reward for the increase in possession towards the latter stages but the hosts were in a defiant mood.
Despite the resilience of the hosts, the Portwaymen would end all hope of a nervy finish with 5 minutes to go. Howe was again involved as he spun and played through Day, with the silky winger slaloming inside three Avonmouth challenges and calmly slotting his second and his team’s third.
With the conclusion of pre-season, all eyes turn to a trip south to Bashley for the Southern League opening matchday weekend.