10-man Bristol Manor Farm emerged victorious in their latest pre-season fixture on Wednesday evening when they defeated Clevedon Town FC at the Everyone Active Stadium. Second-half goals from Owen Howe and Mike Bryant ensured that the Farm maintain their 100% record going into their final pre-season match against Bridgwater Town next weekend.
It was the hosts, Clevedon, who created the first opportunity of the night. Forward Jack Jones was played through on-goal, but his left-footed strike was well parried by Farm keeper, Ben John.
Jones, who proved to be a handful for the Farm defence this evening, was in the midst of the action just minutes later. Manor Farm creative-midfielder Jayden Nielsen flew into a challenge, leaving Jones in clear discomfort as play was drawn to a halt. Nielsen escaped with just a warning, and play resumed once Jones returned to his feet.
After a cagey start to the match, Manor Farm started to find their rhythm when a succession of chances came their way. Kyle Tooze slipped past two Clevedon defenders, crossing the ball to the unmarked Lloyd Mills – but the midfielder couldn’t steer his effort on target. A few minutes later, the Farm were almost rewarded for their efforts. Marcus Day slipped the ever-present Nielsen in-behind the Clevedon defence, but home keeper Harley Wilkinson pushed the ball away to safety.
Owen Howe’s eventful evening started on 30 minutes when he received his first yellow card of the match. The striker was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Clevedon defender Syd Camper, and was cautioned for his arial challenge.
The hosts then started to create chances of their own. Once again, Jones forced Farm keeper John into a smart save at his near post, and Ethan Feltham narrowly missed the target after his scuffed-effort trickled beyond the Farm goal.
As the referee drew the first-half to a close, it was clear that the Farm had work to do in the second period. Wednesday’s pre-season match against Clevedon Town was Manor Farm’s fifth match in just 12 days, and the Farm knew they had to up their arsenal at half-time.
Ten minutes into the second-half, Manor Farm were awarded a penalty after a Clevedon defender was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area; Up stepped Howe, who expertly dispatched his penalty to give the Farm the lead. Howe came agonising close to adding a second, when substitute Mason Winters’ cross found Howe queuing up to score – but the striker could only stand and watch his effort drift past the post.
Howe’s evening was cut-short on the hour mark when he received his second booking of the night. After what looked like a 50/50 arial duel with Glen Hayer, Howe was deemed to have followed through with his arm – resulting in him being shown a second yellow and his marching orders.
Despite the disappointment of losing Howe, Lee Lashenko’s Manor Farm didn’t stop there. Day’s floating corner was met perfectly by Mike Bryant who emphatically volley his strike past Wilkinson to make it two.
Chances then came for Clevedon to find themselves a way back into the fixture. Aron Robbins conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position, but the hosts couldn’t convert the opportunity. Moments later, Liam Dempsey collected the ball from Greg Yarde but his powerful effort sailed high and wide of substitutes’ Harry Thomas-Barkers’ goal.
After a flurry of late chances from the hosts, Manor Farm were full value of their pre-season victory on Wednesday night – despite being reduced to ten men on the hour mark. With the team really starting to gel, the Farm look forward to another strong test next weekend when they travel to Bridgwater Town FC.