Bristol Manor Farm secured their first away win of the season as they withstood heavy Willand pressure to take all three points at Silver Street, writes Jack Davies.
The Portwaymen were looking to bounce back from their 3-1 loss at the weekend, and it took just four minutes to lift the players spirits when Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist smashed home the match’s opener. Theo Llewellyn snatched the ball and released Kyle Tooze, leaving two players for dead in the process, and his perfect cutback was emphatically finished by Leigh-Gilchrist.
Jayden Nielsen was the next Farm player to try his luck, turning into space before his shot was saved by Willand keeper George Burton.
Manor Farm were turning the screw as the game ticked on, Leigh-Gilchrist turning provider this time as he flicked the ball though to Owen Howe, but a superb recovery tackle by Ryan Guppy left him unable to get a firm connection on his effort.
Leigh-Gilchrist was having a fine first-half, his next involvement was collecting a Howe knock back but this time he could only fire wide.
Farm would capitalise in their first-half excellence midway through it, the brilliant Tooze spun Alfie Toland twice before the defender hauled him down inside the box. Howe dutifully hammered the spot kick in for his ninth of the season.
Willand ought to have levelled just before the break, Stuart Broker went through on goal but he put his effort wide. The home side would also have the final effort of the first half, a rasping drive from Archie Reay was tipped over by Ben John.
The home side came out of the traps flying, and forward Reay forced John into a smart save before Josh Ford cleared two strikes from in front of the experienced keeper.
Lee Lashenko’s Manor Farm still posed a threat on the counter, first Ben Bament put an effort over after a low cross from Aron Robbins, and then Howe found himself through on goal but lacked his usual composure when he too fired over.
That miss would prove costly after 70 minutes, Robbins caught by the overlap and Louis Jagger Cane arrived at the back post to score with his first touch to get Willand back in the game.
An already fiery affair threatened to boil over shortly after, Neilson punished for a foul but despite the whistle being blown, Toland flew through the back of Kyle Tooze as the ball went loose. The defender was only shown yellow and two more players were booked for the handbags.
Farm fully had their backs against the wall late on, Steve Kingdon and Josh Ford heading and clearing dangerous crosses away time after time and John making several smart saves, the best of which from a cross-cum-shot by Jagger Cane which he parried both away from goal and away from onrushing strikers.
The six minutes of added time felt like an eternity, Kingdon again on hand to block from Bowker before Guppy headed a last-minute chance just over.