Somerset County League Division 1

Burnham United 1, Nailsea and Tickenham Reserves 2

A MISSED penalty and a second half slump saw The Seasiders sink to a home defeat after an 87th-minute winner from the spot, writes Alfie House.

A first half goal from Jack Cherry was not enough for Burnham, who conceded two second half goals to Nailsea’s Dane Willshear.

After a scrappy opening, Burnham should have gone ahead in the 17th minute when they were awarded a penalty following a handball on the line from a sliding Nailsea defender which denied them the opener.

Mike Stevens stepped up but blasted his effort over the bar.

The deadlock was then broken in the 22nd minute, as centre-half Russel Holley superbly dribbled past two players in the opposition box, before squaring it to youngster Cherry who finished calmly.

Exceptional defending from 16-year-old Jaymie Whitehouse helped ensure that Nailsea waited until the 37th minute for their first chance, a close-range header from Luke Osgood at the far post sailing over.

However, after Burnham had dominated the first half, Nailsea came out from the break a much-improved side.

In the 65th minute Nailsea were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area, and the resultant set-piece was dispatched into the top right corner by Willshear to draw the visitors level.

The game sprung into life as Burnham attempted to respond. Jamie Merrick and Stevens both saw their shots at goal saved after good link-up play with Curtis Bradshaw.

There was a heart-in-mouth moment in the 82nd minute as a wicked deflection on a Nailsea shot looped over keeper Tom Starks before crashing off the crossbar to be cleared.

Starks made a series of saves as pressure began to mount before Nailsea were awarded a golden opportunity of their own from the spot after a handball in the Burnham box three minutes from time.

Facing the same goal as Burnham’s missed penalty, Willshear made no mistake, putting too much power on it for Starks, giving Nailsea the 2-1 lead and all three points.

The result leaves Burnham in 14th place, one point off the bottom two, and desperate for a result when they travel to Winscombe next Saturday.