Shepton edge past Street in tightly contested local derby

By Laura Linham

2nd Apr 2024 | Local Sport

Will Hunter who took over in goal after injury to Sam Jepson. (Photo: Colin Andrews)
Will Hunter who took over in goal after injury to Sam Jepson. (Photo: Colin Andrews)

In a fiercely contested local derby that will be remembered more for the challenging conditions than the football played, Shepton Mallet emerged victorious with a narrow 1-0 win over rivals Street.

The match was played under the duress of high winds and on a pitch that had seen better days, contributing to a game where skilful passing was a casualty of the environment.

The build-up to the game was overshadowed by the departure of Street's manager, Paddy Began, sparking rumours of potential player exits. Despite this backdrop and missing key personnel, both teams showed commendable spirit. Shepton, with the wind in their sails, dominated the early exchanges but found Street's goalkeeper, Brooks, in impermeable form, denying Ethan Witchell, Jacob Sloggett, and Lucy Ponsillo from opening the scoring.

As the match wore on, Street's defence found its footing, organising effectively to thwart Shepton's advances. However, the game took a turn when Shepton's goalkeeper, Sam Jepson, substituting for the injured Tom Roberts, had to leave the pitch due to injury, passing the gloves to midfielder Will Hunter.

The drama continued as Dylan Gould of Shepton found himself temporarily sidelined to the "Sin Bin," a rare occurrence meant to cool down heated moments.

The match's deadlock was finally broken in the 72nd minute when Nathan Legge's cross was deftly touched by Alessandro Constanza to Charlie Bateson, who secured the game's only goal.

Street showed resilience, with a notable free-kick from Collins and a near-miss chip shot by Aaron Seviours, but Shepton's makeshift goalkeeper, Hunter, kept them at bay. Bateson nearly doubled the lead, but again, Brooks stood firm to keep the scoreline modest.

The derby drew a commendable crowd of 267 spectators, and Shepton Mallet was especially grateful for the robust support that contributed to the vibrant atmosphere of this closely fought encounter.


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