Radstock Town 1 - 0 Bishop Sutton
Tuesday 14th November 2017
A penalty midway through the first half from top scorer James Rustell was enough to give Radstock Town all three points from an enjoyable and hard-fought local derby at Southfield on Tuesday night writes Kerry Miller.
The surprise of the night was that there were not more goals as both sides created chances although the Miners squandered more with Rustell unlucky not to add to his tally of 14 so far this season. It takes them second in the table just two points behind leaders West bury United and with neighbours Welton Rovers on a roll and just two further points adrift it is turning into a fascinating campaign.
Bishop Sutton arrived looking for the win which would take them into the top six and with a line up which included around half a dozen teenagers they looked good on the break and gave Radstock all the problems they could handle when given the chance. Town started well with Josh Witcombe and Tom Stocks both going close early on before Mason Daggar escaped for Sutton only to be taken out by Luke Ingram, who was lucky not to be shown a yellow card. In fact referee Ian Parsons backed himself to keep a hold of the game all evening by keeping the cards in his pocket and his gamble paid off despite the frantic pace all night.
Kai Long nodded a free-kick over for Sutton then another free-kick ended with Jack Keen heading wide as the visitors showed they were not going to roll over for the championship chasers. Radstock were creating chances at the other end and a fine move ended with Rustell going clear but his cross was wasted by young Morgan Skipp who shot wide from a good position. Skipp atoned for his miss minutes later when his trickery was too much for the Sutton defence and he was tripped in the box with Rustell putting his side ahead from the spot with the minimum of fuss with 21 minutes gone.
Sutton keeper Will Cockram then came into his own with a double save from Stocks, albeit unconventionally and he then kept out an effort from Josh Witcombe as Town looked to close out the game as early as possible. The half closed with Keen crossing for Corey Rawlings who missed a half chance which left Radstock to take the honours at the break while Sutton were still in the game and looking sharp.
Within seconds of the restart Jack Biddescombe had threaded a ball through to Rustell who blazed over from 18 yards but Sutton responded immediately as Ben Snell’s long free-kick evaded everybody and could easily have fell kindly but didn’t. Referee Parsons was called into action around the hour mark as tempers began to fray around the edges but his words were enough again and from what was becoming a rare visiting attack Keen was just wide from a fine move. Sutton were enjoying a good spell and Rawlings was again wide but in truth it fizzled out and Radstock always looked the likelier to score again, although Cockram’s shot stopping always allowed for the possibility of a late equaliser.
Josh Witcombe and Rustell then caused panic in the visiting defence and the attack only ended with the ball being hacked off the line after Cockram and Rustell had clashed on the edge of the area. Cockram’s best save came with around 15 minutes to go when an inch perfect lob from Nathan Flower was tipped over at full stretch – a save which only someone 6’4 and counting could have made. Sadly in made no difference as Radstoc k saw out the last ten minutes to put themselves second and with trips to struggling Calne Town on Saturday and Oldland Abbotonians a week later they are in a good place.
It is only a shame that with Welton Rovers at home to Larkhall Athletic in the Somerset Premier Cup and Paulton Rovers entertaining Bideford in the Southern League, both within shouting distance, the footballing public of the area were forced to chose between three games.