Millbrook chose the perfect time to produce their best performance of the season as they swept aside Clevedon at Jenkins Park.
The midweek 3-1 home defeat by Buckland Athletic heralded the first murmurings of concern at the amount of goals the Brook were conceding.
And when Clevedon scored twice in three minutes through Glen Hayer and Alex Camm early in Saturday’s Western League Premier Division match, things looked bleak.
Brook manager Mackenzie Brown was the coolest man in the ground, telling his team to keep playing their football and reminding them there was a long time to go.
And his belief was rewarded as Millbrook fought back in spectacular style with a swashbuckling display which brought them five goals.
Jake Foster cancelled out Clevedon’s lead in 90 seconds on the half hour; first he outpaced a defender to latch onto Sam Morcom’s superb long ball, before smashing his shot into the net off a post. Before the visitors had time to settle, it was 2-2 as a pinpoint cross from Tom Payne wide on the left eluded the final defender on the far post and Foster swooped to score from close range. For the remainder of the first half, Millbrook dominated and would have been disappointed not to have gone in at half-time with a lead. But they didn’t have to wait long after the restart. A sweeping move along the left saw man of the match Morcom fire in a superb ball across the face of goal. Josh Toulson’s initial effort was kept out by Clevedon keeper Luca Smith but Rikki Shepherd followed up to score. Five minutes later it was 4-2 with another Shepherd strike after he had been picked out by an excellent cross from the right by Payne.
With the luxury of a healthy advantage, Millbrook’s confidence was sky high and they produced a period of quite stunning passing football; Payne and Morcom along the left flank caused havoc. It was only a matter of time before they scored again, and the fifth goal arrived in the 78th minute when central defender Dave Youldon fired home from the edge of the penalty area after a free kick had only been half cleared. Shepherd should have completed his hat-trick three minutes from time after outpacing the Clevedon back four but adrenalin seemed to get the better of him as he smashed his shot high and wide from 15 yards.
Millbrook boss Brown said:
“I am delighted with the result and even more delighted with the performance. Even at 2-0 down I was watching some of the football we were producing and I couldn’t ask for much more in that respect. We had a mental minute where we conceded from a set piece, which happens, but then lost our composure and it became two immediately which was really frustrating. However, we settled straight down and I honestly never doubted we’d get back into the game because of the nature of our play. It helped massively that key personnel were available, we still had four out but the options allowed me to use round pegs in round holes and that made the world of difference.”