LEWIS Goldsworthy enjoyed a First-Class debut to remember, showing great composure to help Somerset over the finish line against Middlesex at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The 20-year-old came together with Steve Davies at 123-6, with the hosts needing 207 to win, and secured a four-wicket victory which puts Somerset right in the thick of the chase for Division 1 cricket at the end of this LV= Insurance County Championship season.

Much like last month's match between these two sides, Somerset had to pull off something of a Houdini act after struggling on the first couple of days' play.

Middlesex had made a solid start after being put in to bat, with Nick Gubbins (75) and Robbie White (70*) leading the visitors to 308-6 by the close on Thursday.

The hosts had made a bright start, with Lewis Gregory tempting dangerman Sam Robson (6) into edging behind for Davies to take a sharp catch.

But fortune was on Middlesex's side, with Max Holden surviving a number of close calls on his way to 49, and Craig Overton bowling with little luck for 2-54 from 23 overs.

Friday saw the away side progress from their overnight score of 308-6 to 357 all out, with White eventually falling for 92.

A rain delay from 11.50am to 1.20pm was followed by two incident-packed overs, with White taking two fours and a three off Tom Abell, before his hopes of a maiden First-Class century were dashed when he edged Josh Davey’s first ball of the following over to James Hildreth at first slip.

Davey (3-33) went on to take two more wickets in the over, accounting for Steve Finn and Tim Murtagh, to bring Middlesex's innings to an end.

After another - shorter - rain delay, Somerset's reply slipped to 16-2, as openers Tom Lammonby (13) and Tom Banton (3) fell in quick succession.

Abell and Hildreth rebuilt, reaching 86-2 at tea, with Hildreth's 39 enabled him to become the fourth highest First-Class run scorer in Somerset's history, overtaking Bill Alley's tally of 16,644.

But after Hildreth was caught behind off Murtagh, Abell (41) was caught off Finn, before a fifth-wicket stand of 80 between George Bartlett (43*) and Goldsworthy (34*) enabled the hosts to close on 178-4.

The pendulum swung back in Middlesex's favour at the start of Saturday's play, as Somerset only managed to add 90 to their overnight score, with Finn's 5-77 helping his side take a first-innings lead of 89 runs.

The day had begun with the hosts calling Jack Brooks into their team, as a Covid-19 replacement for Gregory, who had been forced to isolate due to a member of his private bubble feeling unwell and awaiting a test result.

On the field, Goldsworthy's innings ended at 39 and Bartlett's at 55, before a ninth-wicket stand between Overton (38*) and Jack Leach (16) repaired some of the damage.

Middlesex's second innings saw Robson and Holden reach 44 without loss, before a brilliant Banton catch at backward point sent Robson (18) on his way.

The breakthrough made, Overton (5-34) and Davey (3-28) went on to skittle the visitors for just 117, with only Luke Hollman (21*) providing much resistance to the Somerset seam attack.

That left a victory target of 207, but the match took another twist when Murtagh had Banton (0) caught behind off the first ball of Somerset's second innings and then trapped Lammonby (9) lbw.

Again Abell and Hildreth put together a crucial third-wicket partnership, with Hildreth looking in prime form before falling for 43.

Nightwatchman Leach (5) departed to the final ball of the day, with the home side on 104-4.

Abell resumed on 43, but could add only six more runs on Sunday, and when Bartlett (12) became Murtagh's fourth victim, Somerset looked in real danger at 123-6 - still 84 runs short of the finish line.

Cool heads were needed, and Goldsworthy and Davies provided them, taking their side up to 188-6 at lunch.

The job was duly completed shortly after 2pm, Goldsworthy (41*) and Davies (44*) reaching 209-6 in the 58th over, after a decisive stand of 86 runs.

The result takes Somerset above Hampshire (who lost by an innings against Surrey) in the Group 2 standings, and they will overtake Gloucestershire, too, if the latter side fail to avoid defeat against Leicestershire today.

Afterwards, Somerset head coach Jason Kerr said: "At the moment we are winning ugly, finding a way to come out on top from tough positions without playing our best cricket throughout a game.

"Craig Overton will soon be playing for England again on his form in this match and Lewis Goldsworthy enjoyed a fantastic debut.

"His first innings runs were vital and today he has again demonstrated how calm he is under pressure.

"Steve Davies' experience was there for all to see in the stand with Lewis.

"When we do get our act fully together this season, we are going to be some team."

Reflecting on becoming Somerset's fourth highest run scorer, Hildreth said: "I'm not sure I have enough years in me to overtake Harold Gimblett [21,142 First-Class runs] and Marcus Trescothick [19,654], but I am only a few hundred runs behind Peter Wight [16,965] so I can target third place behind two absolute club legends.

"To be forever linked with those two would do for me."

The 36-year-old added: "I guess it shows I have been in the game a long time, making as many runs as possible for the club I love.