04 Feb 3rd Men XI Match Report- Jan 30th
Bridgend Hockey Club
3rd X1 Match Report, Sat. 31st Jan. 2015
Result: Bridgend ‘B’ 1; Gwent ‘A’ 11
The final result does not give a balanced view of the game, during which Bridgend competed well for possession and territory against a more experienced Gwent side.
With Bridgend anticipating a hard fought game, against a side that played in a higher league than Bridgend last season, they made an encouraging start, taking the game to Gwent, and had the better of the early exchanges.
Defenders Derek Jones, Steve Sloan, Gareth Collier and Robin Wilson thwarted sporadic attacks from Gwent, allowing maestro Jon Wilks and youngster Rhys Rubery to control midfield, getting wingmen Ian Blatchford and youngster Matthew Hibbert in to play. Bridgend were well worthy of their efforts holding Gwent, who began to lose their composure as they found it difficult to find a way through for at least twenty minutes.
Unfortunately, the Gwent side, fielding no youngsters compared with Bridgend fielding three fourteen year olds, began to settle and scored two quick goals, giving skipper and goalkeeper Cliff Harrison no chance to save.
This did not upset Bridgend, who were playing well moving the ball accurately around. From one such move, a firm strike up the wing from Jon Wilks found veteran Jack Steer on the right; he passed the ball square to hard running Ian Blatchford, who beat the advancing full back with a timely pass to younster Tim Hodges who drove forward taking on the goalkeeper, whom he beat with another square pass to Rhys Rubery, who was sure to score but for Ian Blatchford knicking the ball off him as it entered the goal.
A marvelous and well deserved team goal for Bridgend.
Gwent were stunned by this effort, but began to put further pressure on Bridgend, who were unfortunate to concede more goals, largely coming from Gwent’s ability to tackle hard, creating quick attacks that stranded players upfield.
In the second half, Bridgend put more effort in to the tackle, were able to play some very attractive and controlled hockey, although were always under pressure from a hard tackling Gwent side. They scored more goals in quick succession, but between times there were some excellent team play from Bridgend.
If Bridgend continue to show the same effort and team coordination, then future results should go their way.