23 Feb 3rd XI Match Report – 22nd February 2014
Result: Bridgend ‘B’ 4; Gwent ‘A’ 1.
Bridgend made hard work in recording this victory, well deserved in the end but Gwent put up a spirited fight to keep Bridgend at bay until they scored two late goals to give a more rewarding final scoreline.
Fielding their usual mix of experienced players and four under 14’s in their squad, Bridgend started strongly with midfield maestros of Jon Wilks and Rhydian Lewis controlling play, bringing Ian Blachford’s strong running in to play down the right flank, to give Jack Steer and Ian Davies chances to stretch the Gwent defence, with youngster Gareth Collier supporting on the left.
Gwent held out, and from one of their rare attacks managed to put the Bridgend defence under pressure, they took the lead against the run of play, when a shot was unfortunately deflected in to the goal by defender John Thomas, who generally had a good game starting attacks for Bridgend, but Cliff Harrison in goal had no chance in saving this one.
This spurred Bridgend to settle their passing game, and from one such attack Jon Wilks entered the circle to score a superb goal with a fierce shot.
Bridgend rang the changes, with youngsters Owen Tuckwell, Matthew Hibbert and Rhys Rubery coming on to pass the ball well, from which a movement involving Matthew down the right, who showed his increasing confidence by getting the ball to Roger Franks who gave Bridgend a deserved lead with an accurate shot.
Bridgend continued to dominate possession and territory, but Gwent fought hard to thwart the attacks, and frustrated Bridgend with some solid defending. However, pressure told when Ian Blatchford used his speed and control to create space for Jon Wilks to score his second goal with a surprising reverse stick shot.
Bridgend’s defence was well marshalled by Mark Tuckwell, Denver Beer and Derek Jones; they helped to start attacks by advancing upfield, and from one such attack Roger Franks took advantage of a loose ball and scored his second with a well taken sharp shot.
This ended the scoring, resulting in a hard fought victory for Bridgend, a reward for their accurate passing and an all round team performance, with their youngsters showing increasing confidence and effort in this adult league, giving great encouragement for the future.