22 Mar 3rd XI Match Report – Saturday 22nd March
Result: Bridgend ‘B’ 2; Whitchurch 2
Bridgend had to work hard to earn a draw in this top of the league clash. Both teams were expecting a hard fought game, and so fielded more experienced sides, although two 13 year olds for Bridgend, Rhys Rubery and Steffan Irranca-Davies, did have some pitch time to increase their experience in this adult league.
Bridgend started strongly, with Rhydian Lewis, Andy Davis and Denver Beer dominating possession to allow Ian Blatchford to use his skill and speed on Bridgend’s right hand side, and put pressure on Whitchurch.
From one such attack from open play, Jack Steer had a goalbound shot well saved by the keeper, but enthusiastic following up by Ian Davies enabled him to take advantage of the rebound and scored with a good shot.
Whitchurch began to settle, with Bridgend’s defence of Jeremy Ingram and Gareth Collier intercepting well, allowing Tony Price and Derek Jones to clear any danger. But their pressure began to tell, and soon disrupted Bridgend’s midfield who had difficulty in distributing to the attackers. Whitchurch capitalised on their pressure and equalised midway through the half, and then take the lead on the stroke of half time.
The second half was even territorially, with both sides striving for superiority. With Rhydian Lewis, Denver Beer and Ian Blatchford combining well, attacks were put in place creating chances for Ian Davies and Roger Franks, but some good last minute defence and goalkeeping saves kept Bridgend out, until Tony Price equalised with a firm shot from a penalty corner.
This was fair reward for Bridgend’s efforts, but Whitchurch were still a threat but Cliff Harrison in goal was able to keep them out.
In the end, a well earned point, that may well have been enough for Bridgend to become league winners. Their final league game against Gwent next Saturday will determine their final, and hopefully top, position.