11 Nov Match reports 11-11-17
Bridgend 1st XI 3-1 Cheltenham
Bridgend travelled to Cheltenham to continue their unbeaten run. This was easily Bridgend’s toughest opposition and a top of the table clash, and a game that would separate the men from the boys.
The young boys of Cheltenham came at Bridgend in droves but Adrian Hibbert in goal lead by example like a wall. Solid tackling from John Woodward and Jon Rubery with silky skills on the clean up from Kris Holyoake meant young Cheltenham needed to reconsider their option when attacking.
Bridgend drew first blood the ball was passed throughout the team ending up with Thomas ‘Pedro’ Pearce, who pulled the ball from behind himself in a move he calls the dirty sanchez and set up the experienced Timothy (not Timmy) Hodges on his favoured reverse who dived shooting into the goal. Pedro Pearce was unlucky not to add to his tally as he caught the defence having a siesta, but only a foul could prevent him having a goal fiesta.
Cheltenham pulled a goal back by overloading their forward line, and the numbers game came off tying up the game. Bridgend has to fight to keep going Captain Coleman bravely battled running right protecting possession and creating crosses. David ‘Beef’ Knight ruddered the game from the middle of the pitch with Rhydian Cole alongside him. Their game management meant the youthful exuberance of Cheltenham was easily quashed, setting off Paul Jones and Gareth Coleman on the flanks. A short corner for Cheltenham saw the ball prevented from crossing the line by Jon Rubery who risked life and limb, however the opposition were awarded a stroke. Strong and stable Adrian Hibbert held his ground whilst the quaking Cheltenham forward stepped up, Hibbert leapt like a Panther covering the shot ensuring it ricocheted off the post in dramatic fashion. An aerial bombardment pelted the Cheltenham back line with Tom ‘Pedro’ Pearce able to wrap the ball up in the corner, as he salsa’d forward he was able to tapas the ball into the middle and win a short corner on the stroke of half time. Bridgend looking like the cats who got the cream set up, Rhydian Cole delivered the ball to David ‘Beef’ Knight who scooped the ball into the back of the goal after a discussion between the umpires as to how good a goal it was Bridgend went into the break as game leaders.
The second half saw Bridgend at their finest, defending a lead like their lives depended on it. John Woodward took no prisoners in his tackling whether team mates or opposition allowing nothing past him. Kris Holyoake put in some vital tackles and marauded forward, with Jon Rubery proving an effective outlet. David Knight was instrumental playing the role of his football likeness Joe Ledley as a defensive midfielder. Bridgend had to dig deep to maintain their lead and with 15 minutes left Cheltenham managed to squirm through to goal, one on one with keeper Adrian Hibbert and the poor forward had no chance as the ball was smothered away by the veteran shot stopper. Paul Jones was instrumental in moving the ball up field down his favoured left flank and and quick ball from Rhydian Cole found Captain Gareth Coleman lingering outside the oppositions 25. Coleman, fed up of his lead hanging on a knife-edge made a devastating run into the ‘D’ before being hacked from all angles winning Bridgend a highly rationed short corner. An identical play to the last but Knight slipped left instead of shooting allowing left back Rhys Owen to add to his tally. A comfortable lead for Bridgend allowed them to see out the game maintaining possession whilst Tim Hodges frustrated the defence into giving away fouls due to their inability to dispossess him. Thomas ‘Pedro’ Pearce had a huge role to play in the finale chasing down possession and ensuring Cheltenham could not get a beam of opportunity. A fantastic and professional performance by the Ravens who intend on maintaining their current form.
Bridgend 2nd XI 3 – 2 Cardiff & Met E
Second placed Bridgend welcomed third placed Cardiff & Met E to Pencoed for a key game for both sides.
Fielding a team packed with defensive players, Bridgend were forced to make positional changes to ensure they also posed an attacking threat.
Faced with a Cardiff team keen on route one hockey, Bridgend looked to play the more expansive game from the onset.
They were soon rewarded for their efforts when a through ball from Andrew Jones, saw captain Nick Anthony set up Neall Hollis, who, in an unfamiliar role of left wing, finished in the bottom corner like a seasoned midfielder.
With Bridgend looking to impose their dominance, Cardiff found themselves equalising against the run of play. Buoyed by their goal, they look to turn the tide against Bridgend who quickly found themselves 2-1 down following a Cardiff & Met E short corner.
Bridgend knew they had the quality to recover and came out in the second half fighting. Cardiff’s defence began to buckle under the pressure and a Bridgend short corner saw Jamie Brooks deservedly equalise for the home team. With Cardiff beginning to tire, Bridgend looked to up their game still further.
A fantastically worked short corner, saw Jason Arnold slot home to give Bridgend a well deserved lead which they would maintain to the end of the game. 3-2 the final score, sees Bridgend rise within 1 point of the top of the table with a game in hand.
A hugely impressive team performance, Bridgend now look forward to an away trip to Pembroke.
Bridgend’s beguiling mix of ancient and modern players took the field against top of the table Neath without their talisman captain Andy Schofield and with a new player, Dom Glynn.
Neath were instantly on the attack and kept the pressure relentlessly on the Bridgend attack which was never intimidated and made some terrific interceptions and tackles. Matt Arthur, Martin Bevan and Steve Price bore the brunt of some robust challenges and kept coming back for more. Young Taran Moss made some wonderful jab tackles and from one of these the ball was transferred to Jon Wilks who instantly switched play out to Tom Rosser. His barnstorming run down the right wing ended with a powerful cross which Jack Steer brilliantly stopped and calmly slotted into the goal for the lead, much against the run of the play.
Neath were stunned and managed to gain an equaliser after Bridgend’s first defensive error. That took us to half time.
Bridgend started the second half strongly and gained far more possession but another defensive error as the team began to tire allowed Neath to score again.
Michael Wilks put in some precise tackles in midfield and Dave Collinson was mown down when running hard to the Neath goal, but the Ravens defence began to tire and Neath scored 2 further goals, despite some heroics from Mike John in goal.
Final score 1-4.
Kington 4- Bridgend 0
Bridgend 2- Swansea 2
Bridgend welcomed Swansea Uni 3rds, and based on previous, bridgend were preparing for a strong side to show and expecting to defend heavily.
This week, the seconds had a few changes in the team line up, mixing youth with experienced bridgend players joining Liz Pearce were Justine Cosby and Amy Paice, the experience the 3 players offered was next to nothing for the youth, who took it in their stride. Bridgend were first on the score board in the game and for the season, with bridgend driving the ball into the D and numerous players having a shot it was Eve Mordecai who took a shot, which was saved but used the save to her advantage and struck again.
Swansea battled back but it was only until the last few minutes they equalised.
Bridgend picked up the second half where they left off, applying pressure but Swansea were also keen to get one up. Eventually it was Swansea who got the one goal lead, following this bridgend pressed and had fantastic play, Janine Burford held mid together and linked well with Amy Paice and Charlie Morris who were aiming to get play up to Eve and Sherrie Shawcross. Towards the end, Eve made a run from half way to the D, getting pass numerous Swansea players and netted the second goal giving us a draw.
The game ended with a bridgend short corner, which Swansea were too keen to play and broke early, resulting in two players being sent to the half way line, sadly this was kept out but bridgend were still pleased to get another point for the league and goals for the season.