15 Feb Match reports 11th Feb
Bridgend 1st XI 2-1 Hereford
The Ravens made a long awaited return to fortress Pencoed this week having not played a home game in almost two months. Bridgend bossed the game from the outset, spending long periods transferring the ball laterally across the defence, unhindered by the opposing team. Attacks down the left and right flank through Paul Jones and Tim Hodges respectively built chances and pressure mounted throughout the game. A multitude of chances fell to David Knight, then Gareth Coleman, then Jacob Hodges, before Rhydian Cole picked up the ball on the edge of the ‘D’ and drove in, before unleashing a shot that swerved in the air before finding its home in the bottom right corner of the goal. Bridgend were unfortunate to concede a penalty stroke in the first half, however goalkeeper Adam Hawas bested his opponent and dove low to the right blocking the ball from entering the goal, Bridgend’s lead was preserved. Bridgend continued to push forward down both flanks with wing-backs Rhys Owen and Neall Hollis adding to the attack, but no further goals would come.
The second half was somewhat more frought. Bridgend knew they were the leaders in this contest and could smell blood. They fell into the trap of committing too many men forwards and forced opportunities. Hereford responded in kind by filling out their defence. Bridgend’s measured approach went by the wayside and they resorted to a brute force tactic. This lead to nothing more than half chances and quick possession turnovers. Centre backs John Woodward and Rob Evans were on fine form and grew wide to this threat quickly, with some excellent defensive coverage. Disaster struck again for Bridgend as another penalty flick was awarded to the opposition. However Adam Hawas was superior to his opponent again, although diving away from the flick he was able to respond and throw out a victorious leg, dutifully earning his man of the match performance. Bridgend managed to win a short corner in the last half of the game, which was passed from Gareth Coleman to Rhys Owen, who deflected the ball to Andy Schofield, who played an assist to Jacob Hodges , with Hodges passing the ball into the back of the goal. At 2-0 Bridgend attempted to run down the clock, however sitting deep allowed more pressure to heaped on them. Hereford gained a short corner very fortuitously which proved to generate their consolation goal. Bridgend dug deep the rest of the game to retain their slender lead, a hearty performance and what could be regarded as an ugly win, but no less of a result than what was deserved.
Bridgend Mens 3rds 1 – 0 Whitchurch E
Against tough opposition and with a weakend side Bridgend managed to control possession, thanks to a solid defence which they built upon. The Blues gave away little through the match and despite controlling possession were unable to score many goals in a tightly packed opposition half.
Whitchurch played some very strong, hard hockey but the home team refused to be pushed off the ball and kept possession.
The one goal came from a powerful strike by captain Jon Murphy during a short corner.
Seeing the attacking threat Whitchurch were careful not to foul in the last quarter of the pitch, packing their half to prevent Bridgend getting many goal scoring opportunities.
Jon Wilks was critical at the back in leading the defence with midfielders Matt Tudball and Rhydian Lewis using their speed and skill to maintain possession in a tightly packed midfeild.
A good result for the home team that makes it impossible for the team to get demoted, contending for 4th place in the league with three games to go while also putting pressure on 3rd place.
Despite taking the lead twice Bridgend were ultimately disappointed with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Howardians. An early goal from skipper Jo Poupon provided hope there was something in the game for the travelling ravens. The home team equalised almost instantly and then dominated much of the rest of the half. A well worked move started by Holly Walker saw Poupon slip the ball back D to Louise Jones who cooly slotted home. The 2nd half saw a fightback from the home side and a short corner late in the game sealed the 3 points for Howards.
Ladies 2s game was called off due to a frozen pitch at their away fixture.