01 Oct Match reports 1st October
Bridgend 1st XI 2-3 Lydney
Bridgend waited with bated breath to see what conditions they were to play in, but fortunately the downpour stopped just before the game started. The Ravens made a strong start to the game with debutant Timothy Hodges troubling the Lydney defence. Bridgend exhibited sterling passages of play, the ball being moved through the midfield of Paul Jones, Gareth Coleman, Jacob Hodges and Andy Schofield. All interacting well. Rhydian Cole playing centre forward developed a number of chances, however unfortunately these did not bear fruit. The introduction of Jason Arnold and Andrew Jones Snr brought a different dynamic to the game. A mazy run through the ‘D’ from the latter won a short corner for Bridgend, this was converted by Rhys Owen who drilled it low past the goalkeeper. As Bridgend pushed on, they became too confident and lost possession high up the pitch, the resulting counter attack lead to a short corner for the away team. The ball took a route toward goal which found an unexpected space on its way to the backboard. Despite the unexpected goal Bridgend returned to their pressing game and soon after Jacob Hodges weaved through three defenders at the top of the ‘D’ before unleashing an unstoppable reverse strike. However the lead did not last, as an uncharacteristic loss of possession in midfield lead to a numbers advantage for Lydney in the Bridgend ‘D’ which could not be nullified.
The second half saw Bridgend remain the dominant team, with the majority of possession. Their attacks threatened Lydney throughout the second half, but did not reach the backboard. An abundance of short corners proved Bridgend have more fine tuning to do in order to get the results they require for the success they deserve. As Bridgend pushed on to try and get the winner their plan backfired getting caught on the backfoot which let Lydney take the lead. Bridgend needed to attack to salvage something from the game, Jamie Brooks pushed up which developed a multitude of chances around the ‘D’ and Phil Rees and Rob Evans prevented anything from materialising for the away team. The best chance of the half fell to Tom Hopkins who was closed down by the keeper at close range. Bridgend were left disappointed at the result, knowing they deserved better, but will build and progress going into next week’s game with Aberystwyth.
Swansea Uni B 3-4 Bridgend A
Bridgend A got off to a strong start getting the ball into strong positions. However they failed to complete the final pass. The students found themselves 3-0 up just before half time before Steve Murphy teed up Jon Rubery who managed to find the goal from a reverse stick strike.
Bridgend rallied together at the beginning of the second half keeping the ball well and playing wide players Jon Rubery and Ed Jackson into space. Kris Williams got himself into the game carrying the ball strongly down the right hand side before he combined with Rhodri Owen who allowed Nick Anthony to close the gap to just one goal. Bridgend continued to cause Swansea problems, building attacks right from the back through Jon Woodward and Gareth Collier. They quickly moved the ball onto Matthew Hibbert who managed to get the ball to Paul Davies who worked well with Ed Jackson who went on to win a short corner. The resulting short corner fell to Paul Davies who managed to lift the ball over the oncoming Swansea goalkeeper. Bridgend continued to pressurise the university side. This pressure was getting to much from the students. Paul Davies played a ball into the D with Rhodri Owen making a full length dive in an attempt to score. The rebound fell to Jon Rubery who again found the goal after having a previous effort disallowed. Bridgend continued to keep the ball and close out the game through Matt Wooster and Andrew Jones. Adrian Hibbert joined in the play with same great footwork after pulling off numerous first half saves. Bridgend pulled off a superb comeback fighting hard against the university side who had 5 substitutes at their disposal.
The Bridgend mens 3rds started their season with a tough away game to an experienced Whitchurch side.
The first half saw bridgend under lots of pressure with solid defending from a back line of Derek Jones, Mike John and Steve Mac working well together and putting in some key tackles to keep the goals out. Cliff Harrison made some key saves when required. Despite the team working desperately to keep the scoreline clear Whitchurch scored two goals towards the end of the first half.
The second half saw Bridgend attack from the whistle, controlling the game completely and gaining possession and territory. The rotating midfield of Jon Murphy, Jeremy Ingram, Rhydian and Mathew Arthur did a fantastic job of controlling the centre of the pitch with Ian Blatchford and Gavin Pound putting their speed to use, feeding the strikers with opportunities.
The pressure paid off with Jon Catton scoring from a penalty short corner.
Despite controlling the second half Bridgend struggled to break through the strong Whitchurch defense and win back the game.
Credit also due to steve sloan and Nick Showell for coming on at the back and playing their part in a solid defence. Also youngsters Mike Hodges & Jack Hayes showed great skill and pace against experienced opposition.
A good start to the season, with a disappointing result that didn’t reflect the second half dominance.
Final score: Whitchurch 2 – Bridgend 1.
Ladies will have their first league games next weekend! 🙂