16 Jan Match reports
Bridgend 5-2 Lydney
Bridgend travelled to Lydney after the long winter hiatus. After a disappointing result against them to start the season, Bridgend knew they had to be the bigger and better men. The game began with the Ravens in the hot seat under the new guise of Gareth Coleman. Leading by example, he linked well with his midfielders. Rhydian Cole found David Knight, who created superb channels for himself to run into. Adam Hawas had little to do in the first half, but what he did ensured no easy pickings for Lydney. The partnership of Jamie Brooks and Rob Evans worked effectively in limiting opportunities and plucking the ball from advancing forwards. Bridgend soon broke the deadlock, with Rhys Owen threading a pass into the path of David Knight, who set himself up on his reverse and tapped the ball into the goal. A second goal arrived shortly later for Paul Jones but unfortunately this was cancelled out for an earlier infringement. But like a hairless Robin Hood, David Knight took back what was rightly Bridgend’s with a clean shot past the helpless goalkeeper. Jacob Hodges came close with a deflection from a low cross going agonisingly wide. Bridgend cruised into half time two goals up, frustrated to not have more.
The second half started with Lydney sending a reminder to Bridgend that they had turned up, the always reliable Jonathan Woodward was like a rock stopping attackers mid flow, the assistance of Andrew Jones Jr. aided the situation and set up Paul Jones who’s electric pace created many opportunities down the right. After coming close on two occasions Tim Hodges had been unable to convert so decided to take matters into his own hands. A cheeky pick up on his reverse let him turn his defender inside-out, before slotting home a crisp reverse strike. After numerous attacks down the left Bridgend generated some momentum through Andy Schofield as he battled hard to control his flank. Bridgend’s next goal came after David Knight drew the defence and goalkeeper, and donated a pass to Tim Hodges on the far post, who couldn’t miss. Lydney made their response at this juncture, with Adam Hawas flying around his goal, the opportunities did not present themselves. The game has been dipped for Bridgend with Lydney scoring from a short corner and a penalty stroke,both awarded through very generous decisions. After the blip had been resolved, Tim Hodges decided to share the love with his brother, a pass from junior Hodge a stretch and two touches from the elder and the ball bobbled against the backboard. A successful outing for Bridgend, who need to rectify their goal deficit, spurred on by captain Coleman!!
Bridgend A 1-2 Swansea Uni B After the short break Bridgend 2nd eleven faced Swansea Uni at home. Bridgend started well moving the ball around creating chances for strikers Tom Pearce and Jason Arnold. It was an even first half with neither side able to take the lead after some fine tackles by Bridgend defenders Phil Rees, Jeremy Ingram, Andrew Deans and Gareth Collier. Adrian Hibbert also pulled off several saves in the Bridgend goal. Kris Williams added extra pace down the right hand side causing the Uni defenders many problems. Andrew Jones and Rhodri Owen both came close before the half time whistle but neither were able to convert.
It was the students who opened the scoring to take a lead. However this lead didn’t last for long with Tom Pearce and Paul Davies out muscling the opposition before playing the ball to Steve Murphy who then played on to Jon Rubery who beat 3 Swansea Uni defenders before firing home from the top of the ‘D’. However a Bridgend error allowed the students to regain their lead. Bridgend kept working hard and a Jason Arnold shot was stopped on the line but a students foot. But unfortunately Bridgend were unable to score the resulting penalty stroke. With both teams having chances at the end of the game Rhodri Owen found himself in goal for Bridgend pulling off a fine save from a short corner! The men’s 2’s now host old rivals Neath at Pencoed next week knowing a win is a must in order to stay on the tails of league leaders Cardiff Uni.
Bridgend mens 3rds 2 – 2 Whitchurch D
Bridgend put in a very good performance against what they knew was going to be a strong Whitchurch team, who are currently contesting to win the league. Bridgend were unfortunate not to come away with a win.
The game started a bit shakily for the home team with Whitchurch coming on strong and putting the blues defence under pressure, and scoring an early goal.
Bridgend quickly rallied from this and went on the offensive making excellent use of wingers Matt Hibbard and Gavin Pound, who attacked the opposition with support from Mike John and Rhydian Lewis. It was from one of these attacking chances that Mike and Rhydian linked well before distributing to Gavin, Gavin put in a superb cross to John Thomas who scored with a real poachers effort at close range that the keeper didn’t even attempt to save.
Less than five minutes later Mike managed once again to find Gavin who this time put the ball away himself to give Bridgend a 2 – 1 lead.
Despite several counter attacks by the opposition the Bridgend Defense of Derek Jones, Jon Murphy, Matthew Arthur and Mike Hodges held firm. The second half was back and forth as both teams attacked. This lead to lots of chances for the bridgend attack of jon catton, john thomas, matt daly and jack steer but failed to convert the chances to goals. Whitchurch countered and eventually broke through. The substitutes of tony price and matt tudball put in strong performances leading to a very good draw. Bridgend move onto next week against top of the league and with a performance like today could easily get some points.