11 Mar Match Reports 9.03.19
Bridgend 1st XI 3-4 Devizes
A poor result from a poor performance all round by Bridgend, and not what was needed to see the Ravens safe. The game got off to a promising start, as Bridgend looked the dominant team, with Tim Hodges turning the Devizes defence inside out before crossing to Rhodri Owen who deftly tapped the ball in at the far post, whilst laying face down on the floor. The remainder of the first half saw Bridgend unable to capitalise any further on their lead, with a lacklustre showing, and numerous unforced errors.
The second half saw a reduction in these errors, however Devizes caught Bridgend napping and overloaded the Bridgend defence to score, take the lead and then increase it. Bridgend did fight back and a baseball style volley from Tom Pearce brought them within touching distance, however failure to transition well from attack to defence saw Bridgend concede a fourth. A shining beacon in the gloom of Bridgend’s performance was Michael Hodges who did not give up, and with monumental effort took the ball the majority of the pitch’s length where he was able to find his brother Tim Hodges who turned and scored. With Bridgend finally on the ascendancy it was too little too late as the final whistle blew shortly after the restart.
Bridgend 2nds 1 vs Cheltenham 0
Bridgend crossed the Bridge into English territory with an experienced but bear eleven squad with plans to right the wrongs of previous weeks close defeats. With Phil Rees, Jamie Brooks, John Rubery and star goalie Adam Hawas between the posts, it was clearly going to be difficult for Cheltenham to get the better of the Bridgend defence. The task at hand was for Bridgend to make the most of their chances that they have failed to do in recent weeks.
The first half saw many chances coming Bridgends way through superb link up play between the midfield of Captain Nick Anthony, Andrew Jones (AJ) and Jason Arnold. This solid midfield performance allowed the young blood “up and comers” Matthew Tudbal and Tom Rosser to pick apart the Cheltenham defence on many occasions but Bridgend failed to capitalise on the plethora of goal scoring chances created.
The first half ended without a goal to either team and it seemed that Bridgend would once again surcombe to a lack of product from their attacking possession. The halftime talk by Nick Anthony and Andrew Jones inspired the tired Bridgend squad to come out all guns blazing. The second half saw many short corners awarded to Bridgend but once again no goals came from the chances and the frustration continued.
With slick passing between Osian Jones, Matthew Tudball and finally a shot on goal from Jason Arnold that hit the post, Andrew Jones (AJ) was in the right place at the right time to slap the ball passed the defenceless and stranded Cheltenham keeper.
The Bridgend goal saw the beginning of a defensive masterclass by the tiring Bridgend eleven. A solid performance by Goalkeeper Adam Hawas who was on a mission to make up for poor performances over the last couple of games saw him stopping any chance Cheltenham had on goal. This includes a stick save that the keeper barely saw but used lightning reactions to clear the ball from the line milliseconds before a Cheltenham attacker went to put the ball in the back of the net.
The final whistle came with Bridgend winning by the single goal to Nil and a well deserved 3 points.
Cardiff Uni 6ths – 3 Bridgend Ladies 2nds – 2
In a really fast game the main difference between the two teams was that Cardiff Uni took more or less all of their chances while Bridgend didn’t. Bridgend were slightly slow to start but soon got into their game after going down to an early goal, they started putting the Uni team under pressure but it was quite late in the first half before they managed to convert this into a goal. A beautifully weighted cross from Catrin Stephens found Angharad Kitchener who struck the ball perfectly into the back of the goal. The score at half time was 1-1 and it was anyone’s game. A Cardiff goal almost straight from the restart tested Bridgend’s resolve and even though frustration had started to creep in Bridgend still managed to create several great chances but came back empty handed from the Cardiff D each time. Another Cardiff goal then followed but Bridgend still refused to give up and to the entire team’s credit they dug deep with tired legs to create space for Jo Poupon to pass the ball perfectly for Catrin Stephens to sweep it past the Cardiff keeper for Bridgend’s second. 3-2 to Cardiff Uni was how it then finished, but this wasn’t truly a fair reflection of the pressure and chances that Bridgend had. Player of the match was Keeley Thomas.