27 Nov Match reports Saturday 24th November 2012
Bridgend Men’s 1st XI – 1
Chippenham 1 – 1
As a result of last week’s disappointing defeat against Wotton under Edge which saw the Ravens drop from top of the league to fifth, it was a tough trip to Wiltshire to face high flying Chippenham this week for Bridgend 1st XI knowing that points were required to keep up the pressure at the top of De Cymru and the Marches 1. With the torrential rain causing problems right from the outset, Bridgend soaked up some early pressure from the home side as they moved the ball well, creating a few half chances, but it was the visitors who took the lead after Lewis Hearne finished off a fine flowing move, started deep in the Bridgend defence. As half time approached, Bridgend knew it was important not to concede, and that is just what they did as they looked to create some more pressure early in the second half as they looked for the second. It was not to be though, as the home side gradually wore the Ravens down. That, coupled with two yellow cards for Jamie Brooks and Neill Hollis at key moments put Bridgend under pressure, and it was they who buckled, conceding a goal during the latter part of the second half. Despite that, there was still time for a number of chances for both sides, but on reflection, it’s a point gained for The Ravens, against a team who had the best home record and who are still unbeaten at home this season. The point moves Bridgend up into fourth place in De Cymru and the Marches 1 and takes their unbeaten away record to four games, as they look for maximum points against old rivals Cirencester at Pencoed Comprehensive School next saturday.
Bridgend Men’s 2nd XI – 3
Swansea City B – 1
Following the deluge overnight and all morning, the Raven’s 2’s took to the sodden field to take on the old enemy of Swansea City in a top of the table clash and soon settled into their game. Despite the continuing downpour, the home team showed why they are pushing to the top of this league, taking the game to Swansea and not allowing them to build any pressure whatsoever. Constant pressure on the away team took its toll late in the half, with a powerful cross from veteran Andy Schofield being deflected into their own net for the first instance of the new own goal rule this season. Once the breakthrough had been made, the Ravens continued to dominate and were unlucky not to secure the win even before the end of the half. Another rousing talk from skipper Kris Williams saw the home team approach the second period much as they did in the first, and were rewarded with a stunning strike from youngster Tom Hopkins, sapping all the remaining energy and really killing off the visitors hopes of any comeback. A late poacher’s goal from a penalty corner save by Paul Davies wrapped up the game and made sure that the Ravens continue to stay on target for a top of the table finish this season.
Bridgend 3rd XI – 5
Gwent Development X1 – 3
Bridgend used this friendly game against Gwent as a development for their younger players, although the Gwent side fielded, on paper, a much stronger and a more experienced side with only one youngster. Although fielding a much changed side, Bridgend soon showed good endeavour as Jeremy Ingram, Ross Allen and 12 year old Matthew Hibbert in midfield took advantage of well found space to create chances with accurate passes to hard working forwards 12 year old Rhys Bradshaw and veteran Jack Steer, resulting in two early goals from Rhys and Ross.
Gwent then put attacks in place, putting Bridgend’s defence of Alasdair Brown, Derek Jones, youngster James King and Steve Sloan under pressure, but despite goalkeeper Adam Hawas making some excellent saves, Gwent clawed back two goals. Skipper Cliff Harrison tried hard to create attacks, playing outfield instead of his customary goalkeeping position.
Bridgend settled again and put accurate passes together between Ian Blatchford, Matthew and Jeremy, who found Rhys free on the right wing, who crossed to Jack Steer who was able to make an excellent first time hit to deceive the Gwent goalkeeper, and restore Bridgend’s lead. At 3-2, Bridgend were in good control, but Gwent took control at the beginning of the second half, putting pressure on the defence who did well to hold out. Owen Wheeler, a youngster making his debut, held up well in stifling attacks and starting attacking movements. From such an attack, youngster James King made an excellent contribution to a movement involving Jack, Rhys and a final pass to Ross who made an outrageous flick over the Gwent goalkeeper to increase Bridgend’s lead.
Although Gwent scored again, Bridgend continued to string passes together, with a final one finding Jeremy Ingram at the head of the circle who made a superb reverse stick shot to beat the surprised goalkeeper. Playing the whole game in atrocious wet conditions, Bridgend can be very pleased with the contributions the youngsters made to this very encouraging team effort, and a well-earned victory.
Bridgend Ladies 1st XI – 4
Swansea Uni – 2
A fantastic and well deserved win from the ladies 1st XI! The first win of the season! A superb debut in goals from Liz Pearce who stepped up to stand in for the absent usual keeper. She was supported by a strong defence, man of the match going to left back Rachel John. It was not long before Bridgend had two goals under their belt put away by Louise Jones and Jo Poupon. Some excellent passing and with Bridgend working hard to get those 50-50 balls they were able to carry out some forceful attacks. Another goal by Swawiza Gohubur meant that the ladies led but Swansea fought back slipping one passed the Bridgend defensive unit. An own goal however from the Swansea side meant Bridgend were able to secure their victory and a very worthy 3 points!
Bridgend Ladies 2nd XI – 0
Penarth Ladies 2nds – 3
Bridgend ladies 2nd XI faced Penarth for their first round of the cup on Sunday. Playing a premier 1 league team meant that the girls had to step up, and that’s exactly what they did. From the offset Penarth put exceeding pressure on the defence. Marking was kept tight which blocked the opposition’s attempts at goal, and it was not until half way through the 1st half that they scored two goals. Some excellent saves by Sam Brown kept them out further, just before the end of the 1st half Penarth managed to crack in another goal.
The team after half time, seem to pick things up, they managed to get the ball up to the forwards and were unlucky not to get something from their attacks. The defence saved countless shots on a goal, and worked well as a strong unit. Final score 3-0, not conceding
any goals at all in the second half. This was a fantastic performance by the whole team, hopefully to be taken into the last league game before Christmas next week.