10 Dec Match Reports w/e 8th December
Lansdown 0 v Bridgend Mens 1st XI 2
A second consecutive win for Bridgend saw them climb to the top of De Cymru and Marches Division 1 thanks to a 2-0 win against Lansdown in the Cotswolds. Despite Bridgend having the bulk of possession during the first half, they went into the break 0-0, but it was the second half when The Ravens took control. David Knight continued his great scoring record, while Lewis Hearne scored a well worked goal to seal a good win and a clean sheet as they head into the second half of the season at the top of the league. Next up is an away game against Cleevilians, before they enter the Christmas break.
Bridgend Mens 1st XI 2 v Cardiff University 3
Much fancied Cardiff University were the visitors to Pencoed Comprehensive School as they faced Bridgend in the Welsh Cup. Despite playing three leagues higher, Bridgend showed they can mix it with the best. Having despatched Cardiff University 2’s during the first half of the league season, Bridgend knew they would have to produce a fantastic effort if they were to get anything out of what would have been the best opposition the club had faced for a number of seasons, and that was exactly what occurred despite an immense effort from everyone, which eventually saw them lose 3-2.
The Ravens started the game under pressure, but opened the scoring through Richard Knight, who finished off a slick move involved Rhys Pugh down the left. A shell shocked Cardiff took the game to Bridgend, only for them to concede a second after a move instigated by captain Rhydian Cole deep in the Cardiff University half was finished off by David Knight. Going into the half time break 2 up, Bridgend knew that they had to keep it tight during the second half, but the away side showed why they’re in fourth position in the Premiership as they piled on the pressure and created chances which led to them scoring three second half goals to take the spoils. Bridgend will now concentrate their efforts on gaining promotion and defending their Welsh Shield title.
Captain Rhydian Cole commented, “We as a club are extremely proud of the effort the boys put in against a team of that standard. Having gone 2-0 up at half time, we knew it would be hard during the second half and that’s how it proved. I guess we just ran out of steam in the end! Being Welsh Shield champions, and currently top of the league, we’ll now concentrate our efforts on defending our title and mounting a serious challenge for promotion. We’ve shown during our league season that we are a force to be reckoned with and this just shows that we can mix it with the best. It was a great day to be captain, and to play so well as a team.”
Bridgend 2nd XI – 1
Neath – 4
Bridgend 3rd X1 – 1
Whitchurch ‘E’ – 5
With both sides fielding a good mixture of youth and experienced (older!) players, an even but hard fought game was anticipated, and although the final score line suggested otherwise, this indeed was the case.
Bridgend’s defence was soon put under pressure from Whitchurch’s quick passing attacks, but Derek Jones, Alasdair Brown and Ian Smith worked effectively to frustrate the attacks, allowing Bridgend to build their own attacks through midfield Jon Wilks, John Woodward, Gareth Collier and Ian Blatchford, and were unlucky not to go ahead when the Whitchurch goalkeeper brought off a magnificent save from a sharp shot from a surprised Jon Wilks.
Whitchurch then scored two quick goals, giving skipper and goalkeeper Cliff Harrison no chance to save. Ross Allen worked hard to create attacking moves, after receiving accurate passes from Paul Davies and Mark Tuckwell, bringing forwards Ian Davies, Jeremy Ingram and Jack Steer in to play, but the opposition’s defence held out.
In the second half, Whitchurch scored more goals through breakaway attacks, as Bridgend moved players to support their own attacks, from which an excellent passing move involving Jon Wilks, Ian Blatchford, Ross Allen put the Whitchuch defence to stretch point, allowing Jeremy Ingram to make a firm scoring shot on the far post. This was no more than Bridgend deserved from their team efforts. Even though the score suggests otherwise, the game was played at a cracking pace for this league, with both sides being constructive in creating attacking moves, using equal possession and territorial advantage to their own use.
Bridgend Ladies 1st XI – 0
Newport – 3
Third time lucky for Bridgend Ladies 1st XI against Newport, this time for the 2nd round of the Welsh Shield. The ladies put up a fantastic fight giving 100% effort at Cwmbran Stadium but unfortunately it was not to be. The team consisting of Jo Poupon, Louise Jones, Megan Gamble, Carys Jenkins, Amy Pace, Sophie Evans, Melanie Geddes, Rachel John, Becky Williams, Liz Pierce, Sarah Boyd, Sam Mclaren Brown, Sam Price, Hannah Sainsbury and Emily Phillips started well working hard from the offset, with some excellent passing and tackling. A few opportunities were had on goal but unluckily no goals were achieved. It was 1 -0 to Newport at half time their goal coming from a very well drilled penalty corner. The girls held their heads high going into the 2nd half but Newport again managed to score from another penalty. Working hard to the end, the girls had to admit defeat but should be proud of their performance and hopefully take this forward to the new year and the 2nd half of the league.