09 Oct Saturday 8th October Match Reports
Bridgend 1st XI 4-1 Aberystwyth university
Bridgend’s only ambition this week was to rectify their disappointment from their previous game. The injury struck squad set out to resolve this issue. Bridgend had a great deal of possession at the start of the game, which they maintained by bouncing the ball between the back four of Rhys Owen, Jamie Brooks, Rob Evans and the newly returned Andrew Jones Jr, who celebrated the birth of his first child. As gaps opened up through the middle the ball was weaved through, ultimately finding Timothy Hodges who issued a rocket of a warning shot off his reverse, which went marginally over the bar. Rhys Owen pulled a great save from the keeper from the first short corner, but it wasn’t until Jason Arnold in his new vein of form, picked up a through ball from Rhydian Cole and put it past the helpless keeper. Unfortunately Aber uni came back strong, their playmaker wasn’t closed down who sent a thunderous ball through the ‘D’ which took a serendipitous touch from an Aber forward to equal the score. It was at that point knight descended as both Richard with his first Ravens appearance and David, on his return from a career threatening injury entered the fray. Richard controlled the midfield whilst Dave created opportunities up front. While Dave made his presence felt in the ‘D’ it was Gareth Coleman who created a spark of brilliance, as he ran a gauntlet of scything sticks and clumsy tackles passing numerous players, only to be upended winning a penalty stroke, and sustaining a head injury for his trouble. David Knight ably slotted home from the spot. Wingers Paul Jones and Andy Schofield probed the defence for the rest of the half, the pressure allowed Knight the elder to push the ball past the keeper.
The second half showed Bridgend demonstrate their ability to manage the game. Clearly in the lead they were able to maintain possession, driven by the midfield of knight the younger Coleman and Cole, Bridgend moved the ball from side to side without risk. The attacks that filtered through were dealt with by the ever present Adam Hawas, who made the pluck Aber forwards well aware of his presence. Bridgend’s best chances of the half fell to Tim Hodges, who was unfortunate to see a shot fly across the face of the goal. Getting the ball back shortly after in an attacking position, Young hodges pressurised the keeper into giving away a second penalty stroke, this saw David Knight complete his hat trick. Just deserts for the Ravens this week, but a tougher challenge lies ahead next week!!
Neath 1 – Bridgend 2nds 6
Bridgend 2nd xi made the trip to rivals Neath at the home of their brand new pitch at Bae Baglan. Bridgend began to make inroads into the strong Neath defensive unit through wingers Jon Rubery and Tom Hopkins. However, it was Neath who had the first clear cut chance of the game. Forcing a super stop by Adrian Hibbert. Bridgend managed to break the deadlock soon after this with Andrew Jones teeing up Rhodri Owen who was able to slot the ball through the goalkeepers legs. Bridgend soon doubled their lead through Paul Davies. Steve Murphy and Jon Rubery got together to allow Davies to fire into the empty Neath goal.
Bridgend realised they had to push on as the second half began knowing that there would be a strong Neath fightback. Steve Murphy was once again involved as a creator passing the ball out wide to Rhodri Owen who engineered a ‘one-two’ with Nick Anthony before Owen threaded the ball into the goal. Neath managed to pull a goal back, after the valiant efforts of Matt Wooster, Gareth Collier and Jon Woodward to keep the ball out of their goal. With Neath continuing to press Bridgend executed a brilliant counter attack which Matt Hibbert began with a cross field ball to Kris Williams who used his pace to get passed several Neath defenders before he played the ball to Andrew Jones who supplied the finish. Bridgend’s next goal also fell to Jones who played the ball into the bottom right corner of the Neath goal with the defenders and goalkeeper only able to watch the ball roll passed them. Bridgends final goal came from Tom Hopkins, Nick Anthony mesmerised the oncoming Neath defence finding a pin point pass to Hopkins who smashed the ball passed the helpless keeper.
Men’s 3rds 0 – Cardiff uni 2
Bit of a tumultuous game for the men’s 3rds against cardiff uni.
Cardiff controlled the game with their pace and passing playing very aggressively. Despite getting a few cards they kept up the intensity and attacked the game constantly. The first half saw the back line of Derek Jones, Mike John, Matthew Arthur and Steve Mac communicating well and putting in crucial tackles to keep cardiff from scoring. Despite conceding several short corners rather than concede the defensive 4 and Cliff looked impervious to conceding a goal.
Cliff Harrison did an excelent job of keeping the score down for the home team throughout the entire match and his gymnastic saves kept Bridgend in the game: have to start calling him ‘Peter Shilton’.
The first half ended with Cardiffs pressure finding a crack in the defense and scoring in the closing minutes of the half.
The Second half saw John Thomas and Nick Showell taking over at the back with Derek Jones and they did well to carry on the performance of the first half defense together with our super keeper Cliff to keep the students from scoring.
Bridgend looked most dangerous in the match when using their wingers Gavin Pound and Ian Blatchfords pace, to get behind the ring of Cardiff players and give the team several chances to score from their crosses into the D.
The Blues midfield of Jon Murphy, Jeremy Ingram, Rhydian Lewis and Jon Wilks rotated constantly throughout the match and worked tirelessly to keep up with the young students and prevent any big gaps opening up in the middle of the pitch or between the defense and midfield. Cardiff Dident get one long ball through the pitch to their strikers.
Catton and Mike Hodges Dident have many chances this week but when they did get the ball they did well to look dangerous and pressure the uni defense earning the team several short corners.
Presteigne 6 – Ladies 1s 1
Ladies 1sts travelled away to Presteigne this week. It was a rocky start to the match with presteigne putting a quick 2 goals away. Following some good play the opposition scored a 3rd before bridgend finally found they’re feet and following some good passing between the midfield Louise Jones got the ball in the back of the net. Bridgend started the second half strong with some good runs down the wing from Brogan and Sophie Evans. Unfortunately bridgend were not able to capitalise these opportunities. Despite some excellent save off keeper amy derbyshire final score was 6-1. Bridgend look to regroup at home next week.
Chepstow 4 – bridgend 2nds 0
Bridgend started the game well considering they were facing a strong, well drilled squad, compared to a team of 12, however everyone was giving 100%, Lauren Hancock made excellent plays, linking up with Amy Fitzgerald to work their way to the D to create a chances. Due to injury we were down to 11 on the pitch and having to work hard against chepstows players.
Defence had a fanatic game and the game could of easily had more Chepstow goals if it wasn’t for keeper Meg Hooper, Pauline Harrison, Bev Sainsbury, Hannah Sainsbury and MOTM & Vice Liz Pearce!
Jess Allen made her senior debut and worked extremely hard to create chances for Bridgend forwards who sadly couldn’t covert them.
Despite the result, Bridgend played very well and have a good team and will be stronger when at a squad capacity and will be a force to reckon with! Onwards and upwards for the Raven Chicks!