Duffy sees red as Bridgwater United exit FA Cup

WITH 12 minutes left Nick Woodrow hooked in an opportunist goal, his first for Bridgwater, to bring the score to 2-1 and set up a nervy last session for the home team at an excited Winklebury on Saturday, writes Kerry Miller.

Somehow the Robins had stayed in touch despite all the odds having been stacked against them but two more strikes at the death, one from hat-trick man Conor Lynch, put a realistic look to the scoreline and ensured his side went into the draw for the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Dave Pearse and Karl Baggaley had their usual juggling act to perform as Jack Taylor was suspended and Dave Thorne, Jacob Spence, Ryan Brereton among others were still out suffering injuries and faced a home side who had enjoyed a fine start to their campaign in the Isthmian League.

The pattern of the match was very soon established as Basingstoke went immediately on the offensive and James Haworth hit the post with a header on four minutes before Brad Wilson was just denied by a last-gasp block from Jordan Greenwood.

Simon Dunn brought a save out of Jake Viney soon after and with McKoy Palmer causing havoc down the flank the visiting defence was on red alert for most of the half.

Morgan Williams and Woodrow both tested experienced keeper Paul Strudley from distance but when Ben Cook beat a static backline he somehow blazed over from close range and Bridgy survived once again.

PHOTO: Debbie Gould

Tom Llewellyn and Mike Duffy then combined well but Woodrow could not convert the chance before Basingstoke should have taken the lead after a mad scramble ended with Viney just keeping a goal-bound shot out with the sole of his boot.

The pressure was beginning to show and Jake Lewellyn was cautioned and just on half-time Lynch was given room on the left and he cut on to beat Viney for a deserved lead. United were rattled and right on the whistle Morgan Williams joined Llewellyn in referee Sean Jenkins’ book.

Bridgwater began the second half with some purpose and Tom Llewellyn’s free-kick led to the ball ballooning up off the bar and Jordan Greenwood’s overhead kick going close but that was as good as it got as Lynch finished an inch perfect move with the defence flat on 50 minutes.

Red card

Duffy set up Woodrow who was just eased out but that was his last contribution as when he burst into the box and appeared to be pulled back, frustration got him a straight red card and Bridgy were forced to play a third of the match with ten men.

Williams had by then had bad luck with a shot hitting the post and rolling across the goal but the home side appeared in control and Lynch was just wide as he went hunting his treble.

With Duffy gone, Pearse shuffled his troops again and introduced George King, Wellington Jimenez and Archie Sturdy and was given a lifeline, albeit one which was attached to very little when Simon Dunn went down in the penalty area, but Lynch blazed the spot kick high over the bar.

Man-of-the-match Nick Woodrow went close and Lynch nodded a good chance wide until with around 12 minutes left Woodrow finally found the net with a hooked effort and the home defence looked vulnerable.

It did not last long as on 87 minutes substitute Adam Everiss set up Dandre Brown for the third and when Jake Viney could not get back to deal with a high bouncing through ball, Lynch won the battle and fired in for his well deserved hat-trick.

Match Details
Match: Basingstoke Town v Bridgwater United
Competition: Emirates FA Cup, First Round Qualifying
Date: Saturday, September 4, 2021
Venue: Winklebury
Attendance: 659


Basingstoke: Paul Strudley, Danny Williams, James Haworth, D’Andre Brown, Scott Armsworth, Shaun Dallimore, McKoy Palmer, Ben Cook, Bradley Wilson, Conor Lynch, Simon Dunn.

Subs: Adam Everiss, Hugo Staunton, Kail Mumford, Aiden Lewis, Daryl Wollers.

United: Jake Viney, Jordan Greenwood, Tom Ellis, Jake Llewellyn, Ross Edwards, Tom Llewellyn, Morgan Williams, Harry Horton, Mike Duffy, Nick Woodrow, Adnan Hiroli.

Subs: Mark Armstrong, George King, Wellington Jimenez, Archie Sturdy.

Match Officials
Referee: Sean Jenkins
Assistant Referee: Simon Weston
Assistant Referee: Chris Gunnell

Who’s next?  United host Ilfracombe Town in the Toolstation Western League on Tuesday 7th September, 7.45pm.

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