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FOOTBALL: Bridgwater United lack sparkle in league defeat

Clevedon Town 2, Bridgwater United 0

Toolstation Western League


IN recent seasons Clevedon has been far from a happy hunting ground for the Robins and they fell short again against their young opponents, writes Mark Hollidge.

Clevedon had lost 5-2 in their previous game, after holding a 2-0 lead, and their record over the season suggested some fallibility at the back. However, they defended very well and left the Robins frustrated and pointless.

Glen Hayer was magnificent at the centre of the Clevedon defence, repeatedly heading away dangerous looking crosses. However, the fact is that United did not create enough good chances despite having much more possession of the ball, especially in the second half.

United had Tyler Coombes (borrowed from Plymouth Parkway) in place of the suspended Jake Viney in goal. He did not have much to do but neither did Clevedon’s keeper Luca Smith. Jack Taylor also missed the game through suspension. Tom Ellis was injured.

United allowed Ethan Feltham a free header from a free kick early on and Syd Camper’s block of a Coombes’ clearance could have been embarrassing but the ball rolled wide. A miscue from Archie Sturdy landed on the crossbar but it was covered by Smith.

Five minutes short of half time, United would have taken the lead when Ross Edwards, one of the better performers, headed a Tom Llewellyn free kick straight at Smith. A foot either way and it would have been a goal.

Just before half time, ex Robin, Camper got on the end of a lofted ball and slipped the ball into the left of the net. Coombes got a touch.

Possession the plan

When United started the second half it seemed that they were determined to keep possession, be patient and wait for the chances to come. Unfortunately, they didn’t come much. Sturdy drove a shot forcefully, but too high, and there was nothing else of note until Clevedon got their second.

Clevedon had not threatened at all in the second period and their goal was out of the blue and very avoidable. Jordan Greenwood, who played solidly, made a bad decision when he fouled a Clevedon forward on the furthest extremity of the penalty area. There had been no real danger at the time. Alex Camm’s spot kick sent Coombes the wrong way and it was now a real uphill battle.

United did power forward for the next twenty minutes. Harry Horton’s fulminating 20-yard shot seemed sure to bring a goal, but Smith dived a long way to his left to push it away. All of United’s other shots or headers were wide of the mark. In turn Wellington Jimenez, Greenwood and Nick Woodrow all missed the target.

United didn’t play badly but they were lacking in sparkle. A well-drilled and error-free Clevedon did not have to work particularly hard to secure the win.

Bridgwater: Coombes, Armstrong, Edwards, Greenwood, J. Llewellyn, Horton, Sturdy (Jimenez 73), King (Williams 77), Hiroli, Woodrow, T. Llewellyn.

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