viney red
Jake Viney earned the man-of-the-match award with a string of fine saves. PHOTO: Debbie Gould

FOOTBALL: Greenwood header secures Bridgwater United hard-fought cup victory

Bridgwater United 1, Mousehole AFC 0

Buildbase FA Vase Second Round Proper

IT was fitting that United’s no-nonsense defender Jordan Greenwood featured on the front cover of the match day programme yesterday as it was his header that separated the teams and sent United through to the next round, writes Mark Hollidge.

This gripping game, watched by 327 fans, was a battle of two in-form sides, going at it hammer and tongs for 102 minutes. 102 minutes? Yes, the referee allowed 12 extra, stressful minutes after the 90 had elapsed, but United’s resolute defence wasn’t going to crack.

Mousehole had gone unbeaten since their chastening 6-2 loss at Fairfax Park in October and are one of the form teams in the league.

This game proved as difficult for the Robins to win as was expected. On goal attempts alone, the visitors would have felt that they deserved to equalise at least but there was an indomitable spirit, and belief, running right through the core of the Robins.

String of saves

Jake Viney was selected as man-of-the-match, and he did pull off a string of fine saves to break the hearts of the Cornishmen. It was far from one sided though, and United could have made the win more comfortable in the final 20 minutes.

Early on it was pretty clear that United would pose a threat from free kicks and corner kicks. Greenwood issued an early warning when he met a Jake Llewellyn corner kick with a header that rose just over the bar. Mousehole lacked height at the back and their keeper Jimmy Weeks preferred to not challenge in the air for the ball.

Mousehole soon got into their rhythm. Tallan Mitchell was running the midfield and linking well with the ever-dangerous Hayden Turner, who was on the left wing. Turner cut infield and struck a dipping shot which cleared the crossbar by inches. Soon after that, a Mitchell volley had Viney sprawling to his right to push the ball aside.

Both sides were playing with confidence, but the goal threat was mostly from Mousehole. Viney saved again from Mitchell after Connor Leak Blunt pulled the ball back and Callum McConie’s strong shot at the near post was repelled by United’s alert keeper.

United’s attempts to score were often frustrated by the Mousehole defenders getting in the way of shots on the edge of the penalty area.

Mousehole preferred to play out slowly from the back, and didn’t do it very well, which gave the United attack plenty of encouragement. They were almost caught in possession a few times.

Unstoppable

United came more into the game around the half hour mark. A corner ball dropped down at the feet of Ross Edwards and he shot to the left of the goal. Then we had Greenwood’s 39th minute goal – an unstoppable header from close range thanks to a brilliant corner kick from Tom Llewellyn.

Just before the halt time cuppa, the busy Mitchell tried to bend a shot around the dive of Viney, but he pushed that out for a corner, which came to nothing.

Early in the second period Jack Taylor dispossessed Josh Otto as he was (again) trying to play out from the back. Taylor shot and missed when a pass inside looked the better option.

Mousehole then had a spell on top. Turner again cut inside, and his shot was aimed for the top right of the net, but Viney was equal to it. Turner lifted the ball into the midst of the penalty area and Mark Goldsworthy flicked against the crossbar. A close one. McConie’s inswinging corner kick looked to be cleared off the line. Another close one.

Perilous

The lead was looking perilous but hard-working United then turned the tide and caused the Mousehole rearguard some problems.

A diagonal pass cleared Paulo Sousa and left Adnan Hiroli in the clear. He rather slashed at the ball and missed to the right. Hiroli then had a header at the far post from another corner kick which looked certain to register. However, a combination of Weeks’ fingers and the crossbar kept the ball out.

Another great corner kick from Tom Llewellyn eluded all the players as United kept their foot on the gas.

Cameron Gauci was a second half substitute and he twice served up headed chances for Taylor (who failed to connect) and Hiroli (who headed straight at Weeks).

Despite the extraordinarily long period of time added on, Mousehole couldn’t fashion any more chances and they had to contemplate the long journey home without the prospect of any more glory in the FA Vase for them this season.

Bridgwater United: Jake Viney, Ross Edwards, Jordan Greenwood, Jacob Spence, Jake Llewellyn, Mark Armstrong, Mike Duffy, George King, Jack Taylor, Tom Llewellyn, Adnan Hiroli. Subs Used: Cameron Gauci (Duffy 62), Morgan Williams (King 61), Dave Thorne (Hiroli 90+4). Subs Unused: Ryan Brereton, Tom Ellis, Harry Horton, Sam Hedges)

  • United return to league action at Fairfax Park next Saturday (November 27) when they face Ashton and Backwell (3pm).

 

 

 

 

 

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