Bridport 0, Bridgwater United 2
Western League Premier Division
BRIDGWATER duly claimed their three points which elevated them a place in the Premier Division and Jake Viney kept another clean sheet but that was about the end of the good news on a night when the side’s goal tally for the season should have been doubled, writes Kerry Miller.
Two goals in the first ten minutes were the perfect platform for Bridgwater to emulate the likes of Helston, Shepton Mallet and Bitton who have previously netted seven or eight but it then led to 80 minutes of frustration as the game slowly petered out to a funereal atmosphere.
Bridport suffered the loss of virtually the whole of last season’s squad upon the departure of manager Jamie Manley and in its place they have a very young and inexperienced set of players who have suffered a series of tankings so far and should have done so again last night.
To their credit they battled on and although penned back in their own half for almost the whole game saw that Bridgwater went back north with just the two early strikes to their name.
Dave Pearse and Karl Baggaley once again had to juggle their squad and gave starts to Mike Duffy and Ross Edwards with Nick Woodrow on the bench and within ten minutes they were two up and seemingly cruising.
Jake Llewellyn swung over a left foot free-kick after six minutes for Adnan Hiroli to glance home with a deft header then his cross from George King’s inside pass was tucked home by Jack Taylor from three yards out four minutes later.
It was Taylor’s 99th goal in around 120 appearances and all money was on the striker to set off on his second century that night but from then it was Bridport’s death by a thousand passes.
Taylor volleyed inches wide then Wellington Jimenez went on a mazy run to the edge of the area and let fly from 30 yards but was inches wide of Jordon Scadding’s left post before Bridport escaped briefly and Riley Weedon’s shot along the ground was safely gathered by Viney.
Jiminez and King then both went close but United were becoming guilty of overdoing the intricate passing out from the back which allowed the beleaguered home side to regroup instead of applying pressure to the back line and any momentum was often lost.
Taylor and the lively Jimenez combined for King to shoot over but the half time break came seconds after Troy Walbridge was carried off with what looked like a nasty achilles injury.
Jimenez was looking increasingly likely to open his goalscoring account for the club and was again close with a fine effort before Taylor put Hiroli through but his lob over Scadding was too high and the chance was gone again.
Morgan Williams was industrious in midfield and Duffy caused problems whenever on the ball and he was close when a drive around the hour mark took a deflection off Dominic McAllister and clipped the crossbar. From the corner, Jiminez was once again close and it was his last involvement as Pearse introduced Nick Woodrow who was high with an effort following Duffy’s graft.
Sam Reed came off the bench for King then moments later home substitute Riley Greenwood-Neate brought a flying save out of Viney to all but embarrass the away side.
Woodrow twice missed good chances and Taylor walked around Scadding to net but from an offside position late on but after Archie Sturdy was given a ten minute run out referee Jordon Lee put the game out of its misery and Bridgwater’s goal tally remained at two.
Sadly Jake Llewellyn limped off with a hamstring injury late on giving a disappointing symmetry with brother Tom and both will be needed this weekend which brings two far more demanding prospects with Saltash United arriving at Fairfax Park on Saturday afternoon with three wins and a draw from their first four games then on bank holiday Monday United go down the A37 to Street for what will undoubtedly be a tense and lively local derby. Both games kick off at 3pm.
Bridgwater United: Jake Viney, Jake Llewellyn, Ross Edwards, Morgan Williams, Jordan Greenwood, Tom Ellis, Mike Duffy, Adnan Hiroli, Jack Taylor, George King, Wellington Jimenez. Used subs: Sam Reed, Nick Woodrow, Archie Sturdy.
Bridport: Jordon Scadding, Finley Jarvis, Malakai Stanners, Dominic McAllister, Jake Owen, Dan Baggs, Mike Hill, Antony Carlile, Harry Boulton, Troy Walbridge, Riley Weedon. Subs: Harry Burwood, Jaydon Scadding, Riley Greenwood-Neate, Bailey McNamara.
Referee: Jordon Lee.