After last weeks disappointing but tenacious effort against Team Bath Buccs, Bridgend were hoping for a victorious day against Swansea A. Bridgend started strongly with the personnel of Dave “Snooppy” Allen pressing high and fast, off the back end of last weeks fiery performance. This technique would soon become fatal as Swansea’s back line fired killer aerials and long balls to apprehend Bridgend, building pressure on the back 3 and consequently a shot corner was imminent. Bridgend showed dedication to the short corner defence however Swansea exploited the gap, sneaking the ball to the back post for Swansea to push to goal behind Adrian Hibbert. Although this, Bridgend kept digging with the likes of James Griffiths and Mike Hodges in the midfield, linking Paul Jones who scampered tentatively before passing to Osian Jones on the edge of Swansea’s heavily defended D. A combination of skill and trickery allowed him to skip one and give it to Jon Rubery on the penalty spot who was deservingly !rewarded a short corner for a foul on him
Andrew “AJ” Jones stood calmly as Mike Hodges injected the ball to Jon Rubery, before leaping into action slipping Dave Allen on the right for a 1,2 and to fire one to Mike who had penetrated the back post to deflect one in for Bridgend. With hopes high and a second wind of energy, Bridgend kept pushing with speed, strength and sanatogen for their second as they scrapped in Swansea’s territory before being abetted with a flick, from disastrous tackling from the Swan’s keeper. Bridgend were familiar with flicks as unfortunately Rhys “Fishy” Owen managed to rattle one on the post last week, with this in mind James Griffiths stepped up fearlessly and a roar could be heard from Bridgend and their devoted fans as he pushed it over the shoulder of the Swan’s keeper
Swansea failed to give up as shortly after they flew down the left hand side and past John Woodward dashing into the top of the D to have a critical strike past Matt Wooster and Adrian to level the game at 2-2. Swansea pilled on the pressure to Bridgend with multiple men in the D between multiple long corners until it fell nicely to the opposition to reverse it deep in the bottom corner. Similarly to Swansea’s second goal, Paul Jones made another one of his dashing runs down the left wing before a calculated reverse pass to Mike Hodges who fumbled it home and over the line. The game wrapped up quickly as frustration and tiredness from both teams caused some regretful cards, some but two fine saves from keeper Hibbert ensured a point and although Bridgend didn’t achieve the desired victory, they battled to a well earned draw and multiple positives to take away from the game.
Penarth were straight off the mark, putting a ball in the net, setting a high standard from the word go. Bridgend managed to hold their own, putting in some strong passes and runs down the line and into the D, unfortunately we weren’t able to convert any balls and by half time we came off the pitch with Penarth having squeezed in another goal. Half time led to a constructive and motivating team talk and we went back on the pitch with a plan of action. We managed to hold Penarth off and managed to break through their ranks but to no avail. Soon, two more of their goals followed. Though it was a disappointing result we are looking forward to some boot camp in training ! Player of the match was Sarah Hughes
Bridgend 2nds vs Cardiff Uni B
Nick Anthony’s Ravens travelled to Talybont Sports Complex to face the youthful Cardiff Uni B. Bridgend started with the legendary Phil Rees (Aka Phil Brooks) , Jamie Brooks (No relation), AJ Junior & Dave and Gareth Collier in defense. The Ravens Midfield was made of Rhydian Cole, Andy Schofield, Nick Anthony and Jason Arnold who swapped between a mid and a striking role with Kris Williams. Rhodri Owen and Mike Wilkes were upfront and given strict instructions to make the most of any possession and putting the ball passed the Cardiff Keeper at every opportunity.
The pre game team talk prepared the Ravens for an onslaught of attack from the young Cardiff side. Rhyd Cole made it clear that for the first 10 minutes the Ravens reinact a Braveheart ”Hold’ and absorb their attack and not concede a goal. The message got a nod from Hawas the Goalie and his defence.
The first half saw both teams create multiple chances on goal but its was the Ravens who made the most of their chances and ended the half 2-0. The half time team talk instructions were to see out the game with a clean sheet and keep composes at all costs. The youthful Cardiff were starting to come apart at the seams trying to cope with the pressure of the intelligent play of the Ravens.
The second half saw a 3rd Goal from the Ravens and then it was a case of seeing the game out with tight defence and brilliant marking. Goal scorers where Rhodri Owen, Andy Scholfiled and congratulations for Mike Wilkes for his first goal for the Ravens. Man of the Match AJ Jr with another solid performance, a returning Jamie Brooks and a great game and a huge well done to the Ravens back 3 for helping to get the seasons first clean sheet for Adam Hawas in Goal, hopefully many more to come.
What a fantastic start to the year the Ladies seconds are having. Saturday saw the first league match against Rhondda 3rds where the match was nearly postponed due the amount of rain on Hawthorns pitch.
Bridgend had the first push back and mids Amy Paice and Michelle Hancock had a well practiced one – two straight into the D where Michelle’s shot beat the keeper. The first goal was soon followed by a second with Jo Poupon, Sherry Shawcross and Ella Roberts combined well together to get the ball into the D where Amy’s shot was deflected by a Rhondda player into their own goal. Two up at half time and all the play was dominated by Bridgend with the defence team of Bev Sainsbury, Liz Pierce, Pauline Harrison and Catrin Rubery leaving Eric with no work to do.
The second half started much as the first ended with another good attract by Michelle, Jo, Claire Jarvis and Amy meant that Amy had another shot on goal which was expertly tapped in by Holly James for her first goal for the team.
Bridgend was caught on the counter attack by Rhondda with only Liz between two players and Eric, however a little unsportsman play meant Liz was left stick-less and Rhondaa scored.
In the last quarter of an hour the play intensified going from end to end. Finally a well won penalty corner gave Jo the opportunity of a clean strike straight into the corner of the goal.
Final score 4 – 1 to Bridgend. A fantastic team effort with special mention to man of the match Ella Roberts.
Match Report: Bridgend Men’s ‘C’ 2 – 4 Gwent Men’s ‘B’
Fielding 5 U16 youngsters and a number of grizzled masters as well as a smattering of authentic middle aged enthusiasts, the mighty Bridgend C enjoyed their first home league game of the season at a packed Pencoed stadium versus Gwent.
Gwent has a rich and deserved reputation for bringing through high quality young players who are well coached and possess some fabulous individual skills. Their production line is still in fine fettle, though it was their older players who ultimately proved the difference between the teams.
Watching Eliud Kipchoge’s extraordinary feat in breaking the marathon 2 hour barrier, one was not immediately aware that the feat was masterminded by Dave Brailsford (of Sky / Ineos cycling fame). He had been brought in to plan and supervise the attempt and your correspondent was struck by something he said in a radio interview – that “you must have the courage to try”.
The Bridgend team certainly had courage and tore into the Gwent side from the first whistle. Youngsters Louis, Dafydd and James in midfield had plenty of ball and simply took on their older opponents, passing the ball with real confidence and accuracy. Their pluck was rewarded with the awarding of a short corner which was successfully converted albeit via a Gwent defender deflection – they all count!
Barnaby at right back continued where he left off the previous week, making a number of thunderous tackles to set up brisk counter attacks and Dan playing out of goal in midfield scared the Gwent defiance witless with his pacey running.
Having seen a £6.99 Sports Direct ‘special’ stick disintegrate in his hands the previous week, Rhys had wisely invested in a more durable and powerful model during the week and his good judgement was rewarded with a terrific individual goal on the stroke of halftime.
Gwent had already scored from a short corner of their own to leave Bridgend 2-1 up at the break and spirits were immensely high.
The second half saw Dan swop with Cliff in goal but, in truth, it was simply the quality of Gwent’s elder statesmen and their short corner routine which stole the game from Bridgend. 3 unanswered short corner goals did the damage but the Bridgend side acquitted themselves magnificently throughout the game with regular threats on the Gwent goal. Special mention to Derek at centre back who was a rock throughout and both Nick and Matthias up front who ran their socks off.