Match Report - BTFC 1 - 0 Hallen FC (FA Cup)
Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 10th August 2019
Bridgwater Town 1 (Dave Thorne 59) - Hallen 0
The Robins came into this game on the back of a defeat and, some might say, a fortuitous draw in their two earlier games and with the ‘spectre’ of last season’s exit at the hands of Cheddar at the same stage, hanging over them.
Well, if that was the case then the players were totally unaffected as they took the game to the visitors at pace with first Jack Taylor slotting home after just 4 minutes only to have his effort ruled out for offside. Within minutes the mercurial Steve Murray burst past two defenders to lay the ball off to Dave O’Hare whose sharp drive was cleared off the line. It was certainly a very promising start.
However, as the game progressed and possession more equally shared, a misplaced Mike Duffy pass was seized upon to put Elliot Gibbons through on goal with just Jake Viney to beat. To the relief of most, the chance was missed to Viney’s left hand post. Within minutes the action moved to the other end as a long corner reached the returning Ross McErlain, whose overhead kick spun to safety off the post.
This was now a free-flowing encounter with both sides looking for the breakthrough with Hallen missing two gilt edged chances and Jack Taylor controlling the ball well only to shoot narrowly wide. With a third of the game gone most spectators were left wondering just how the game was still scoreless.
The high tempo created by both sides continued as Harry Horton forced Liam McFarlane, the visitors’ excellent ‘keeper, to turn his crisp drive around the right hand post, then from the resulting corner Murray had his effort cleared off the line. Town were now well on top and it was no surprise to see Jack Taylor through one on one with McFarlane who anticipated his dinked effort to keep the scores level.
As the second period commenced it was Hallen who were quickest out of the blocks as a further gilt edged chance was put wide of the post. This effort appeared to act as a catalyst for greater creativity from ‘The Robins’ as good work from Mark Armstrong and Murray saw O’Hare slice his effort spin wide. Then the goal.
Dave Thorne with a driving run down the right saw him skip past two defenders, cut inside to finish, left footed into the far right corner.
Hallen were quick to respond as the home side were indebted to two smart saves from Viney to keep them ahead as Murray, Wilkinson and O’Hare gave way to Pat O’Halloran, Sam Towler and Jake Llewellyn respectively.
The changes produced further chances for Taylor, Thorne and McErlain before Isaac Reid smashed the ball against the Bridgy crossbar when a goal looked certain.
This was an extremely close game; a credit to both sides, very well controlled by the officials and without a single caution.
Jake Viney; Dave Thorne, Jamie Laird, Ross McErlain, Mark Armstrong (Capt), Finley Wilkinson (sub Jake Llewellyn 72), Harry Horton, Mike Duffy, Dave O’Hare (sub Sam Towler 69), Jack Taylor, Steve Murray (sub Pat O’Halloran 78).
Pat O’Halloran, Jake Llewellyn, Sam Towler, Tom Ellis, Jake Horsey
Man of the Match: Dave Thorne.
Our Game is away to Chipping Sodbury on Saturday 17th August
‘The Robins’ continue their FA Cup campaign in the Preliminary Round as they return to Fairfax Park on 24th August to face Brislington – an early opportunity to avenge their opening day defeat at Ironmould Lane.