Match Report From Saturday's Hard Fought Game
Toolstation Western League
28th September 2019
Bridgwater Town FC 2 Vs 0 Roman Glass St George
Jack Taylor 78 , 89
The league table suggested that this might be a fairly straightforward challenge for the Robins but it was anything but that. RGSG had won their four previous games and had scored sixteen times in the process. The Robins had to weather an early storm but gradually grew into the game and just about deserved the win in the end.
This was an entertaining, well contested and intriguing game with plenty of skilful football. Both teams are packed with firepower but in the end it was the stronger defensive effort of the Robins which proved decisive. Keeping a clean sheet was an achievement in itself and stand- in keeper Fraser McDiarmid had a lot to do with that. Early on he made a string of fine saves which kept Town in it and gave them the base from which they could prosper.
RGSG made a rip roaring start. McDiarmid saved one handed from Troy Simpson after the ball had been given away and a snap shot from Ryan Radford had to be pushed over soon after. Then a great ball by the skilful and hard to dispossess Josh Morgan- Williams enabled Harry Haughton to test McDiarmid once more. This was all in the first fifteen minutes.
Town’s riposte was a glancing header from Jack Taylor, following a superb Mark Armstrong cross, which missed to the left by a yard. Almost straightaway Haughton’s deflected shot from outside the box was pushed away for a corner by McDiarmid. At this point RGSG’s keeper Ross Grimshaw hadn’t been involved at all.
That changed in the 20th minute. Jake Brown and Grimshaw strongly contested a through ball as it neared the penalty area. There was a crunching collision and Brown came off worse. It was a foul by the keeper but what other punishment was due? A red card would have been harsh but no card at all was too lenient.
With Town now matching their opponents, the game became end to end. Dave O’ Hare, with his knack for being in dangerous attacking positions, forced the ball against the left post. It bounced out to Harry Horton and his instant shot was powerful and accurate but Grimshaw saved well.
McDiarmid had to field further efforts from Simpson and Morgan- Williams before half time but they were from too far out to be a big worry. Brown was much closer to breaking the deadlock after some masterly play from Steve Murray gave him the chance to hurtle towards goal in the right inside channel. Forced wide, he shot wide at the near post.
It was a surprise to reach half time with the game scoreless.
The early passages of the second half were tame compared to the hectic and thrilling fayre experienced in the first 45. Taylor and Haughton had a free kick each but the keepers weren’t troubled. Town’s attacks were frequently frustrated by the offside flag but they did now have the ascendancy.
Town looked sure to go ahead after 64 minutes. The very dangerous and elusive Brown sprinted down the left wing and picked out Taylor in the middle.
Town’s ace striker would normally convert this one with his eyes shut but the ball struck him, rather than he striking it, and it deflected away from the goal.
It was still impossible to pick a winner and RGSG emphasised their threat when Radford’s low drive at the near post looked goalbound but McDiarmid got down brilliantly to save. That was probably his most difficult save. Haughton had his third shot saved by the impregnable looking McDiarmid before Brown waltzed around Grimshaw at the other end but couldn’t get a shot away.
The first goal brought relief and pleasure to the home fans. Murray tried his luck with a curling shot from 20 yards. It beat Grimshaw and hit the underside of the bar. It was no surprise to see Taylor in the right place at the right time and he headed in his 11th goal of the season. Another triumph for the Murray/Taylor combination.
Undaunted RGSG almost levelled the score five minutes later. A long throw was flicked on to Simpson. He squeezed out a close range shot which grazed the outside of the post. This was the visitors’ last hope.
Town’s second was the product of a flowing four man move. It ended when Mike Duffy’s driven cross was knocked in by the unmarked Taylor.
This was a really enjoyable match of high quality. Town had to roll up their sleeves to get the points.
1 Fraser McDairmid
2 Ross McErlain
3 David O'Hare
Fraser McDiarmid, Mark Armstrong, Josh Llewellyn, Harry Horton, Ross McErlain, Jamie Laird, Sam Towler (Mike Duffy 74), Dave O’Hare, Steve Murray (Jake Horsey 90), Jack Taylor, Jake Brown.
Man of The Match