Bridgwater Town Battle Through the Rain
Les Phillips Cup
October 30th 2019
Bridgwater Town 5 vs 2 Odd Down
Taylor 8, 17, 85 Hiroli 19
Ellis 56, 83 Keen 28
WINNING IN THE RAIN
Town overcame incessant rain and a spirited performance from Odd Down to book a place in the next round of the Les Phillips Cup. Town started and finished the game very well but in the middle section Odd Down gave them plenty to think about.
Town got the game moving at a gallop. Dave Pearse was making his first start of the season and it took him no time at all to resume his profitable relationship with the goal hungry Jack Taylor. Taylor had already struck the legs of keeper George Dorrington, after linking with Jake Llewellyn, when he opened the scoring. A smart turn and inside pass from Pearse gave Taylor a little space and he squeezed a shot into the net off the inside of the near post. Less than ten minutes later it was a final pass from Pearse which set up Taylor for a low shot into the right corner from 12 yards.
At that moment one felt that Odd Down might be facing a trouncing. Town looked sharp in all areas and ready for more goals. However, to their credit, Odd Down didn’t hide but instead played their own brand of attacking football, which had Town back-pedalling. The pace of striker Sam Makepeace was a particular worry. Nevertheless, when Odd Down scored their first goal it was unexpected. A 20 yard shot from Adnan Hiroli looked innocuous but, on the wet surface, the ball squirmed from the grasp of Fraser McDiarmid and slithered over the line.
Town were knocked back a bit by this soft goal but they were even more bothered when Odd Down got the scores level. After an initial attack had been seemingly quelled, the ball broke loose to full back Harry Keen and he hammered the ball past McDiarmid, at the near post, from 15 yards. It would have got worse if the referee had deemed that Mike Duffy had fouled Makepeace in the box.
With Jake Brown on for the second half, Town looked to have regained the ascendancy. After a cross came in from the the right, the ball ended up in the visitors’ net but it was ruled out for hand ball. Town were guilty of giving the ball away a bit too often in the middle of the park. Finlay Wilkinson sent a misplaced ball straight to Makepeace. He wasn’t going to be caught and it is just as well that McDiarmid got a fingertip to his low shot otherwise Town would have been in arrears.
Town’s highly promising young full back more than atoned for his error a few minutes later. With Jake Llewellyn off the pitch, Wilkinson was given the job of taking corners from the right. His superb inswinging corner kick was met soundly by the forehead of Tom Ellis and that was Town ahead once more.
Odd Down should have equalised again just beyond the hour. Again the ball was lost through a misplaced pass and Makepeace was away. He got around McDiarmid all right but he seemed to be travelling so fast that he couldn’t control his shot into what was an open net. He found the side netting instead.
Two further Town substitutions injected new energy and verve to the performance and there could have been several more goals in the final 15 minutes. Steve Murray had a shot deflected for a corner and on a few occasions Brown ran deep into the defence without finding the end product.
A second goal for Ellis settled the tie. Wilkinson’s corner kick was almost a replica of the previous one and again Ellis was the first to get to the ball. His header hit a defender on the line but he reacted quickly to hook the ball into the net.
Odd Down were now spent as a force and it was no real surprise when Taylor scored his hat trick goal. Murray broke with the ball from the half way line with Taylor to this right. The defenders were left trailing. He squared the ball to Taylor who took a touch before scoring off the crossbar. His second hat trick of the season and 15 in all.
Terrific entertainment for all those who braved a filthy night.
1 Jack Taylor
2 Tom Ellis
3 Ross McErlain
Fraser McDiarmid, Dave Thorne, Finley Wilkinson, Harry Horton, Ross McErlain, Tom Ellis, Mike Duffy (Steve Murray 67), Sam Towler (Dave O’Hare 70), Jack Taylor, Dave Pearse, Jake Llewellyn (Jake Brown 46).
Man of the Match