Bridgend 1-6 Bristol & West 2s
Bristol and West 2s once again braved the stormy weather and crossed the bridge into Wales.
This time it was against a Bridgend team who, only last week were on the receiving end of a 14-4 thrashing from our promotion rivals Gloucester City.
The Welsh weather was as inviting as always with alternating bouts of fierce hail and driving rain setting the scene for our warm up.
Bridgend started defensively, dropping deep and inviting pressure which meant we could deploy our secret wing-back weapon Platty. Driving down the right, Platty found himself with time in the D. He let off a rasping shot which flew through a sea of bodies and was destined for the bottom corner but the Bridgend keeper had another idea. He parried the shot safely (or so he thought) to his left only for Joe John to tuck away the rebound in emphatic fashion.
With the deadlock broken and Storm Jorje in full swing the team hunted in packs, picking off defenders as they took too much time on the ball and telegraphed their passes. One of these interceptions by captain Si 'Doesn't write match reports' Barrett, saw top goal scorer Dan Lusmore threaded through into the D. He toyed with his defender before walking it round him and deftly lifting it over the keeper for our second goal.
10 minutes in, fresh legs arrived and so did more hail, this time leaving a blanket of white on the pitch leading to a ball colour change. The ball change did not help the opposition as soon after we found ourselves inside their D again. This time Dan Lusmore managed to square the ball across to the back post (via a Bridgend foot) where Varney was stationed to gobble up a trademark goal (although some claim the whistle had already been blown for the short). The goal was allowed to stand and despite some protest from the Bridgend defence, the 2's jogged back to the half way line celebrating our 100th goal of the season.
The half continued in the same fashion with wave after wave of Bristol and West attack fended off by the resolute Bridgend defence until a rare break by home team saw them cross the half way line. A lapse of concentration from the usually reliable Charlie Blandy led to his man walking through the defence and slotting the ball past keeper RJ with 2 mins to go in the first half. Those tasty clean sheet points would have to wait another week.
Determined to build our goal difference we started the second half fast with Joe John providing the games best move by sitting a Bridgend defender on his ass with a textbook V-drag. He fed the overlapping Hazelwood who, as he so often does, beat his man down the right and squared the ball to Dan who had time to control the ball and once again lift it over the prone keeper.
Soon after, Phil 'Up the Browner' Brown powered through several tackles in midfield and fed Varney in the D. His slap shot could only be parried by the keeper straight into the path of the onrushing Phil who bundled it over the line (with some help from the keepers stick).
Joe John continued his excellent form by driving down the right and firing a ball across the D where Varney was waiting. Looking to atone for previous missed chances, he deflected the ball straight into the right post...but luckily it fell kindly and his lofted reverse finish ensured we finished the game strongly.
6-1 FT. A result which, if we can keep our heads in the final few games, takes us ever closer to clinching promotion.
MoM: Joe 'he did a v-drag' John
DoD and Author: Tom 'Bambi Legs' Varney