Bridgwater College Men’s Elite Development Football Squad started the new year with an extremely difficult win against rivals South Gloucester and Stroud (SGS), battling wind and torrential rain to produce a great performance on a wet and slippery 3G pitch. This win ensures they are a step closer to retaining their league championship for the second season in a row.
The tireless Matt Connick opened the scoring after 25 minutes with a clever chip over the advancing goalkeeper, as a through ball by man of the match Harry Horton allowed Connick to run between his two markers and ensure Team BC’s hard work and patience in keeping the ball in poor conditions was well rewarded.
SGS responded almost immediately but were thwarted by the intervention of Sam Hallett, whilst Tom Judge pushed the ball wide for a corner in the dying minutes of the first half to ensure that Team BC went into the interval one up.
The midfield trio of Mike Duffy, Ollie Chamberlain and Harry Horton caused SGS to switch tactics to get a foothold in the game with three defenders and five midfielders, which left themselves open to the counter attack. Chamberlain and Luke Taylor at right back saw SGS scrambling in defence after 20 minutes of the second half. The resultant corner by Lewis Hembury, flew straight into the goal.
SGS pushed more players forward in the second half and bombarded the Team BC defence with attack after attack, but resolute defending by the whole team repelled every attempt until SGS midfielder Cork unleashed a 30-yard strike that rocketed into Judge’s top corner, giving SGS a much needed boost to try and get an equaliser. They almost succeeded as another well-taken shot looked goal-bound until Judge tipped the ball around the post to produce a magnificent save and weaken SGS’s in getting back into the game.
Ben Robinson came on for the injured Dan Barber and Sam Anthony was replaced by Alex Male; their eagerness to break down the SGS flanks gave Hembery another set piece as Robinson was fouled on the edge of the penalty area trying to shield the ball. The resultant free kick was hard and low to the far post by Hembery and the opposing centre back, fearing Chamberlain behind him, slid the ball past his own keeper to ensure that the last minutes of the game were comfortable for Bridgwater.
Final score: South Gloucestershire and Stroud College 2nds 1 – 3 Bridgwater College Men’s Elite Football Squad
Jason Gunningham, Academy Director for Men’s Football and Head of Sport at Bridgwater College said,
“SGS are a very strong team, well drilled and athletic, and always provide their opposition teams with a physically and tactically demanding game and challenge. However, the entire team matched them stride for stride today. The most pleasing aspect of the game was that you could clearly see every player playing for each other and the positivity that everyone gave really carried us past the finishing line when the game became very tight. This great away win has set us up to be in a good position to retain our league title which is all down to the students’ hard work.”