HOCKEY: Sticky start for Bridgwater

Bridgwater Mercury: HOCKEY: Sticky start for Bridgwater HOCKEY: Sticky start for Bridgwater

Bridgwater Men’s 3rd 5, Sidmouth & Ottery 5th 2

BRIDGWATER came from 2-1 down to beat Sidmouth & Ottery on Saturday.

Rich Payne bagged a hat-trick and Will Pope added two, as Bridgwater bounced back in style.

Bridgwater started the game brightly and were ahead in the first five minutes – a good run and pass from Will Pope found Rich Payne who slotted past the keeper for 1-0.

Sidmouth responded quickly, when a speculative pass outwitted the defence of Ian Stradling, Mike Morrish and Clayton Hobbs.

The defence all watched the ball go past them for the attacker to round keeper Brad Palmer and score 1-1.

Sidmouth pounced again soon after and the bottom-of-the-league club took a 2-1 lead.

Bridgwater dug deep and the midfield of Dan Pigden, Ben Lewis, Sean Headaux and Paul Tilley started to take control.

Stradling played a neat ball down the line to Payne, who in turn beat the defender and crossed the ball into the D for Will Pope to tap in from close range for 2-2.

Bridgwater took the lead soon after when Phil Morrish from a short corner, found Ben Lewis whose cross-shot was directed in by Rich Payne for 3-2.

Phil Morrish then played a ball through the defence which found Payne who slotted home on the second attempt for 4-2.

Will Pope rounded off the scoring when he broke into the D and his shot hit the post and bounced off the keeper and in for 5-2.

This was a win for Bridgwater which could have been more emphatic, with man-of-the-match going to a tireless Will Pope.

East Devon 5th 2, Bridgwater Men’s 4th 3

BRIDGWATER’S fourth team dug deep to gain an important win against a very physical East Devon side.

Despite a number of near misses for the visitors, it was East Devon who broke to open the scoring and Bridgwater keeper Mark Hutter had to be alert to prevent East Devon adding to their lead.

Bridgwater pulled level through a powerful Mike Davidge shot, with Sam Beasley putting Bridgwater ahead following a mad scramble in the D, with Pigden again ending up on the floor as he made the final cross.

The second half became very scrappy and niggly with neither team able to settle into any period of fluent play.

With Bridgwater dominating possession and looking to add to their lead, it was East Devon who levelled the game, with another breakaway goal.

Down to 10 men, man-of-the-match Joe Syvret’s through ball enabled Fludgate to put Bridgwater ahead with just five minutes to go and Bridgwater were able to hang on for an important win.

Bridgwater Men’s 5th 2, Chard 3rd 4

THE extreme conditions got the better of Bridgwater as they were beaten by Chard.

Steve Morrish, Marcus Blyth, Matt Hubbard and Ben Stone all battled hard in defence with Blyth making some good tackles.

But Chard broke free after a good piece of play to score the opening goal of the game.

Minutes after, an error letting the ball run cost Bridgwater dear as they conceded a sloppy second goal, with Chard profiting from the extreme conditions.

As the rain slowed and Bridgwater could finally see the ball and fought their way back into the game with Mike Date, Gavin Nicol, Connor Gillespie, Max Syvret and Geoff Banham in the midfield.

Despite not getting much of the ball up front Dave Dosson, John Dee, Tom Evans and Alex Ward all carved out a couple of good chances but the Chard defence and keeper kept them out.

With the minutes drawing down to half time, Dosson grabbed a much deserved goal.

Chard had the better of the opening minutes of the second half, but it was Bridgwater who came closest to adding to the scoreline with Nicol producing a fine double save from the Chard keeper.

As Bridgwater pressed for another goal, the cold conditions took their toll as a more experienced Chard broke well with pace and power scoring two goals.

Sadly, Bridgwater couldn’t get a second goal until the final minute as Dee deflected a goal-bound Dosson effort in.

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