HOCKEY: Draw dents promotion hopes

Bridgwater Mercury: HOCKEY: Draw dents promotion hopes HOCKEY: Draw dents promotion hopes

Minehead 1, Bridgwater Mens 1

BRIDGWATER'S push for promotion suffered a setback on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Minehead.

The visitors coughed up a number of good chances, as they failed to convert from strong positions.

Things did not get off to the best of starts for the away side, being caught in position early on and conceding a sloppy goal by their standards to give the home side the advantage after a few minutes.

This goal served as the wakeup call Bridgwater needed and the rest of the half was near domination.

The midfield trio of Joe Sibley, Carwyn Jenkins and Tim Bennett started to take control and dominate the possession and tempo of the game.

This allowed the wingers Liam Pigden and Kieran Wood to start stretching Minehead's defence and enable the midfield trio to bomb forward in to the free space.

Chances fell to Bennett and Rob Morrish but they were unable to find the clinical touch needed to put them away. Despite this, Bridgwater continued to use the ball wisely and their persistence paid off when Jonty Stephenson threaded the ball through to Rob Morrish down the left wing, who crashed the ball in to the D for Bennett to slot it home and put the sides back on equal terms.

Bridgwater started the second half very slowly, with the defence having to be on their toes from the off.

A number of last ditch tackles were put in by Duncan Morrish, Dyte, Upham and Jonty Stephenson and a string of successive saves from keeper Pete Saunders kept the game level.

Minehead had a player sent to the sin-bin and Bridgwater pushed forward trying to grab the next goal.

Harry Stephenson and Sibley pushed forward through the centre, but Bridgwater failed to create or convert enough chances to get them the goal they deserved.

Bridgwater Ladies II 0, Taunton Vale IV 1

TAUNTON Vale struck a late winner to take the spoils at Bridgwater on Saturday.

Both teams played some classic hockey with excellent movement by Paige Martin - Sue Chaplin and Julie Morrish held strong in the centre and cut out the Taunton Vale passes.

At half time it was still goalless, but Suze Daw's added drive in the midfield and Hayley Williams and Emma Hill kept on the attacking pressure, with keeper Sam Hutter making some timely saves to keep the tension high. The play went from end to end, and Bridgwater forced a few penalty corners but were unable to capitalise.

Vale threw all efforts forward and a free hit outside the D saw a forward cleverly dodge past the defence and power the ball into the goal with just a few minutes to go.

Bridgwater Mens IV 8, East Devon IV 2

BRIDGWATER'S fourth team are now only one win away from promotion following a comfortable win against East Devon on Saturday.

Mike Davidge, Jordan Rawles and Sam Beasley grabbed two goals apiece, while Ali Cook and Steve Pigden scored one each.

It was Mike Davidge who opened the scoring for Bridgwater after 20 minutes following a short corner, adding a second soon after.

Bridgwater added a third on the stroke of halftime with Rawles scoring from a tight angle, but East Devon managed pulled one back within seconds as Bridgwater's midfield and defence lost concentration and Pigden's goal line clearance only succeed in putting the ball into the opposite corner of the goal.

Lifted by the goal, East Devon dominated the early minutes of the second half, but once Pigden had broken up another East Devon attack, his pass found Kody Fludgate, who drove into the East Devon area to set up Sam Beasley for Bridgwater's fourth.

While East Devon never game up, Bridgwater were now in the ascendancy.

Cook ran through the East Devon defence to score Bridgwater's fifth, Beasley added a sixth before Wilson and Rawles combined for a seventh.

Excellent interpretation of the advantage rule by umpire Phil Morrish allowed Pigden to score Bridgwater's eighth and the game finished with East Devon's persistence being rewarded with their second goal.

With just three games to go, Bridgwater need just three points for promotion but will need to be at their best when they play second placed ECV Hornets next week.

West Dorset II 12, Bridgwater Mens V 0

A YOUNG Bridgwater V team suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of promotion chasing West Dorset.

After a rush to ensure 11 players got to West Dorset on time, the game started on time in some unseasonable conditions.

At times it felt like the Alamo would have been a safer place than in the Bridgwater defence, as some sweetly struck shots took out Bridgwater defenders.

Simon Brewer took a ball to the knee meant him being off the pitch for five minutes, only to return and defend like a legend.

West Dorset were three up within the space of five minutes and the theme continued throughout as the half-time score read 7-0.

The second half went much the same way as West Dorset racked up 12.

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