Central Division
ISCA Ladies 3rd XI 1, Bridgwater Ladies 1st X1 1

BRIDGWATER faced league leaders ISCA in their first league game following the Christmas break, on a slowly thawing pitch at Exeter University.

The opening game of the season had seen Bridgwater defeated heavily by these opponents, and they knew that they were in for a difficult game in this rematch.

In the opening few minutes, Bridgwater’s right-back Becca Tasker and midfielder Megan Smith found that the slippery surface was going to play a part in the game, as both skidded badly and struggled to find their feet.

Bridgwater started very positively, however, with a gameplan to keep their defence tight to prevent ISCA from penetrating the middle channel.

This worked to great effect as the defence held firm with some fine play from Donna Cooper, Julie Morrish, Sue Chaplin and Tasker, who was now successfully combating the un-thawed areas of the pitch.

With the midfield holding strong and supplying balls up front to Becky Oram and Lucy Burridge, Bridgwater found themselves 1-0 up when Oram put home a ball that the ISCA keeper failed to clear.

This stunned ISCA, who came back strongly in the latter stages of the first half.

However, with some sterling work by Laura Coles, Heidi Martin, Emma Hill and Megan Smith in midfield, Bridgwater took their lead into the second half.

Youngsters Beth Porter and Willow Hobbs provided fresh legs up front as Bridgwater continued to hold the lead, soaking up a great deal of pressure from the ISCA forwards.

Eventually, ISCA got back on level terms with a goal from a penalty corner.

Unflustered, Bridgwater continued to work hard to keep themselves in the game, with captain and keeper Amy Burridge making some extremely crucial saves.

With the clock ticking, Bridgwater had to face a succession of penalty corners, all of which ISCA failed to put away.

Bridgwater were jubilant at the final whistle as they celebrated what felt like a win, as they are the only team so far to take a point off top of the table ISCA, as well as being the only team so far to score a goal against them at home.

Player of the match: Amy Burridge.


Sedgemoor 2
Bridgwater Ladies 2nd XI 1, Sidmouth & Ottery 2nd XI 2

BRIDGWATER were ready and raring to go this Saturday, facing Sidmouth & Ottery 2s at home at Chilton.

They knew they were up against a youthful and quick side, and had lost 12-1 to them at the start of the season, so they shifted their formation to play defensively.

S&O started well and soon Katie Morris and Rachel Higgs in defence were under pressure.

Julie Reed in the centre intercepted much of the S&O play but they pressed hard down the right, with Bridgwater keeper and player-of-the-match Sue Durkin making some good saves.

Bridgwater were also making breaks into the D, with Kath Briggs and Rose Baker linking up in the centre, finding Kate Ward and Rossy Sheppy on the right.

The first goal came from S&O after battling through Higgs, Morris and Miche Rushe in defence to slip the ball past Durkin.

Bridgwater came back strongly after half time, with Hilary McNeil and Tracy Gue superb out wide.

Niamh Dillon had a fantastic game at right-half with Rushe supporting behind.

Jess Shobbrook and Briggs found Karen Chilcott in the D to equalise.

S&O were rattled and pressed hard for the last 10 minutes.

Morris, Rushe, Dillon and Higgs worked tirelessly but S&O found a player on the post to score and win it 2-1.


GOCREA8 Conference South
University of Exeter 1st XI 5, Bridgwater Men’s 1st XI 3

RETURNING from the Christmas break, Bridgwater went to Exeter to face the university lads who are joint top of the table.

The visitors took the game to their opponents and created early chances.

Unfortunately they then lost Gower with a suspected broken finger which meant they lost their shape for five minutes, and Exeter went 1-0 up, which is how it stayed to half time.

After the break, Exeter took control and, with regular cards for the away side, they extended their lead.

Bridgwater then won a penalty flick for a stick tackle at the top of the D, which Lott converted low to the keeper’s right.

Exeter went 5-1 up but Bridgwater didn’t give in, pulling two goals back through the one-handed Gower and Taylor.

This was a decent display from Bridgwater, who have a big game next week with bottom of the table Dart.