Les Phillips Cup

Bridgwater Town 2, Roman Glass St George 0

HALFWAY through Tuesday afternoon, with the clouds emptying a heavy load, the prospect of a game of football seemed highly remote, writes Mark Hollidge.

However, magnificent work by the groundstaff ensured the match could proceed and the pitch wasn’t just playable, it was a good surface.

Town’s players showed their appreciation with a measured performance which saw them through to the third round with some comfort.

The previous game with Roman Glass St. George was an all-action, breathless 4-4 draw. This was nothing like that.

Town always looked the stronger side and at no stage did they look like surrendering their lead. Especially in the first half, Town passed the ball around with pace and accuracy.

Harry Horton, in particular, gave a masterclass of the midfielder’s arts. A bit like Paul Scholes at his best - only with better tackling!

Lee Begg had the first scoring chance, getting his head to an Ian Bellinger free-kick but his effort hadn’t enough power to trouble Josh Dempsey.

A few minutes later, a quickly-taken free kick caught out RGSG. A cross to the far post was a little too long for Dave Pearse but he reacted quickly and his shot on the swivel went a yard wide of the right post.

After another minute, Town were ahead. Bellinger, throughout the game, was adept at delivering some superb crosses with just the right height, strength and accuracy and from one of these Jack Taylor scored.

In the heart of the penalty area, Town’s ace marksman made himself a tiny bit of space before drilling the ball into the left corner.

With Town totally in charge, the second goal arrived. A Bellinger corner kick was headed in forcefully by the high rising Begg and nothing was going to stop that.

Taylor next had a low effort saved by Dempsey as Town pursued a third.

Defensively, Town were presenting a strong barrier and RGSG weren’t even getting into Town’s penalty area.

Ryan Radford was kept quiet and his only chance came five minutes short of half-time but his low shot was held Jake Viney.

Town looked to have number three just before half time when Bellinger bundled home a Charlie White cross but the offside flag stifled the cheers.

Town had one of their post half-time lulls for the first 20 minutes of the second half and started to pose a threat or two.

Sam Wentland and Ibrahim Sarr both had deflected shots which the assured Viney dealt with securely.

Town did look dangerous as they tried to break behind the high back line.

Jake Brown’s pace and skill took him around a defender and his first shot was blocked by Dempsey. The ball came back to Brown and his second shot hit a defender.

Then Bellinger made himself a good opening but his shot was weak.

Impressive vision from Horton launched Bellinger and from his pass Liam Winter stroked the ball a foot wide of the right post.

Praise is due to referee Jack Clench who discharged his duties with command and common sense.

Team: Jake Viney, Charlie White, Kurt Robinson, Harry Horton, Lee Begg, Mark Armstrong, Ian Bellinger, Sam Towler, Jack Taylor (Patrick O’Halloran 66) , Dave Pearse (Liam Winter 75), Jake Brown.

Man of the match: Harry Horton

Bridgwater Town have been drawn away to Western League First Division outfit Calne Town in the last eight - the tie will be played on Tuesday, March 5.