Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Bitton 1, Bridgwater Town 1

Town travelled to the WDS Associates Stadium to face second placed Bitton defending their 10 match unbeaten run that started back in December against the same opponents and were denied all three points by an injury time equaliser, writes Bob Buckingham.

The Robins made several changes to their line up from the laboured win at Calne on Tuesday, with Dave Thorne, Mark Armstrong and Tom Ellis replacing Charlie White, Mike Duffy and Craig Allan respectively.

Unlike at Calne, they made a high tempo start that clearly had Bitton rattled in the early stage of the game.

Much against the run of play, with the visitors having dominated both possession and territory, it was the home side that produced the first real threat with Jake Viney saving well from Bament’s volley.

However, Town were quick to respond as they continued to string their passes together effectively but were unable to find the final ball that would create the clear opening their dominance deserved.

That all quickly changed as, in a matter of seconds, both Jack Taylor and Sam Towler had goal bound efforts blocked on the line.

Urged on by the experienced Scott Brice and Kane Ingram, Bitton were quick to respond, as on 20 minutes a gilt edged chance was created down the left which the onrushing striker struck well wide; a real let-off.

Play was now evenly balanced with both sides threatening to open the scoring in what was developing into an entertaining, high quality game with the threat posed by the dangerous Aysa Corrick and Joe McLennan handled well by the Town full backs, Jake Llewellyn and Dave Thorne.

As the half drew to a close, the Robins were indebted to Jake Viney as he made an outstanding double save to ensure his side went into the break on level terms.

The second half began as the polar opposite to the first with both sides misplacing passes and lacking any real conviction in the final third.

The Town trio of Mark Armstrong, Harry Horton and Sam Towler continued to shade the midfield battle and their efforts were almost rewarded as Jake Brown broke free down the right with his shot/cross beating the ‘keeper and bouncing over from the top of the crossbar.

With further chances now falling to both sides, Viney was again in action as he denied a Bitton attacker with another fine save.

With their tails up, Bitton continued to press for the goal they needed to maintain their title challenge as Duffy replaced Towler and Ian Bellinger gave way to Carl Jones.

The latter was soon making an impression as his hold up play began to cause difficulties for the home side defence.

With time ticking by, a cross from the outstanding Llewellyn found Brown on the left, who typically tricked his way along the goal line for Jones to convert from close range for his first goal since returning to the club and to put his side ahead with just five minutes left.

The final change was immediately made with Allan replacing Brown in a clear ploy to ensure that the lead was preserved.

The hosts were now clearly desperate to get something from the game and their efforts were rewarded three minutes into added time as substitute Matt Groves’ cross found Alex Grimshaw 12 yards out.

His control was excellent, his strike better still, giving Viney no chance of preserving his side's lead.

Although they will be disappointed to have conceded late on, the Robins can be pleased with their performance against a side packed with experienced players and who remain in real title contention.

Bridgwater Town: Jake Viney, Dave Thorne, Tom Ellis, George Painter, Jake Llewellyn, Mark Armstrong, Harry Horton, Sam Towler (sub Mike Duffy 66), Jake Brown (Craig Allan 89), Ian Bellinger (Carl Jones 76), Jack Taylor.

The Robins have no game next week but return to action on March 23 when Hengrove Athletic are the visitors.