Pre-season friendly
Bridgwater United 1, Taffs Well 5

THE first official game under the new Bridgwater United banner turned out to be a wake-up call, as the Robins were comprehensively beaten by a young and enthusiastic Taffs Well outfit who begin their competitive campaign as early as this coming Saturday, writes Kerry Miller.

Dave Pearse introduced new signings Tom Llewellyn (brother of Jake), Harry Horton and George King to the squad, and had a batch of youth team players on the bench in Oli Chubb, Callum Chivers, James Cotterill and Gabriel Plant.

The hosts began brightly, with King missing from close range early on after good work from the returning Archie Sturdy, but the Cymru League South side from Cardiff looked busy, as former Clevedon Town striker Tim Parker and Marcus Jones - who was on Bridgwater's books last season without playing a game - both went close.

A goal was coming, and ironically it was Jones who netted on 20 minutes after a free-kick was not cleared.

With the home defence struggling to settle, Parker - twice - and David Lyon forced saves from overworked goalkeeper Jake Viney, and only in short spells did the Robins look dangerous.

Horton’s superb through ball found Sturdy, who could not beat keeper Dan Evans, but just as they were feeling their way into the game Jones’ cross found Parker and he made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.

The Welsh outfit were enjoying themselves and soon after the restart Parker set up Lyon who netted but was flagged offside, and it appeared to be the good fortune the Robins needed as Jack Taylor cut in from the right and scored with an angled drive just shy of the hour mark.

Taffs Well replied in kind as Jones brought a stunning save out of Viney, but it was a short reprieve as the visibly tiring home side were hit with three blows in the last five minutes.

Substitute Griff Stead walked through to chip Viney for the third and moments later the same man made it four, before a far post header from Joe Shephard completed the nap hand.

Bridgwater United: Jake Viney, Dave Thorne, Tom Ellis, Jake Llewellyn, Harry Horton, Tom Llewellyn, Mark Armstrong, Archie Sturdy, George King, Jack Taylor, Adnan Hiroli. Subs: Mike Duffy, Ryan Brereton, Ollie Chubb, Callum Chivers, Gabriel Plant, James Cotterill.

Bridgwater's second pre-season match is this Tuesday (July 13, 7.30pm), away to Bideford, before they welcome National League side Weymouth to Fairfax Park on Saturday (July 17, 3pm).