Bridgwater United 1-0 Shepton Mallet

A LATE, late goal from Nick Woodrow allowed the Robins to finish their league campaign with a spirited victory and ensured that the lowest they can finish in the league table is fifth, writes Mark Hollidge.

In gloriously sunny conditions both sides knew that this would be a tight and keenly contested game.

Mallet would have been brimming with confidence as seven successive wins had lifted them from mid-table to the upper echelons. However, on this occasion, their much vaunted free scoring attack was rendered almost toothless by another top class defensive effort.

The Robins opened proceedings at a brisk pace. A delicate George King cross found Jack Taylor in space and his instant left footed half volley was a foot too high.

Some inspired play between Taylor and the incredibly animated Mike Duffy led to the wing man whacking a cross into the six yard box. If it hadn’t taken a slight deflection off a defender, Adnan Hiroli would have scored.

After twenty minutes of domination by the home club, the game entered a niggly and shapeless phase. As usual, Morgan Williams was the most fouled player on the pitch.

Ross Edwards took a nasty blow to the head just before half time and reappeared with his head bandaged for the second half. That didn’t stop him getting in his usual quota of headers.

Mallet had their best chance three minutes after the resumption. A lobbed cross from Sloggett located Josh Williams who was about fifteen metres out. He got surprising power and perfect direction on his header. It was going to drop just under the bar but Liam Kingston took a couple of quick steps to his right and then flung himself to the right to push the ball over. Kingston has proved to be a reliable stand-in keeper for the Robins.

United responded with a nice run and low shot from Ryan Brereton which was deflected wide and then Taylor cut inside but shot too high after more good approach work from Duffy.

The game then lapsed into a flat period and it did start to look like a goalless draw. United decided that they did not want the game to end with a whimper and were as dominant in the last fifteen minutes as they were in the first twenty.

Mallet weren’t quite finished as an attacking force and a well hit shot from way out by Callum Gould had Kingston plunging to the right and the crowd holding its breath. It missed by inches.

With the clock going into time added on Taylor found some space on the right of the box and aimed a shot across Easterbrook. It came back off the keeper and , for once, fell handily for the lurking Woodrow. He plunged forward to head the ball in from not far out.

United , the more progressive team , deserved the win without a doubt and this was a fine way to bring their league season to a close.