Toolstation Western League: Millbrook 1-8 Bridgwater United

United set off on their first road trip of the season, to East Cornwall, filled with much optimism from their excellent performances in multiple preseason games, writes Bob Buckingham.

The travelling support need not to have been afeared as ‘The Robins’ proceeded to produce a high octane start akin to cricketing ‘Bazball, pressing high in a 4-3-3 formation.

They drove at the home defence continuously, as goal attempts rained down from all angles throughout the early stages, with the midfield trio of Harry Horton, Tom Llewellyn and George King dominant and creating a series of chances for both themselves and their strike partners, Jack Taylor, Jack Thorne, and Ethan Feltham.

Despite the bombardment, the home defence hung on until the 28th minute when Jack Thorne rose to head home a corner to put his side ahead.

Further half chances came and went as the Millbrook defence and, notably, their excellent ‘keeper, stifled a series of further attempts until Thorne headed home again as Ross Edwards provided the assist at the back post.

With the interval fast approaching, Tom Llewellyn delivered yet another quality corner that looked to be heading in before that man Thorne threw himself at the ball to make sure and secure his first hattrick for the club and ensure the half-time scoreline reflected the visitors total control of the game at that juncture.

What were to expect for the next forty-five minutes? Well, the travelling support (making up at least 50% of the crowd) soon had their answer - much more of the same!

As King and Thorne gave way to Adam Wright and Morgan Williams, it was Wright with his second touch on debut that drove home the fourth at the back post.

That prompted Dave Pearse to make full use of his bench with Jason Quick, Sam Towler and Mark Armstrong replacing Llewellyn (T), Spence and Thorne (D). With half the outfield players replaced in a four-minute spell it might be expected that the tempo would reduce.

Not a bit of it! Three goals in six minutes courtesy of Jake Llewellyn (penalty), Towler and Taylor took the goal tally to seven before the home secured a consolation as a speculative shot hit the bar and was smashed home from 25 yards giving the very under worked Ollie Saunders no chance at all.

With the final whistle imminent, there was still time for another United attack as Taylor, not for the first time, unselfishly laid the ball off for Wright to secure his second and his side’s eighth.

By any measure, this was a scintillating performance from United and as a season opener was certainly a special one.

Much sterner tests lie ahead, starting at Fairfax Park on Tuesday v Brixham AFC 19:45 kick off.