Western League: Barnstaple Town 4-4 Bridgwater United

You need to look back a whole 1,940 days to find evidence of The Robin’s last 4-4 draw with all 4 bagged by a certain Jack Taylor, writes Bob Buckingham.

At the weekend, the Bridgy ‘two Jack attack’ ensured that synchronicity was maintained in this enthralling encounter at Mill Road.

Going into this game, the visitors were averaging 4 goals across their early season games.

It was not long before the pressure told as Callum Laird made a mess of a short back pass to Liam Kingston with the ball rebounding to the predatory Jack Thorne to make it 0-1.

However, Barnstaple pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, converted by Captain Billy Tucker.

With the midfield being pretty much by passed, United were pressured into an error as Viney’s attempted clearance was deflected into the net by Tucker to put the hosts in front.

And it was not long before the Mill Road faithful were celebrating again as, from a promising United attack, left back Myles Perkins intercepted a wayward pass inside his own half and ran half the length of the pitch to put his side further ahead.

Clearly the imperative at the start of the second half was not to concede as, to do so, would likely put the game out of reach.

Unfortunately, Mr Tucker had definitely not read that script as he produced a classy strike from way out on the left that rocketed into the net giving Viney no chance whatsoever.

Despite this blow, it was soon evident that Bridgy’s response would be positive.

As they pressed forward, Tom Llewellyn’s adept free kick found Jack Taylor in space in the left channel who scored to make it 4-2.

As the hour mark was reached, Sam Towler gave way to Adam Wright as the shape was changed to 4-3-3.

Barnstaple were now clearly rattled, and it was that man Thorne, who had scored his first Bridgy goal on debut in the same fixture last season, who slammed home his second to close the gap still further.

With ten minutes to go, Wright, Taylor, and Thorne were creating havoc in the final third as, what appeared to be a clear foul on Wright, was waved away by the referee.

Then late, very late into added time, a booming header from Jacob Spence landed at the feet of Thorne and, in a flash, the ball was in the net and the comeback was complete!

This was certainly doing things the hard way, but the team spirit, coupled with mental resilience by the bucket load, ensured that the journey home was a whole lot better than it had been looking around 4pm.

Bigger challenges lie ahead as Bridgy travel to Southern League Salisbury FC in the First Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday 2nd September.