Toolstation Western League: Bridgwater United 6-2 Oldland Abbotonians

IN sweltering conditions it was a tough game that lasted 105 minutes in total proving a real test of stamina and character, writes Mark Hollidge.

Both teams displayed these qualities but what United had in reserve was brilliant attacking skills and they should probably have made the winning margin a bit more emphatic.

However, nobody should grumble after another afternoon of top notch entertainment from this talented squad.

In such challenging conditions it was obvious that keeping possession of the ball, and letting your opponents do the chasing, was going to pay dividends.

However, it could have been a different story as twice Oldland nearly punctured the Robins’ balloon in the first 10 minutes. 

For the next 35 minutes up to half time United wrested complete charge of the game and 3 goals was scant reward for their prodigious efforts and fluent, fast, flowing and fabulous football.

The dam broke with Jack Thorne’s first of the day. George King drove over a low cross from just inside the penalty area and Thorne improvised a cheeky backheel and it outwitted the defenders and a motionless keeper.

The delivery of corner kicks by Jake Llewellyn is normally of a high calibre and one of these beauties was headed in by Wright, who was the first to get to the ball at the near post.

The third goal in 11 minutes required a different type of skill. A ball was half cleared to just outside the penalty area and Tom Llewellyn sent a controlled, dipping volley into the left corner of the net.

At the break the score was United 3 Oldland 0.

The noise coming from the visitors’ dressing room at half time made it clear that their coaching staff were a long way short of being happy.

They would have been even more upset a few minutes into the second half when United got another one.

The calm and impressive Jason Quick thumped a defensive header fully 50 yards. Not only was it powerful but accurate and Jack Thorne accepted the ball with glee. He wasn’t going to be caught and he slipped it low past Schofield for his 13th of the season.

Multiple early substitutions interrupted the flow a tad and Oldland got one back.

The last thing that beleaguered Oldland wanted to do was to face the rampant Robins with 10 men but when Sean Keet’s backchat to the referee led to him going in the sin bin, that is what happened.

United scored their 5th during this time. A smooth and astute pass by Jack Thorne fed Wright and he manoeuvred into a great position before flat footing the keeper with a reverse shot into the left of the goal.

Surprisingly Oldland got another in the 6th minute of added time. Jack Sheppard’s curled free kick was an expert finish.

The goal glut ended four minutes later when Jason Quick flashed a King cross into the net with some style.