Toolstation Western League: Bridgwater United 5-0 Torpoint Athletic

IT took a little while for the goals to flow but after the first one went in it was “Goals Central” at blissfully warm Fairfax Park, writes Mark Hollidge.

Some of the goals were of the highest quality as well and this win allows United to climb one more league place. They now sit 2nd with a game in hand on leaders Falmouth.

So, although the goalscorers take the glory most of the time we must cheer the exceptional defending, foot and head perfect, of the back four. We must also praise the unrelenting activity, persistence and skill of the remorseless midfielders.

Jay Murray has been generating headlines since his move from Weston-super-Mare and he seemed to have a roving role, he could play where he liked. Wherever he played, he was a threat.

Early on his headed pass reached Jack Taylor but he mis-controlled the ball at the key moment. The indefatigable Harry Horton won the ball wide on the left and crossed to the unmarked Jack Thorne at the near post. He normally gobbles these up but his connection was perhaps too clean and the ball rose over the bar.

The Robins were playing some some great stuff but without reward until Horton made a decisive intervention.

Tom Llewellyn clipped a free kick into the heart of the penalty area. Torpoint failed to deal with it and, with United players queuing up, it was a formality for Horton to side foot in from few yards.

The second half was entirely one sided. Looking full of confidence and impressively fit, the Robins played some of their finest football.

Murray’s goalbound shot came out to Dave Thorne and he hit a perfectly controlled and powerful rising drive across Rickard and into the top left corner of the net. A picture goal to remember.

Feeling confident of the win now, United really turned it on. Torpoint wilted. In a central position Jack Thorne  exchanged passes with Murray, beat a defender and drove low past Rickard. United were so much quicker in thought and deed and Jack Thorne got another.

On the left side of the goal he beat a defender and then nonchalantly rolled the ball across the goal and just inside the right post. Such a clever finish. Sassy.  It was a good day for the Thornes!

There was more. A Tom Llewellyn corner kick was headed out to the edge of the penalty area and Murray struck it first time with his left foot and the venomous volley arrowed into  the net before anyone could react. Classy.

United still wanted more and tormented Torpoint just wanted the final whistle. Tom Llewellyn blasted  a foot wide and Adam Wright made space for a careful shot which seemed to acquire unexpected elevation and it grazed the crossbar – but on the wrong side.

The players must have loved playing this game. A complete team performance and it is hard to think of a better one. The goals are flying in but the back door looks nice and solid too. Pack the park on Friday night for the next instalment of this breathtaking season.