Clevedon Town 2 - 1 Bridgwater Town
Wednesday 13th September 2017
In the end it took a freak late goal, aided by the elements to give Clevedon the win, continue their unbeaten league run and consign Bridgwater to their fourth league defeat of the season at a drenched Hand Stadium on Wednesday evening writes Kerry Miller.
Despite it being a local derby, once again the foul weather and European football meant there were no more than five dozen hardy souls dotted around but they did get to see a very watchable game despite the second consecutive awful night which would have had Noah reaching for his Black and Decker workbench.
Bridgy were without joint manager Dave Pearse but it seemed to matter little as they took the lead inside three minutes when in their first attack a corner was not cleared and Ryan Burrows’ forst touch was good enough to give him time to crash home a left foot drive past Damien Freeman.
It could easily have been two not long after as Callum Ham spotted Freeman off his line and launched a lob from half way which went through the keeper’s hands but was rescued on the line at the third attempt.
Clevedon regrouped after the initial burst and Isaac Reid fed Daine O’Connor who shot over then from a corner Kaine Gazzard nodded wide just as the first major downpour hit the ground. Syd Camper then tested Freeman with a left foot shot which was just wide as Bridgwater came again and continued to dominate the first 20 minutes but Clevedon were getting a toehold and Conor O’Sullivan slung over a long cross which found Liam Dempsey but his effort was blocked. It was a short reprieve as on 25 minutes good work from Reid saw his curling shot sneak past Jake Viney to level the scores. As the rain and wind continued to howl, so did Kane Ingram who appeared to have a full on domestic with his defence, and having got nowhere with that, then picked a fight with referee Andrew Evans, which had a similar outcome.
Straight from the restart Callum Kingdom was booked for a foul and Bridgy escaped without injury from a huge scramble in the six yard box. At the other end Camper nodded wide again before Ingram finally talked himself into the book after several attempts. His mood could not have improved greatly when his pass found Reid all alone but he blazed over on the hour and a few wondered if that miss would come back to haunt them later.
As the rain turned almost biblical, Burrows volleyed over and Ham’s trickery ended with a shot from an angle which Freeman gathered and from the next break Camper threaded Burrows through and his chip over the keeper was headed for the goal until Gazzard somehow got back and kept it out. With minutes left Sekani Simpson shot but his effort was cleared over the bar by Shaun Lambert.
It seemed there was always going to be a winner and with eight minutes left it arrived. Ingram curled a corner under the Bridgy bar and it seemed destined for the net before Bridgy defender Mark Armstrong helped it in to bring a climax to a game which did not have any right to be entertaining given the weather, but it was nevertheless.
Clevedon’s next three away games are at leaders Buckland Athletic and Brislington next week before they go to Willand Rovers, who hit 11 against Wellington tonight. They will do well to come out of that lot with their defeats column still showing nil.
Bridgwater, meanwhile prepare to welcome Hengrove Athletic for a league game this Saturday.