Hengrove Athletic 3 - 1 Odd Down (Bath)
Wednesday 7th March 2018
Hengrove had an extra day to prepare their Norton Lane pitch after the weather had left it looking like the Tundra at the weekend and the graft showed as the surface was in excellent nick for the visit of Odd Down on Wednesday. With recent transfers meaning several players lining up against their former sides the game was bound to have a spicy edge which made it very watchable with Asa White marking his return to Hengrove from Odd Down with an almost inevitable double which paved the way for the three points.
The visitors started well with Simon Gilbert volleying over inside 30 seconds before Ben White had a free-kick saved by the excellent Carl Bush in the home goal but Hengrove soon got going in front of a reasonable crowd considering the chill and threat of heavy rain, and White had a shot blocked for a corner. Gilbert was wide with another effort before a curling corner from the right evaded everyone but was somehow hacked off the line with the visitors appealing for a goal and hoping VAR might have been in place behind the goal in the garden centre.
Young striker Brandon Feehely could have done better with a close range header then at the other end James Dunn almost scored against his old side but Ed Baldy was in position to save and what was a slow burner finally caught fire just past the half hour when White scrambled the ball home from three yards out to give ‘Grove the lead. Feehely almost made it 2-0 near the whistle but the single goal lead was about right at the break.
Odd Down made a double change at the restart and it paid off immediately as referee Simon Wales played a fine advantage to allow substitute Kyle Norris to fire past Bush, the ball helped in by the unfortunate Mark Fear who could little else. It set the game up for an all-action second half and White hit a snap shot just wide then at the other end Dave Gould’s good work came to nothing as his effort was blocked. Down’s other sub, Caelen Simpson then was given too much room but could not convert and it prover costly as just past the hour White was flattened in the area and he got up to put his spot kick under Baldy to retake the lead. The predicted rain then arrived in earnest although as soon as it came it went again and little damage was done to the surface before Baldy brought off a fine save at the feet of Feehely. James Dunn was just wide as Odd Down went searching for the equaliser but Feehely then made the points safe with 15 minutes left as he latched onto Rhys Hickery’s cross field pass to net his fifth goal in four games. It was almost five in five moments later when his lobbed effort wad disallowed for offside which left home keeper Bush to have the final say when he somehow kept out Ben Wych down to his left and Hengrove were home and hosed.
With Bridport losing to Melksham it pushed them up to 11th in the table before Saturday’s cross town trip to Hallen while Odd Down have another derby at the same time when they go to Bitton.