EVO –STIK Division One South and West - March 17th 2012
Written by Mark Hollidge
Bridgwater Town 1 Poole Town 2
Oh what a shame! Town had done all the hard work by stifling and frustrating a very useful Poole Town side for an hour, they had taken an unexpected lead and then it was given away.
Quite why Neil Peek felt he had to make the reckless challenge on half way, that took away his opponents legs, I don’t know. Having already received a yellow card, he left the referee with no choice other than to send him off and, with that incident, the game fell into Poole’s lap. Up until then Peek, wholehearted player that he is, had played a full part in a disciplined defensive effort which had brought Town to the brink of an unlikely win. Maybe Poole would have grabbed a point or won anyway but losing a key man at that stage made the task much harder.
With Andy Robertson, Simon Lyons and Graham Mercieca having left the club , the side had a different look to it. Town welcomed back Kyle Thomas to the line up for the first start of his second spell with the club. He is a useful player with pace and energy.
It was Thomas who had a chance to make a name for himself in the first minute but his shot on the run screwed off the outside of his boot and sliced wide. The wet conditions may have had a part to play in that but we didn’t see much of the Town attack for the rest of the first half.
Moving the ball around quickly and accurately Poole soon grabbed the initiative. After 11 minutes an overhead kick by Dan Cann was athletically turned aside by Luke Purnell (pictured), an emerging talent in Town’s goal. Purnell was kept busy throughout the afternoon. He denied Cann again after 25 minutes when his low header was sneaking in and Craig Mawford was able to block the follow up effort.
Steve Devlin sent a free kick just wide but Ollie Barnes had a similar effort for Town which brushed the side netting. Poole’s Carl Preston had a number of shots at Town’s goal, from long range, in both halves but couldn’t quite get his direction right.
Half time came with both rearguards still intact and the feeling growing that Town might get something from the game.
The powerful shooting of Devlin almost gave Poole the advantage after 49 minutes when his low 25 yard free kick struck the outside of a post, although Purnell seemed to have it covered. Soon after that Steve Richardson headed wide from a cross by Marvin Brooks.
Very much out of the blue, Town went ahead on 64 minutes. Danny Wring, down on the by line, chipped the ball across to a surprisingly unmarked Kye Palmer. He did well to control his downward volley which sped past the keeper Nick Hutchings. This was Palmer’s second goal for the club.
Brooks headed over the bar but soon after we had the Peek dismissal , on 68 minutes. The reaction from one or two of his team mates showed what they thought about the challenge.
Just 3 minutes later Poole equalised. The ball was volleyed over from the left edge of the penalty area and Scott Joyce rose unopposed to head in from a few yards.
Preston did at last get one on target but he couldn’t get it past Purnell however defender Will Spetch did achieve that feat on 75 minutes. A corner kick from the left was headed down and Spetch whacked it in from 10 yards.
It looked more likely that Poole would add to their tally than Town would equalise but there were a couple of corners in the last few minutes and from the last of the those Rob Clowes’ half volley cleared the bar.
In spite of the result, there were positives to take from this game. The spirit within the side seemed good and the effort couldn’t be called into question. There were particularly strong performances from resolute Mat Pitcher and the maturing Luke Purnell. Surely this team will start to pick up some points soon.
Town’s 1-2-3.…. 1 – Luke Purnell… 2 – Mat Pitcher… 3 – Craig Mawford
Team: Purnell, Mawford, Barnes,Peek, Pitcher, Thomas (Clowes 74),Monks, Wring ,Hurley, Palmer (Peppin 78), Pearse.