Berffro strike late to beat Bridge
Man in-form Pdoing strikes late on to secure 3 vital points
Yesterday saw us face Anglesey rivals Menai Bridge in a hugely anticipated local derby with both sides going into the game in good form. Bridge were unbeaten in the league at their place having won 2 out of 2 home games but had suffered an indifferent start to the season but we knew going into the fixture how tough a game this would be, as these match ups always are.
The game kicked off at a typical derby pace, frantic, with little time on the ball for either side, and it was Bridge who settled the quickest and looked the most lively. In fact it took us a good 15 minutes to grow into the game as we regained some composure after the home side took the game to us in the opening quarter. They looked quick and sharp down the flanks, Ieu and Connor had their hands full against some really pacey, tricky wingers but neither gave much away and Connor in particular was in outstanding form again down the left, winnings tackles early and not allowing his opponent time or space to get a run on him. Although we were put under the kosh early on, Gav had little that troubled him, and eventually we started to get Rich and Andrew involved in proceedings as they looked to stretch the Bridge back line and utilise their pace at every opportunity. Our first chance of note came from the left hand side when Connor sent a searching ball for Rich who did well to get to it, but from a tight angle he dragged his shot into the side netting. Al Llan had a headed chance at the far post when picked out by a Harper cross from the right but he just couldn't steer it towards the target and the chance was snuffed out. Bridge carried a threat from set pieces and we had to be alert, in particular against 2 physical front men but Iwan and Jenks stayed tight to them and gave them very little and Gaz mopped up anything loose with a calming composure. The home sides keeper was called into action twice in quick succession as the game moved towards half time, first he was alert to smother Andrew's shot and then minutes later he pulled off a superb quick reaction stop when from the same player, this time Andrew's left foot volley from 12 yards out was beaten out as we looked to finish the half the strongest. Just before half time Harper managed to find Rich in space on the egde of the area but he just snatched at his shot and the keeper was able to gather easily. Bridge's tricky number 11 was proving a handful and won a free kick in a dangerous position with the final action of the half but the wall stood firm and managed to block the effort away. 0-0 Half Time
We started the second half looking to up the tempo and improve on our first half performance, Bridge perhaps shaded the first 45 on balance of play but having said that we'd created the more clear cut chances and but for a few superb saves from the home sides number 1, we quite easily could have been in front. We looked sharper straight from the off, Billy and Al were winning more of the aerial battle and we got Rich and Andrew in the right areas, running at their opponents into the channels and causing problems. Iwan was also doing well, stepping into midfield to get closer to their number 10 and also offering us another option in attack. He had a half chance at the near post following good work down the right involving Ieu and Harper but the chance was smothered by Bridge's two defenders. Neither side were happy with a point and the game moved from end to end. We had a great chance to break the deadlock following a swift counter attack where, again, Connor won possession and drove forward from the left, he switched play and found Harper who moved it onto Andrew, he picked his head up and delivered an inch perfect cross which found Rich on the edge of the 6 yard box at the far post, his volley was sweetly struck but somehow Bridge's Lee Moore in goal pulled of a tremendous save with his outstretched leg to turn it away. As is always the case, the home side looked dangerous on the counter themselves but try as they might they couldn't muster up anything to really trouble Gav, they did threaten from set-pieces which were delivered in with pace but we held firm at the back. We thought we had the opener on 70 minutes through an unlikely source, Gaz Wyn's free kick was flicked on from the edge of the box by Harper and it fell perfectly for Al Llan who swept home from 6 yards out but the linesman had his flag up and it was ruled out for offside. Nath Moore was brought on for Andrew in the final quarter of the game and was immediately involved with some neat touches and he gave the Bridge something different to worry about as he started to bring the midfielders into play more as we pushed for a winner. With the clock ticking towards ninety and both sides tiring on the heavy pitch, it looked like a rare goalless draw would be the outcome, but Rich Pdoing had other ideas. With less than 3 minutes remaining, Jenks won possession with a good tackle at the back and sent a long ball towards the feet of the frontman, with his back to goal and his marker tight on him, his touch was exquisite as he laid it off on the one towards Harper and spun his man looking for the return ball, Harper just managed to get to it first and toe poked it forward into Rich's path, his pace took him clear of Bridge's captain and without hesitation he smashed a first time shot which rifled into the far bottom corner giving the keeper no chance, sending the Berffro faithful wild in celebration. Just under 2 minutes remained and we held strong and resolute and managed the final moments well to seal a vital 3 points. 0-1 full time, Rich Pdoing Man of the Match.
Yesterday was a massive win for the club and shows how far we've come. It's been a while since we've come away from Menai Bridge with 3 points in the league, despite coming close in the last couple of season, losing by the odd goal, we managed it yesterday and the 3 points were huge for us. It was a brilliant team performance all the way from Gav to the two up top, but credit must go to the defence who now have 3 clean sheets in a row in the league after the Bro Goronwy set back, and Jenks in particular has led them superbly in the last couple of weeks with some terrific performances. A mention to Connor, moved to left back yesterday and just got on with the job and must have been close to man of the match himself after a dominant display against his opponent. The win continues our fine recent form that we now take into November, a month full of cup fixtures, starting off with another derby, away at Boded next week. Thanks to the supporters who were there in good numbers again yesterday and I'm sure you were all thrilled with the last minute winner.