After a good week of selection (too many to pick from!) and Storm Lorenzo staying away from the West Country it was down to the mighty 16 to play and try to get a result from a highly anticipated away game.
It was always going to be a difficult game, as it was literally men v boys. From the off it was busy at the back from Bridgwater with Toby Knight and Aaron Turner covering from the middle and Phil Pyke dropping from forward. Steve Morrish was helping to marshall the young defence with Luke Otley and Liam Barrow starting superbly in the right and left back positions. Mark Hutter made some top notch saves to help keep Vale at bay. Despite being under the cosh Bridgwater did manage a break with Ted Kelly who was playing in well by Sam Stacey which the Vale keeper saved well. Harvey Larcombe started well on the right helping with both defence and attack, looking much improved, as Steve Miller covered as much of the pitch as he could with his young energetic legs. How Bridgwater managed to keep a very experienced and strong Vale team at bay, nobody knows as they replled wave after wave of attack. When Christian Durkin came on, with Josh Hurford, James Harmer, Sam Thomas and Andrew Larcombe the work ethic did not change and everyone fought for the ball. Miller, Pyke and Kelly still managed to create some good chances up front, with Knight and Turner looking solid in the middle. A very positive 0-0 at half time.
The second half started as it ended with Vale on the front foot. Pressure was starting to tell on the Bridgwater defence as Vale were getting closer and closer. A deliberate foul at the top the D saw a yellow card given and the numerical advantage given to Vale allowed them to get a grip in the game as they finally broke a resolute Bridgwater defence. By this point Turner had covered a lot of ground so popped himself at centreback with Thomas looking established as a solid member of the back 3/4. By the time numbers were back even Bridgwater had conceded another, through no fault of the effort on the pitch from anyone. Hurford was making his mens team debut and looked like he had been playing for a while as young Barrow, A Larcombe and Harmer have all improved over the past 2/3 weeks and it showed with their efforts and commitment. As Bridgwater pushed, they were unlucky to not get a couple of close calls and were very unlucky to not get a goal for their efforts as Miller and Pyke came so close. As time drew to a close the Vale crowd started to become frustrated with their team as they only had 2 goals but in the final 10 minutes the experience of Vale showed as they got 3 more goals. Despite this Bridgwater still showed what they could do as Otley started a move that went via Knight, Andrew Larcombe, Pyke, Turner, and Stacey with Miller again coming close. This showed the fighting spirit of the young team who wanted to get something that they deserved from the game.
Thanks to all that came to supported the team, mentions to Aarpon Turner and Mark Hutter who kept the score below 5, but to all of the young youngsters who played so well which was showed by the votes at the end, with joint MOM going to Toby Knight and Josh Hurford.