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Wimborne 4, Bridgwater 3
10:48am Wednesday 22nd August 2012 in Sport
TWO games, two defeats and two late goals. Not a good start from Bridgwater, but in both games, there were reasons for optimism, writes Eddie Robinson.
Dave Pearse and Tim Legg, who finished Saturday’s game, were in from the start and keeper Nathan Whatley made his debut.
Whatley got off to a poor start, being nowhere near Wimborne’s first corner, allowing Blake to head the home side in front from almost under the bar after eight minutes.
Apart from that, Bridgwater made a bright start with both sides looking to attack from the off.
On 15 minutes, Pearse was hauled down just outside the area and Jon Vance’s free kick was well saved.
Wimborne enjoyed their only spell of the game on top midway through the first half and Bridgwater needed an unavailable Mat Pitcher to support Chris McGrath in central defence.
On 31 minutes, the Wimborne ‘keeper unwisely raced out of his goal and when the ball ballooned up into the air he handled outside his area.
Lucky to escape with a caution, he then saved Vance’s free kick.
But he wasn’t so lucky next time when Joe McClellan’s fierce follow up shot was blocked and Ross McNab followed up to equalise.
A minute from the interval, Whatley kept the scores level with a brilliant reflex save from a close range header after McGrath had been pulled out of the middle to cover a right wing attack.
Playing down the slope, Bridgwater had the better of the second half, but fell behind when Wimborne won a soft penalty.
Whatley made a good save; pushing the ball well away from danger, but Wimborne reacted quicker to take the lead.
Again Bridgwater equalised - on the hour, McGrath, an obvious danger at set pieces, was allowed to steal into the area unmarked and his bullet header flew into the net.
Seven minutes later, Vance won the ball with a good tackle, advanced into the danger area and his shot eluded the disappointed keeper to give the visitors the lead.
Now playing with confidence, Bridgwater were on top, with McClellan’s speed and close control causing problems.
Several efforts finished just the wrong side of the posts, but they were then caught on the break.
The striker collected a clearance, easily tricked Legg and sent his teammate away.
The winger, in acres of space, fired a good shot into the far corner.
Wimborne’s first corner of the half in added time brought a good save from Whatley, but the resultant corner somehow squirmed across the face of goal to be turned in for a winner that left Bridgwater feeling robbed.
Bridgwater: Whatley, Mawford, McGrath, Legg, Veal, McClellan, Vance, Mountford, Mercieca, Pearse (sub Fitzpatrick, 82), McNab.
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