Toolstation Premier Division

Hallen 4, Bridgwater Town 6

THE two sides met in the Emirates FA Cup at Fairfax just five weeks earlier with The Robins progressing 1-0 in a game that most thought could well have featured at least 10 goals, writes Bob Buckingham.

In this ‘return leg’ that thought became a reality in an all-action encounter that was great value for the neutral.

The game, on a pristine surface in glorious sunshine started at a good tempo with both sides looking to get forward.

It was no surprise to see Steve Murray racing down the left channel only to see his strike ruled out for offside.

Immediately, at the other end, Jake Viney was in action as he parried an effort from a Hallen striker.

As the home side began to exert more pressure an outstanding crossfield pass was lobbed over the advancing Viney, bounced on the top of the cross bar and finished with an overhead kick to make it 1-0.

Half-chances fell to both sides, with both Jack Taylor and Finley Wilkinson going close to levelling the scores.

With the half hour mark approaching, a Tom Ellis throw-in found Taylor, who smashed the ball home.

Minutes later, another, even mightier Ellis throw found the head of Jake Horsey who finished smartly to put the Robins 2-1 up.

And it was not long before a classy move involving Wilkinson and Dave O’Hare saw Sam Towler smash the ball into the far corner but, with seconds of the half remaining, a poor clearance by Viney fell to the lively Kyle Thomas who finished smartly.

Then, on 50 minutes, Thomas made it 3-3 from the penalty spot as the home side tested keeper Viney, who produced three outstanding saves.

As the hour mark approached, Murray was brought down in the box and, with regular penalty taker Jake Llewellyn on the bench, stepped up to smash the ball home for 4-3.

Chances were now being created at will by both sides; from a corner and from under the bar a Hallen striker contrived to head way over, while Taylor (twice) and Horsey came within inches of putting the game out of reach.

There was not much longer to wait, though, as the irrepressible Taylor chased down a seemingly lost cause to secure a second penalty converted simply by replacement Jake Llewellyn.

Then Thomas, who was a thorn in his former club’s side all afternoon, gained possession on the right and his cross/shot floated in from 25 yards for 5-4.

Town adjusted to 4-4-2 for the remaining minutes, stemming any further attacking threat, and a flowing move saw Dave O’Hare restore the two-goal advantage after further excellent work by Murray and Taylor.

Man of the match: Jake Viney.

Bridgwater Town - Jake Viney, Dave Thorne, Finley Wilkinson, (Jake Llewellyn 71), Jamie Laird, Jake Horsey (Ross McErlain 85), Tom Ellis, Harry Horton (Mark Armstrong 79), Sam Towler, Dave O’Hare, Jack Taylor, Steve Murray.