Buildbase FA Vase
Third round proper
Brimscombe & Thrupp 2, Bridgwater Town 2 (4-5 pen)

THERE cannot be many Monopoly sets left in Somerset with their ‘Get out of jail free’ cards remaining, after Bridgwater Town used a handful of them in reaching the FA Vase fourth round for the first time in 16 years at a bitterly cold Corinium Stadium on Sunday afternoon, writes Kerry Miller.

With Brimscombe & Thrupp’s Meadow being largely underwater, it meant a switch to Cirencester Town’s 3G pitch, where Brimscombe dominated but somehow managed to throw away a juicy home tie against Tavistock in the next round.

The hosts are going well in the Hellenic League this season, and they showed just why as they came out of the blocks first - Ollie Pitt’s cross headed onto the bar by Ed Major.

Major had two more chances - blazing over when clear and then being denied by Robins goalkeeper Jake Viney from point-blank range - but he assisted his side’s 25th-minute opener, as his cross was deflected in off a defender.

Brimscombe’s deserved lead barely lasted a minute, however, as Tom Ellis’ throw was flicked on and Ben Kirk celebrated a rare start for Bridgwater by bundling in the loose ball.

Sam Crumb had a good chance soon after, but mis-kicked, but the majority of opportunities kept coming at the other end.

Harlie Price nodded over from close range, Major missed again from eight yards, and Jordan Greenwood blocked a goalbound effort from Jack Smith.

That pattern of play continued after half-time, and after Smith brought a fabulous save out of Viney, Jack Bartman curled in a peach of a shot to put the hosts ahead again after 55 minutes.

Bridgwater introduced Adnan Hiroli and Jake Llewellyn to provide some fresh legs, and home keeper Adam Thomas made saves from Tom Fry and Jack Taylor.

With six minutes to play, Fry was fouled, and he got up to curl one of his free-kick specials into the bottom corner.

It meant that Bridgwater had - somehow - taken the game to a penalty shoot-out, where Llewellyn and Taylor scored their spot-kicks before Crumb blasted his out of the ground.

Viney came to the rescue by saving from Jonty Welch, then Hiroli, Sam Towler and Fry all netted, meaning that Viney’s second save, from Elijah Simpson, sent the Robins through to the tie with Tavistock on January 9.

Bridgwater Town: Jake Viney, Dave Thorne, Jordan Greenwood, Ben Kirk, George Painter, Tom Ellis, Tom Fry, Sam Towler, Sam Crumb, Jack Taylor (c), Mike Duffy. Subs: Jake Llewellyn, Adnan Hiroli.


THE previous Tuesday night saw Jack Taylor bag a hat-trick as Bridgwater won 5-0 at Odd Down in the Western League.

After Taylor nodded in his first after 16 minutes, the hosts lost their discipline and had to play more than half the game with 10 men, after Curtis Dunn was sent off for two yellow cards.

Mike Duffy made it 2-0 on the break with a sublime piece of skill and a finish to match, and Taylor killed the game two minutes into the second half, slamming home a penalty.

Taylor got his third from a Ben Kirk cross, and Jordan Greenwood met Tom Fry’s corner for the Robins’ fifth.

The only blemish was the loss of debutant Jamie Wilson, who limped off in the first half.

Bridgwater return to league action this Saturday, at home to Westbury United (3pm).