Bridgwater Town 1 - 2 Wellington
Tuesday 26th December 2017
Bridgwater’s ground staff appeared to have worked miracles to get this Boxing Day derby the go ahead from referee Richard Lawrence and it was disappointing for the club and the side that all their hard work came to nothing as Wellington went away thoroughly deserving their three points in front of a fair sprinkling of their own supporters writes Kerry Miller.
Bridgwater were on the back of a run of four straight defeats after an eight game unbeaten run while Clive Jones’s side were looking to improve on just five wins out of 18 league games and with league leaders Street having been at Fairfax Park three days before for an epic battle, it was no surprise that the Robins looked a tad leggy early on until Ryan Burrows escaped and bore down on Tom Welch, only for the ball to bobble away at the crucial moment and the chance went begging.
Wellington ventured forward when they could and Connor Pengelly’s cross flashed past Jake Viney in what at the time was a rare attack before Tom Ellis, one of a couple of rock like defenders who would not have looked out of place next door at Bridgwater and Albion, nodded a corner wide.
Wellington had settled well and Sam Towler’s free-kick was swept over by Jack Porter, the other prop forward, but Pengelly and Joe Chamberlain were both denied by Viney spreading himself to block on 15 minutes. With the accurately predicted rain beginning to gather pace there were a few anxious stares at the pitch but it is improved beyond recognition and the football flowed with Harry Horton curling an effort just wide from another corner and Lee Begg heading over soon after.
Bridgy looked lively and Shaun Copp’s lob was parried down by Welch but he gathered at the second attempt then at the other end Wellington all but took the lead when Sam Towler was almost on the end of a cross which cannoned off a defender and rolled towards the goal, only for Viney to dive on it close to the line. Pengelly was wide with a falling effort then what was the best move of the match from Bridgy which involved Burrows, Horton and Steve Holland was deflected away for a corner . It was the final moment of note in a first half which started well and ended in a downpour which did not abate and threatened an abandonment at some stage.
After the break Town attacked the clubhouse end and Horton shot over then Charlie White and Horton again set up player-boss Dave Pearse who was inches away from making a significant contact. Town had created chances but had not taken them and Wellington sensed they could still take something from the game and after Tim Legg and Towler combined with George Painter, he was just denied by Viney among a cluster of bodies near the line. Having defended well under pressure in awkward conditions, Wellington took their chance when it came as a corner was not cleared and Legg nodded it home from five yards with the home defence all at sea briefly, midway through the half.
Bridgy responded and Horton and Pearse set up substitute Jake Llewellyn who netted but the offside flag was up and there were no complaints then Horton’s long run ended with Shaun Copp beringing a good save out of Welch. He was again busy denying Copp then Llewellyn was inches over with a left foot effort. With Bridgy stretched at the back Towler brought a tip around the post from Viney but seconds later it was effectively all over as a defensive mix up left substitute Paulo Borges to score in an empty net with five minutes to go for what was his first goal for the club.
It was not all over as Llewellyn then went on a mazy run and hammered home a shot four minutes into injury time for his second goal in three days to give a glimmer of hope, but referee Lawrence extinguished it and Welly were home, but far from dry.
Bridgwater will look to welcome back striker Jack Taylor early in the new year after his operation on a broken collar bone and will hope that young Jake Llewellyn can continue to find the net. His six so far this season is in marked contrast to dad Andy’s tally in his 12 years at Bristol City where he averaged a goal every four years but Jake’s sending off last Saturday will trigger a suspension which won’t help matters.