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WAREHAM RANGERS U13s vs BRIDPORT YOUTH U13: 1-3 (League Division 2, 14th February 2016)

posted 21 Feb 2016, 01:28 by Simon McCabe
Bridport Complete the Double over Wareham

A strong Bridport team completed home and away wins over Wareham this season - the only side in the league to do so - with a 1-3 victory in a chilly Valentine's Day fixture which saw the home side's long stint at the top of the table come to an untimely end.

Wareham started well and Christian almost repeated last week's feat of scoring in the first minute of the game but his shot skidded just wide.  The striker came close again seven minutes later when a Bridport defensive mix-up presented a good opportunity.  The home side broke the deadlock in the 17th minute with their move of the match: Kyle, Dannon and Christian were all involved in some neat one-touch passing which ended with Harry slotting in with his left foot.

While Wareham dominated the early exchanges, they spurned too many chances and Bridport signalled their intent by hitting the woodwork either side of the Wareham opening goal.  Gabe, in goal for the absent James, made some crucial saves with his feet but was powerless to stop the Bridport equaliser in the 31st minute following Wareham's failure to clear their lines.  Otherwise, the back line of George, Luke, Alfie and Ethan acquitted themselves well and 1-1 was probably a fair result at half-time. 

Bridport started brightest in the second half, scoring shortly after the restart.  Ethan's last-ditch tackle prevented a Bridport third, but in truth the visitors looked most likely to score. They did so again mid-way through the half to make it 1-3.  Wareham battled bravely but struggled to get out of their own half, and rarely looked like threatening the Bridport goal after half-time. 

Samuel came on for Callum and while both were industrious, neither could penetrate Bridport's increasingly solid-looking defensive line.  Joe came closest with an intelligent but slightly wayward free kick after the Bridport keeper handled outside the area.  He was perhaps distracted by the visiting manager's attempt to hold up play with a cheeky substitution as the Wareham captain quite legitimately tried to take the free kick quickly.  The Bridport coach then had the nerve to jeer as the shot went wide!  Wareham at least remembered their manners and applauded off the Bridport boys, now up to third and with games in hand, as worthy winners.

Manager Darren Mears commented "To be fair to the opposition, we were beaten by the better team this week.  This though, again, could have been a different story as the amount of clear-cut chances we created in the first 20 minutes should have been enough to put the game to bed.  The second half was a repeat of the previous week and saw us lose our way with wayward passing and not getting close enough to the opposition in all areas of the pitch. Ultimately, the game drifted away from us with the message to the players at the final whistle being remember the first 20 minutes and learn from the rest".

Peter Moore