|Date||29 October 2016|
|Venue||Bridgnorth Endowed Leisure Centre Northgate, Bridgnorth WV16 4ER|
|Result||L 2 - 4|
|Time played||Normal time|
As other match reports have already alluded to, this was a week where availability was a real challenge and the 4ths went to Bridgnorth with only three long standing regulars. The Bridgnorth side looked to be a well-established team made up of a couple of older players supporting an energetic cadre of youngsters. In contrast we were a recently established team made up of a couple of energetic youngsters (Jack Pearson and Sahib Durha) supporting a … well you get the picture!
Bridgnorth quickly established their playing credentials whilst we were still settling down to work out how we were going to play together, moving the ball around the pitch in a very crisp and effective manner. However, the OW defence held firm for the first quarter of an hour until a stroke of bad luck - one of the Bridgnorth forwards appearing to deftly control the ball off his chest which then landed on his foot and was propelled forward. Unfortunately this was not seen by either umpire and the result was a breakaway of two forwards with only Rowlands to pass it round…. which they duly did. The rest of the half carried on in much the same manner with us absorbing pressure with the odd breakaway where we made sure the Bridgnorth defence were kept on their toes. However, Bridgnorth eventually made their pressure count with a well worked short corner routine that was stopped on the line, only to have it bounce out to a grateful Bridgnorth forward who made no mistake in slotting it home.
Half time left the team feeling slightly hard done by to be down by two goals, but a frank acknowledgement that we needed to be quicker and use the pitch width in the same effective way our opposition were. We actually took this on board and began to play a lot more fluidly, but got nothing like our just deserts as Bridgnorth scored two goals in fairly short order, the last being a particularly fine deflection in off a reverse stick cross travelling at knee height. However, by now we had begun to get the measure of each other. Sahib was making his presence felt and Jack Pearson in particular was playing with a maturity that belied his tender years - we were now taking the game to Bridgnorth!
We then had a short spell where we competed well with only ten men when, during a minor disagreement about goalpost location for a Bridgnorth short corner, Mr O’Sullivan suggested from the half way line that the Umpire might wish to consider taking control of the situation and said umpire entirely agreed with this summation, inviting Mr O’Sullivan to take his ease at the side of the pitch to catch his breath for a couple of minutes. However his return to the field of play signalled our renaissance with Gary himself then scoring a goal from open play after some fine supporting work from Andy Cooper jnr. We then further rattled the opposition with Russell Mann getting a second from a short corner soon after and for the rest of the game it looked far more likely that we would get a third than Bridgnorth would get a fifth. Sadly this outcome did not materialise and the game ended 4-2 to Bridgnorth.
Although a loss, we should not be too downhearted. Everyone played their hearts out, especially in the second half and had we been as familiar with each other’s playing styles at the start of the game as we were by the third quarter mark, then the result might well have been very different.