Bridgwater Albion’s clinical attacking display was too much for Exmoor Rangers as they were thumped 1-5.
A number of chances fell for both teams, but it was the away side who fashioned the chances into goals and walked away unquestioned winners from the game.
Rays of sunshine broke through the Wheddon Cross clouds to welcome the two teams to the pitch. Exmoor Rangers playing off the back of a 4-1 home victory against Minehead Colts last week meant they were in a positive mindset before kick-off. They were looking to make it two wins from two from the lockdown restart in the Covid-Cup.
Before kick-off, a minute silence was held at all football games this weekend to mark respect for The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, who sadly died last Friday
The game exploded into life from the kick-off. Bridgwater worked the ball well from the start of the game to the edge of the box. A shot blocked and scrambled back through to the grateful gloves of the Rangers keeper.
It was Exmoor Rangers chance to attack with a free kick, 40 yards out close to the near touchline. A cross whipped into the back-post caused Bridgwater problems and a looped header deflected off the back post and was rushed clear by the Albion defence.
It would ultimately be Bridgwater to strike first, a run inside the left hand side of the box saw Josh Baker blast the ball into the far side of the net and put his side into the lead just a dozen minutes into the contest.
They would not keep their lead for long. Only a minute after restarting the game, Sam Cook’s own half clearance caused a world of trouble for the Albion keeper. The flight of the ball travelled dangerously and left the Bridgwater keeper unable to claw the ball away as it bounced dismally over him and rolled into the net.
Albion and Rangers battled in a tight contest as chances flowed both ways. It was a corner for Bridgwater that would break the deadlock just short of half an hour into the first half. A corner swung in from the far side proved troublesome for the Rangers keeper who could not successfully gather the ball in its flight, landing in the back of the Ranger’s goal. Tom Kingston providing a goal straight from a corner, a Beckham-esque finish to put his side in the lead.
Exmoor Ranger’s looked to see out the half only one goal down, but excellent build up play and a side foot volley finish from Botiki Powells doubled Rangers’ deficit before the break.
A fantastic reaction save in added time kept the home side in the contest, an out stretched leg mid-air denying a goal scoring chance and the chance for Bridgwater to run away with the game.
Half time whistled and Exmoor Rangers were down three goals to one.
The home side needed to score a goal quickly in the second half to have any chance a taking something from the game. However, a controversial penalty awarded to Bridgwater as two players battled to win the ball in the penalty area was given and the game looked to drift further away from Exmoor Rangers grasp.
A powerful shot to the goalkeeper’s right-hand side was saved but the referee whistled for a retake following encroachment. Botiki Powells made sure his second chance at the penalty would add to the score-line. A shot struck with power, high into the net made it 1-4.
Exmoor struggled to string together a goal-scoring chance in the second half, their best chance came from a shot which hit the post just before the hour mark
On the other side of the hour, Bridgwater piled on the misery for Exmoor Rangers as they grabbed their fifth of the day. An offside call was dismissed by the referee and the goal was given.
The game saw itself out as very little in terms of chances came in the final third of the match. Bridgwater satisfied with the work done within the first hour to see them walk away victors of the competition