Both teams came into this game needing to win. Street looking to take a big step towards promotion to Division 2 while at the other end of the table Rangers are in a relegation scrap with Neuadd Wen.
Bridgend Street v Ely Rangers 19th May 2018
The pitch at the Willows was in perfect condition for this game and a decent crowd had turned up to support the teams. It was a very hot afternoon and, with not a cloud in the sky it was clear during the warm ups that the heat would be a factor.
The first few minutes was a messy affair with both sides a bit frantic, but it was already clear that Street’s back 3 were very comfortable dealing with Rangers early through balls which were failing to find their forwards, something they struggled to do all afternoon.
Streets capatian, Paul Fowler, playing at centre back had a fine afternoon marshalling his troops with all the authority that comes with his experience playing at higher levels. He was afforded a lot of time on the ball and was able to pick out his forwards almost at will.
The first goal came on the 10 minute mark, Street’s Owen Bancroft receiving the ball on the left shooting across the keeper and into the far corner of the net.
Bridgend Street 1 – 0 Ely Rangers
Rangers young number 10, Ethan Cavenny had been making a few runs down the right but was either caught offside or was let down by poor accuracy of Rangers’ passing. With 19 minutes gone he found himself clean through on the end of a good pass and was one on one with the keeper but his touch let him down and keeper Damian Lack collected on the floor. Shortly afterwards Street were on the attack and were awarded a free kick just outside the box on the left. Up stepped captain, Paul Fowler whose shot powered into the bottom left of goal.
Bridgend Street 2 – 0 Ely Rangers
Rangers now had to chase the game which allowed Fowler to find winger David Brooks with ease dropping the ball in behind Rangers back 4 who were pushing up as Rangers tried to play forward.
Approaching the half hour mark Rangers got a corner but the inaccuracy that dogged them all afternoon saw the ball sent towards the centre circle with most of the team huddled around the box. Street’s David Brooks received the ball and looked to run through on goal but was pulled down in the box. The referee had no hesitation and from the resulting penalty Paul Fowler neatly slotted his second goal.
Bridgend Street 3 – 0 Ely Rangers
Street were now in total control and less than 10 minutes later Fowler again found Brooks down the left with a beautiful long ball over the top. Brooks ran into the area and passed flat across the face of goal to the waiting Nicky Davison who calmly tapped in for Street’s fourth.
Bridgend Street 4 – 0 Ely Rangers
Half time couldn’t come quick enough for Rangers and after another botched free kick the half time whistle blew.
During the half time team talk Rangers Jason Kavanagh and Lloyd Nessbert offered some stirring words of advice to their team. Indeed Rangers needed to show some fight if they were to stand a chance of halting Street’s attack and making a mark on the game.
Unfortunately for Rangers the second half saw more of the same.
A few minutes in saw a Street attack down the right lead to a free kick out wide. The cross in towards goal led to a goalmouth scramble with Jeff White eventually tapping in from close range.
Bridgend Street 5 – 0 Ely Rangers
It was beginning to look like a training run for Street who were passing freely under very little pressure from Rangers players who were starting to look jaded. Rangers’ tired defending was becoming clumsy which inevitably led to fouls. Street were awarded a free kick just outside the area right in front of goal after a foul by Jake Cotrell on Street’s Jason Martin. To add injury to insult the ball struck Jake Cotrell plumb in the face and he was knocked to the ground stopping the game while he had some attention. Fortunately he was OK and able to carry on.
Shortly after the hour mark Paul Fowler brought up his hat trick receiving the ball just outside the area and hitting a powerful shot into the back of the net.
Bridgend Street 6 – 0 Ely Rangers
The crowd were expecting more goals such was the dominance of Street. Any Rangers attacks were easily dealt with by Street’s back three led by Paul Fowler. Rangers’ must have been sick of the sight of the big man and were surely glad to see him substituted on 67 minutes. Of course by that time it was job done.
The resulting reshuffle of Street’s defence allowed Rangers to create some decent attacks but it was too little too late. With 10 minutes left Street brought on substitute Nathan Jones and 3 minutes later he found the back of the net with his first touch receiving a floated cross over the keeper from Nicky Davison on the right. A few plays later it was all over. This was a day when Rangers were glad to hear the final whistle.
Final score: Bridgend Street 7 – 0 Ely Rangers
Bridgend Street’s next game is at 6.30pm Tuesday night away to Pontyclun where they will be continuing their push for promotion.