Match: BAE V Bamber Bridge
Date: 31st March 2017, 6.30 pm Kick-off
Venue: BAE Sports Ground
The eagerly anticipated cup match between BAE and Bamber Bridge was finally played on a wet Friday night at BAE’s ground. These two teams have a history of producing exciting and thrilling matches and this was to prove the case in tonight’s encounter.
It was BAE, who started the brighter of the two teams and so nearly took the lead in the first minute when a quick counter attack down the Bamber Bridge right, led to their winger cracking a shot against the right hand post. A minute later and Ben had to be at his best diving to his right to tip the ball around the post from another shot from just outside the box.
Bamber Bridge were trying to get a foothold in the game and when Marcus won a crunching tackle in the middle of the park his through ball sent Callum flying down the left, however his shot went just wide of the left hand post. Charlie was next to threaten the BAE goal with a superb free kick from 25 yards out which tickled the bar with the keeper stranded.
All of a sudden Bamber Bridge were causing BAE’s defenders all kinds of problems and when Noah found Callum on the left he managed to hold off the defender before drilling a superb strike into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to give Bamber Bridge a 1-0 lead after 8 minutes. Another superb finish from the striker whose running power was to prove pivotal throughout the match.
It was Bamber Bridge now who were on the front foot and when Noah found Lucas on the left his cross found Callum, but this time his first time strike went narrowly passed the left hand post. BAE were struggling to cope with Callum’s running across their defensive line and a minute later he set up Charlie whose thunderbolt of a shot flew just over the bar.
Taylor and Noah were looking solid in the midfield and following a quick one-two Taylor found Lucas whose shot narrowly missed the right hand post. Lucas was finding acres of space down the left and he again managed to beat the defender before crossing to the near post where Callum met the ball on the half volley only to see the ball fly just wide of the right hand post.
The game was frantic and the defensive line of Isaac, Jay and Marcus, were having to be at their best to stop the BAE strikers from getting shots on goal. However when BAE were awarded a free-kick it was only the brilliance of Ben diving to his left to tip the ball wide of the post that prevented the equaliser.
It was to prove vital when in the next minute Charlie, whose footwork is a joy to behold slipped past two defenders before putting Callum through on goal; the keeper managed to save his initial shot but was powerless to prevent his follow up chipped with aplomb into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 to Bamber Bridge after 27 minutes. They so nearly made it 3 on the stroke of half time when Charlie’s great turn and cross found Lucas whose shot was saved by the keeper.
Half Time BAE 0 v Bamber Bridge 2
They say that 2-0 is a very dangerous score in football and it proved to be the case when just a minute into the second half a shot from the edge of the box flew past Ben and into the bottom left of the goal giving Ben no chance to make it 2-1. The goal gave BAE the lift they needed and they began to drive forward at pace threatening the Bamber Bridge goal on several occasions with Ben having to be at his very best making several excellent saves.
It was Bamber Bridge however, following a quick counter who so nearly extended their lead when Taylor’s through ball sent Callum away and his slide rule ball found Lucas whose shot beat the keeper but was cleared off the line by the defender. This proved the catalyst for Bamber Bridge to regain the initiative and Charlie’s drive from just outside the box was saved to his right by the keeper; Noah’s shot from just outside the box was also saved by the keeper and when Charlie found Callum it looked like number 3 but the ball went agonisingly past the right hand post.
The team were coming forward at every opportunity as BAE were leaving gaps as they had to push forward looking for the equaliser. Another swift counter attack saw Charlie drive down the right but his shot went just over the bar; Sarah then beat the defender before hitting a shot that flew past the left hand post.
BAE were running out of time and they were piling forward with Ben having to make two excellent saves to his left and then one to his right to prevent BAE from equalising. He then made a fingertip save to tip the ball over the bar when it looked like they had made the vital breakthrough! The defence of Marcus, Isaac, Lucas and Jay were making so many vital interceptions throwing their bodies on the line to block shots and keep BAE from equalising.
As the minutes ticked away and BAE threw more players forward, Bamber Bridge so nearly put the game to bed when a quick counter saw Sarah slip the ball through to Callum who shaped his body and curled a wonderful shot that hit the base of the post and to safety, denying the striker his first hatrick for the club!
The referee blew his whistle on what was a titanic match, battled out by two teams who both gave 100% to their teams cause.
All of the players were magnificent tonight!
Next up its Euxton Villa.
Final Score: BAE 1 v Bamber Bridge 2