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Bodmin v Bridgwater

Guest Uncle Albert

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Outclassed by the opposition or beaten by the referee?

From the moment he gave the penalty after no more than 4 minutes, the game as a footballing spectacle went out the window.

I'm sorry to have a go at the man in the middle, but it's all very well having this "respect" push and players having to shake each others hand before the game etc etc, but when the ref gives a decision like he did this afternoon, which no one watching, including the players, knew why, you have to wonder what's going on!

Having seen Bridgwater on Bank Holiday Monday, I arrived at Priory Park looking forward to watching a tie which would no doubt test Bodmin, but also I felt confident that Cornwall could well have two sides in the next round come five o'clock.

By four minutes past three, that idea had all changed. When the penalty was given even the Bridgwater followers standing next to me couldn't see why. Possibly a slight push at the most, but a penalty - it surprised everyone. Nat Pepperell made no mistake from the spot.

From then on Bodmin were chasing the game and never really got going. The game was stop-start with petty fouls, Bridgwater players going to the ground rather easily and instead of a referee trying to keep the game moving, we had a referee who insisted on lecturing an offender at every opportunity. Why it took him over a minute to explain to a player why he was giving him a yellow card for kicking a ball away, something so obvious, I have no idea!

The game itself, well despite a pretty abject performance from the ref, for me Bodmin were disappointing on the day too! No real penetration upfront, too quiet at the back (having Miller and more importantly Flynn missing proved crucial) and overall I felt they lacked shape.

A goal down at the break, they were still in it, that was until the first few minutes of the second half when they conceded two goals early on. The second one from the visitors' skipper Chris Young, breaking through on the right and shooting across a static Joe Tickle into the far corner of the net.

And the killer blow, the third, a long ball forward from just inside Bridgwater's own half caught the Bodmin defence completely flat footed, Tickle came out and failed in an attempt to fly-kick the ball away from Mike Mackay, Bridgwater's no. 9, who finished up being allowed the luxury and Bodmin's embarrassment to be able to walk the ball into an empty net.

There was still time for Bodmin to get at least a goal, but it wasn't going to be their day! The good thing is that at least it was in the FA Cup, next week is the more important one, the Vase and Bishop Sutton away. A chance for the players to redeem themselves.

Certainly, by what Alan Carey was saying to the players out on the pitch afterwards, I think he will be expecting his players to stand up and be counted!

Bodmin's line-up: Joe Tickle; Johnny Morris (Huw Morgan), Steve Simmonds, Tom Chambers (Leigh Underhay), Robin Teagle; Karl Turner, Nicky Campbell, Darren Gilbert ©, Mark Berry; Glyn Hobbs (Steve Ovens), Danny O'Hagan. Sub not used Jay Isbell.

Referee : Mr J Haynes

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