The Robins came from behind on Monday to claim their eighth straight victory in a sunny Buckland Athletic, but it was a hard-fought fight made a bit easier when home defender Harry Hodges was sent off just before the hour mark for his second yellow card, writes Kerry Miller.
Manager Dave Pearse went with an unchanged roster with Josh Phillips on the bench in place of Jaden Hurd and with Jake Brown and Troy Simpson still unavailable for what was an intense and watchable contest on a superb surface in front of a holiday crowd healthy and it was no more than the home side deserved when they took the lead ten minutes from half-time when full-back Sam Morcom ventured onto the pitch to beat Jake Viney with a precise angular drive.
Until then the game hung in the balance with Jack Taylor having a blocked shot then a graze header nodded off the line before Buckland had a good spell with a glut of corners that came to nothing.
Jake Llewellyn then fed Taylor whose cross missed safety Ross Edwards by inches, but Buckland almost took advantage as Frazer Clark headed from an offside position before Jake Viney flew to his left to get away. hang on to a Ryan Bush drive.
Taylor then passed Ollie Hebbard and he lobbed Andy Collings but the offside flag was up And that didn’t count either.
Morcom’s goal stunned the away contingent which were spread all around Homers Heath, but the seeds of defeat were sown moments later when Taylor’s skill was too much for Hodges and he received his first warning when the referee Matt Redmond pointed the spot.
Jake Llewellyn took action to even the scores and from there the Robins took control. Buckland started well after the break, but when Hodges brought down Morgan Williams and was shown red, United smelled victory.
Dave Thorne limped off to be replaced by Josh Phillips and seconds later a Taylor free kick was hit by Collings but the home side weren’t going to turn around and Bush nearly capitalized on a defensive error but his effort kissed the bar.
It proved the turning point as in the 73rd minute a deep counter-attack led to Taylor’s instinctive drive, the defense calling for offside and Collings stood no chance. As the home bench grew more restless by the minute, Bridgwater clinched the points when Tom Llewellyn’s tight control was too much for the tiring defense and Morgan Williams smashed the third from 20 yards out.