KJM SPORT REPORT Bridgwater Utd 5 Millbrook AFC 1

After an impressive start to their second Western Premier season, Millbrook have hit the buffers big time and suffered their fourth successive league defeat at unbeaten leaders Bridgwater on Saturday.

They hardly gave themselves a chance at Fairfax Park as home striker Jake Brown fired a hat-trick inside the opening 25 minutes.


Ryan Knight pulled a goal back in the 36th minute before Troy Simpson restored Bridgwater’s three-goal cushion before half-time and Brown scored his fourth midway through the second half in front of 427. 

Millbrook manager Macca Brown said: “We are learning important lessons as a group. Some of which players were experiencing with us this time last year, but this is a new squad and there’s going to be similar ups and downs and the first six weeks or so have shown that already, and frustratingly a lot of it is our own doing.

“It reminded me a bit of our away game against Mousehole last season when we also lost 5-1 and we just weren’t at it at all from the word go, and at this level when that’s the case you get destroyed.

“Pearsy said to me last night that he just felt they just took their chances and he’s maybe right as there wasn’t much in the game other than moments.

“But what was disappointing for me is they didn’t have to work hard to create chances, they didn’t have to break us down or pull a bit of magic out of thin air.

“They probably couldn’t believe their luck in the way we handed them openings to be honest by being poor in possession. It was no different a couple of weeks ago against Illfracombe and that is not acceptable.”

Macca went on: “It feels like we are a very easy team to play against at the moment, just wait long enough and we’ll probably switch off and gift you a chance and we won’t really make life too difficult for you when you have the ball.

“It is flakey and fragile and it is absolutely not what we are about and it has to change.

“The lads said it themselves after the game, teams don’t present us with the opportunities that we serve up on a plate to them.”

Ironically, Millbrook made a bright start on Saturday before finding themselves 2-0 down after six minutes.

Macca said: “The first three or four minutes of the game we were bright and on the front foot and I was really optimistic with our start, and then bang, two individual mistakes and we are 2-0 down within 10 minutes.

“You can’t hand a team who are flying, top of the league having won 10 out of 11 that kind of start  because they will gobble it up, and that’s exactly what they did and then we had a mountain to climb.

“We then concede what I’d call a lazy penalty and it’s game over.

“I thought our front two were excellent to be fair and they combined well for Knighty to score and then there’s a glimmer of hope if you get to half-time, but predictably they go down the other end almost immediately and they’re first to react from a rebound and it’s 4-1.”

What of the future then? Macca said: “We need to level up and quickly. I don’t know if we got carried away with a half decent start to the season, but that’s not how you perform in games against top teams.

“We set a benchmark of performance down at Mousehole a month or so ago, but we’ve not hit those levels since for 95 minutes and I’m not sure why.

“Four defeats on the spin doesn’t look or feel good, but we’ve played some top teams in Saltash, Shepton and Bridgwater, who are operating at the top of the league and also had one of the toughest away trips of the season to Illfracombe as well.

“So we won’t get too disheartened because I expect not many outside of our changing room expects us to get results against those sides, but when we look ourselves, the manner of each defeat for different reasons have been concerning. We’ve conceded 10 goals in two games, which tells its own story.”

Macca did, however, praise Bridgwater, saying: “ Full credit to them, they’re in great form. We took four points off them last year but on Saturday they won every battle across the pitch without a glove being laid on them really, and they fully deserved their win.”

Millbrook take a break from league action next weekend when South West Peninsula League east division leaders Ivybridge Town are the visitors to Jenkins Park in the FA Vase.

Macca said: “I can’t wait now for the FA Vase next week if I’m honest. Darren will probably be rubbing his hands together at Ivybridge if he’s had any recent reports of our games.

“So we have to ensure we are ready because we don’t run away from these sticky moments, and a big FA Vase game is just the tonic.”

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