Bridgers' run ends with bang at Bodieve
Wadebridge Town 1, Perranporth 4
IF you're going to blow your 100 per cent start to the season, you might as well do it in style – and Wadebridge certainly did that at Bodieve Park on Saturday.
Going into the game against Perranporth boasting nine wins out of nine, having conceded only seven goals, the Bridgers imploded spectacularly on a day when little went right for them.
After a goalless and virtually chanceless first half, the game burst into life at the start of the second half as Perranporth scored three times in five minutes to stun their hosts.
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The prolific Dan Jennings pulled a goal back on the hour but there was to be no miracle revival from Wadebridge as the confident visitors took one of several excellent opportunities to kill the game off.
To round off a miserable afternoon, Wadebridge had to play the last ten minutes with ten men after goalkeeper Tom Vercoe had to go off with a shoulder injury.
The Bridgers had already used three substitutes, so they couldn't replace Vercoe, even though they had a substitute goalkeeper in Paul Clarke on the bench.
Sam Gerken, a 20-year-old midfield dynamo who revealed in the match programme that he was a 'wannabe striker', ended the game at the other end of the pitch, donning the goalkeeper's shirt.
Although he didn't concede any goals, he won't remember the day with any affection.
He also revealed in the programme that he was a fan of Leeds United, who were thrashed 6-1 at home by Watford.
A dour first half, which saw the best of the action in the opening ten minutes, gave no hint of the drama to come once the players had consumed their half-time cuppa.
Perranporth striker Andy Dyer held his head in his hands in the 48th minute when he curled a shot inches wide but the visitors had to wait only two more minutes to break the deadlock.
Josh Burton ran on to a through ball, outpaced Nathan Cudmore and fired a low right foot shot across Veroce into the far corner of the net for a quality finish.
Before Wadebridge had time to catch their breath, it was 2-0 when they failed to defend a corner properly and Perran captain Rob Stapleton smashed the ball into the roof of the net from six yards.
Having conceded so few goals this season, the Bridgers looked shell-shocked and it got worse two minutes later when Bryan Hawke cut inside from the left and fired a superb right foot shot past Vercoe to make it 3-0.
Wadebridge knew no other way but to go on the attack and when Jennings pulled a goal back after 61 minutes, the home side continued to pour forward in search of more goals, which left them somewhat exposed at the back.
So it was no surprise when Hawke scored his second of the game to put Perran 4-1 ahead and only a brave save from Vercoe denied substitute Paul Baldwin a fifth 11 minutes from time.
Vercoe damaged his shoulder in making an excellent save and took no further part in a game Wadebridge will want to forget quickly.