Whitehawk 2-1 Three Bridges 1st
By Mark Beard
Bridges out of Velocity Trophy
Three Bridges were knocked out of the League's Velocity Cup on 21st August after falling short to Whitehawk at the TerraPura Ground. Bridges may feel hard done by as Whitehawk came away with a 2-1 victory on the night, but Bridges enjoyed good spells of possession and had chances to change the outcome but it was not to be as Whitehawk progressed to the next round away to Bognor Regis Town.
Three Bridges started the better side with Dan Da Costa e Silva almost being through on goal in the 1st minute but a good challenge from Whitehawk centre back Ed Sanders denied the chance of an almost instant goal for Three Bridges. There was another chance early on for Bridges after a ball over the top played by Lee Hall towards Connor French was intercepted by Whitehawk and cleared for a corner but Whitehawk goalkeeper Melvin Minter came out and claimed well.
Whitehawk then got their first real chance of the game in the 7th minute after a loose pass in the Three Bridges midfield found its way to Ky Marsh-Brown who made his way down the wing but his attempted cross was blocked by Antone Douglas as he deflected the ball behind for a corner. The corner was whipped in with pace and Whitehawk striker Lucas Rodrigues rose highest to power a header past Thorp to make it 1-0 against the run of play.
It nearly got worse for Bridges as Lewis Broughton put a dangerous low cross into the box and the ball proceeded to deflect off players from both sides but then fell to Anesu Sisimayi who had an open goal to simply tap the ball into but out of nowhere came John Lansdale with a heroic last ditch tackle to block off the line and stop Whitehawk adding a second just minutes after scoring their first.
Dan Da Costa e Silva made a great challenge to dispossess a Whitehawk defender on the halfway line and then played a ball to an overlapping Nathan Simpson who then fed in French who was well challenged by Kwai Marsh-Brown. Jamie Crellin headed over from a Lansdale corner but Whitehawk were then forced to make a substitution in the 29th minute after goalkeeper Melvin Minter was struggling with what looked like a muscle issue so substitute goalkeeper Jordan Hawkins was brought on.
Hawkins was called into action when a cross was whipped in by Alex Laing and he could only parry the cross which landed at the feet of Dan Da Costa e Silva who stuck the ball at goal but a great challenge from Ed Sanders denied Bridges an equaliser. From the challenge French was played through by Omar Folkes but he was also challenged well by the Whitehawk defence. There were no other chances in the first half and Bridges went into the interval on top and perhaps deserving a better score line to take into the break with them.
Three Bridges looked to continue their pressure from the first half but in the 47th minute Whitehawk were 2-0 up when winger Ky Marsh-Brown picked the ball up on the left wing cut in and from around 25 yards curled a delightful effort into the back of the net leaving Thorp with no chance and giving Whitehawk some breathing room.
Bridges made an almost instant response when Alex Laing put an excellent cross into the box which French chested down ad volleyed towards goal but Hawkins made a great save to keep the score at 2-0. More link-up play from French and Laing led to another chance for Bridges, this time with the ball being cleared from the cross but it fell to John Lansdale who unleashed a strike with his left foot which narrowly missed the target. Minutes later Lee Hall also had a shot from the edge of the box but it was well blocked by the Whitehawk defence.
Captain Jamie Crellin made an excellent challenge to stop Brannon O'Neill being through on goal in the 66th minute and later Thorp made an excellent save to tip the ball round the post to deny Kwai Marsh-Brown after a powerful strike from the edge of the box.
All hope looked lost for Bridges but in the 90th minute after substitute Jamie Taylor forced a corner, the ball was headed away only to Da Costa e Silva’s feet and he curled a lovely shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box to give Bridges hope after all.
Bridges were then given one last chance to force a well-deserved penalty shootout after a free kick was awarded. Everyone was up including Thorp but Sanders rose highest to clear and the referee blew for full time.
Three Bridges continue their campaign AT HOME on Saturday, 25th August at 3:00 PM in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round, once again facing Phoenix Sports who beat them 5-2 in the League only last week.
Aerotron Man of the Match: Antone Douglas
Report by SAM GADSDON