1st lose to Tooting & Mitcham United 3 - 5
Home loss to League leaders
After four games without defeat, Bridges certainly made Tooting fight for the points and were even in dreamland at 2-1 up, but the League leaders showed their class to become only the second side (Lewes being the other) to put five past Bridges in the League this season.
An early injury to Adam Thompson saw Bridges still trying to reorganise when Tooting struck after ten minutes. Daniel Clements miskicked horribly but the ball fell for the deadly Billy Dunn to volley the visitors ahead. Kyle Merson was forced to block a Tony Garrod effort less than a minute later but it only took until the 13th minute for Bridges to level as Garrod’s determination to win the ball ended with a nice lay off to Hakeem Adelakun, whose lovely curling shot beat Merson all ends up.
And just two minutes later Bridges were in front as Oneill Odofin’s header fell to Steve Sargent to volley home. Sargent continued to be busy as Bridges looked reasonably confident, but after thirty minutes Tooting were level when Martin Grant couldn’t hold onto Peter Wedgeworth’s free kick and the classy Chace Oneil snaffled home from close range.
A wicked deflection helped Claudiu Hoban’s off target shot elude Grant to restore Tooting’s advantage after 38 minutes, and after Garrod had wasted a decent chance to level again, Tooting gained a penalty in the third minute of first half added time. Bridges had been defending manfully before the ball came out to Oneil, who drove into the box and perhaps went down rather easily as the challenge came in. No doubting the quality of Jordan Wilson’s spot kick however.
Grant made a good save to deny Dunn early in the second half and Adelakun crashed a shot against the crossbar. But after 67 minutes Tooting gained another penalty which Bridges angrily contested, and Wilson again made no mistake from the spot. Lee Hall and Jensen Grant were both working their socks off as Bridges tried to respond, and after 86 minutes the home side reduced the arrears once again when Adelakun’s superb cross was controlled superbly by Allan Tait before he netted. The experienced Tait might easily have finished with a hat trick too as he flicked just wide from an Alex Rose cross and then forced Merson to hold onto a well drilled shot.
Certainly, Bridges deserve a lot of credit for their performance, but Tooting are the best side they’ve played this season by far and will be deserved Champions if all goes to plan.
Referee: Leigh Crowhurst
Aerotron Man of the Match: Jensen Grant
Stat Fact: Allan Tait’s goal was Bridges’ fiftieth in the League this season