Guernsey 1 - 1 Three Bridges 1st
Four games unbeaten
Bridges came back from a one goal half-time deficit for the second time in a week to earn another point on the road with a determined, gutsy performance against fellow relegation battlers Guernsey.
Performances for both of these sides have been just as uncertain as the weather during the game as the players experienced, blustery showers, driving rain and moments of sunshine but it was Guernsey who started much the brighter, with lengthy periods of possession and pressure but without forcing Martin Grant into action. As the half went on, Bridges gained more control of the game with Steve Sargent and Tony Garrod linking up on multiple occasions down the right flank. The first real moment of danger, came on 18 minutes when Dave Rihoy hit a looping shot from the edge of the box that crashed against the Bridges crossbar. This seemed to stir Bridges into action as they started to play themselves into the game. Both Tim Cook and Tony Garrod had chances blocked by defenders as they look to gain the advantage.
However, on 34 minutes, this advantage would go to Guernsey. Oneil Odofin lost the ball high up the field and Guernsey broke quickly. Jensen Grant tried desperately to prevent the attack but the ball was crossed into Bridges box and a poor clearance fell at the feet of Craig Young who fired accurately into the fair corner, 1-0 to Guernsey.
In the second half, Bridges were very much more on the front foot, moving the ball more quickly in the final third which was causing Guernsey to retreat and defend their slender lead. With Bridges forcing the play and encouraging more players to join in, it left space for Guernsey to hit on the break and Keanu Marsh arguably should have put the game out of the reach of Bridges when he blazed over the bar from 6 yards when it seemed easier to score.
This was to be a telling moment in the game as within a minute of this, Bridges equalised. A long throw into the box by John Lansdale was half cleared and when the ball fell to Kieran Allen-Djilali, he stroked the ball into the far corner from the edge of the penalty box.
This further spurred Bridges to go looking for the important three points. Kieran Allen-Djilali was becoming a greater influence on the ball and linking well with those around him. As Bridges probed and committed players forward, the threat of being caught on the break was real, which was optimised by a great block from Lee Hall, who threw his body in front of a shot which would have caused keeper Martin Grant real concern.
The introduction of the lively Abu Touray gave Bridges another option and sent a message to Guernsey that this game was going to go to the bitter, nervous end.
On 80 minutes, Abu Touray hassled Guernsey’s Matt Loaring into a mistake and drove into the penalty box before squaring to Tony Garrod’s whose shot deflected onto the roof of the net. Seconds later, Tony Garrod was further denied by hitting the post after a short corner.
Bridges continued to prove for that all-in-important winner but in the end both sides had to settle for a point each. For the onlooking 1,266 onlooking supporters, well, they witnessed an honest game of football, played between two teams desperate to remain in Ryman South next season.
Referee: Stephen Brown
Aerotron man of the match: Lee Hall
Stat Fact: This is our longest unbeaten run of the season – 4 games!!
Report by Paul Hammond