Pagham 1-3 Three Bridges 1st
A brilliant first half performance settled the game to give Bridges all 3 points
Bridges, having already having used all three substitutes, were operating with only ten fully fit men for the last, often frantic, 20 minutes as Connor French gamely battled on following a knock.
John Lansdale had already shot just wide before Bridges took a 3rd minute lead as Connor French battled with goalkeeper and defender to the side of the goal and tucked the ball goalwards. His effort was already over the line by the time T-Jay Johnson, playing his best game to date for the visitors, pushed it into the back of the net.
A superb clearance by Bradley Peters, another star on the night, prevented Pagham from making a quick response, but a fine throughball by Johnson after 23 minutes led to Tyrone Berry being chopped down by Jake Hawker in the box, and Connor French drilled home the resulting penalty. After 30 minutes Bridges struck again with a delicious fierce low drive by Lee Hall, opening his scoring account for Bridges. Nathan Crabb was injured in the process and eventually had to be substituted by Moses Ashikodi, who lasted just under half an hour before injury forced him off too!
Pagham made two substitutions, including Hawker, who had started the evening featuring heavily in their club programme but threw his shirt off in disgust when being replaced. Kieron Thorp was called into action at last with an easy save from Callum Overton’s header.
Ashikodi almost added a fourth, but a good block involving keeper James Binfield and Joe Booker was what led to his injury. Tyrone Berry was next to limp off and after 61 minutes Pagham’s most dangerous player, Terrell Lewis, supplied the cross for Booker to head home unchallenged. The strangely subdued Scott Murfin came close with a shot on the turn, but Bridges defended stoutly as Pagham threatened to make a remarkable comeback.
Three cautions in the last quarter of an hour seemed harsh especially as Andy Somo was the victim of two nasty tackles that earned free kicks but didn’t even warrant a harsh word!
Aerotron Man of the Match - Connor French
Report by Alf Blackler