Three Bridges 1st 1-1 Littlehampton Town
Quite how Bridges only gained one point from this match remains a mystery, although it may be best summed up by some good goalkeeping by Littlehampton’s Luke Hutchings, some occasional poor finishing and just bad luck at vital moments.
The first half seemed to be a constant barrage towards the visitors’ goal, starting with a great save by Hutchings inside the first minute as Jamie Crellin met John Lansdale’s long throw with a good effort. A low cross by Nathan Crabb ended with Connor French getting the ball stuck under his foot, Bradley Peters somehow stabbed wide from Brendan Murphy-McVey’s free kick, Crabb headed just over from a deadly cross by Michael Campbell and Hutchings again reacted superbly to keep out Murphy-McVey’s free kick.
Quite often Bridges had been denied by the offside flag to their obvious frustration and this was doubled in the first minute of the second half when a long clearance from the visiting defence found a suspiciously offside looking Alex Laing, who however finished clinically past Kieron Thorp, who had been untroubled up to then.
A minute later another good cross by Crabb was met by the head of Crellin, but somehow Hutchings got his foot in the way and thus the deserved equaliser did not materialise. Another Murphy-McVey free kick was met by the head of French, who received a blow to the head that left a few home players demanding a penalty, but things could have got worse for Bridges when Dan Kempson’s on target shot hit a hand on its way out, leading Littlehampton players to demand a penalty this time!
Frustration grew and the referee suddenly started to produce yellow cards with the help of some Littlehampton anguished cries, but after 68 minutes Bridges at last got the break they warranted as Jensen Grant’s backheel gave Nathan Simpson the chance to cross and French to net with a lovely brave header.
Mitchell Casselman made a short cameo appearance, replacing the injured Michael Campbell before pulling his hamstring again, but Bridges continued to strive for the winner as Crabb had a shot blocked, Liam Collins had a fine volley held and Murphy-McVey saw a good effort deflected. Littlehampton might have stolen it with some half decent counter attacks, and home frustration reached boiling point in added time as Simpson and Dan Kempson clashed with the officials only seeing Simpson reacting with a push that earned him a second yellow card!
Aerotron Man of the Match: Brendan Murphy-McVey
Referee: Ciaran Fidler
Report by Alf Blackler