Saltdean United 1 - 1 Three Bridges 1st
Another 1-1 away draw against a side with lofty ambitions, but Bridges did enough to warrant all three points in an occasionally feisty affair.
James Fraser headed an early chance over for the hosts, but an error in the middle of the field suddenly allowed Darryl Siaw to break free and give Bridges a ninth minute lead. And four minutes later it looked as though they had doubled their tally when Michael Campbell’s pinpoint cross found the excellent Nathan Crabb, but his shot was somehow kept from crossing the line by Saltdean keeper Rickie Banks.
A few bookings slowed the game a touch, hardly helped by players clamouring for a heftier sentence as the referee made it clear what he was about to do. Campbell and Crabb continued to keep the home defence busy, but nine minutes into the second half Lee Hall made his one error of the game in losing possession on the half way line, and this time it was the turn of Jordan Pryor to gallop free and slot past the oncoming Kieron Thorp.
Referee Jonathan Wilks had controlled the game well despite the difficulties encountered, but if there was one critical moment it came twenty minutes from time when Kevin Keehan, having already been booked, brought down Siaw and was fortunate to escape with a mere lecture. Saltdean’s Management team clearly recognised how lucky they were to still have eleven men of the field as they immediately substituted Keehan before he could make another mistake!
Bridges had the better of the closing stages with Campbell firing just wide, John Lansdale seeing a free kick just clear the bar and Crabb again coming close. With Hall and Jensen Grant dominating the midfield, it still needed a last gasp clearance by Nathan Simpson to prevent Fraser from snatching what would have been an undeserved winner.
Aerotron Man of the Match: Jensen Grant
Referee: Jonathan Wilks
Report by Alf Blackler