1st beat Newhaven 1 - 0
By Mark Beard
"Sometimes you have to win ugly!"
A victory that was hard earned and summed up by Bridges skipper Jamie Crellin as he cited that "sometimes you have to win ugly".
Both sides defended brilliantly at times, and Newhaven keeper Jake Buss was the first to be tested seriously after 8 minutes when a good run by Connor French ended with a solid shot that was held. Two minutes later it was the turn of Kieron Thorp to hold onto an effort by the League's leading scorer Lee Robinson, who later saw an angled effort tipped away by Thorp and another drive comfortably gathered.
Robinson's prolific scoring record has obviously given him the confidence to shoot on sight, but it was a night when he was generally well shackled and he blasted two late efforts well wide as Newhaven tried to salvage something from the game.
Bridges meanwhile attacked from both flanks but the final ball was often missing, although a good piece of interplay between Liam Collins and the defiant French ended with a desperate clearance. French also saw another effort cleared off the line when it deflected off his shoulder!
The first half ended with Buss making a good save with his legs to prevent George Gaskin from finishing an excellent run.
The breakthrough after 66 minutes was probably one that Buss would rather forget. The strength of Connor French, only recently returned from suspension and still not fully match fit, was the telling factor as he won the ball from Freddie Beale and saw his low cross shot go in off a prostrate Buss for what proved to be the winner - ugly indeed!
It was now even more important for Bridges to keep possession and substitute Lee Hall, as well as Brannon O'Neill and the excellent Jensen Grant, kept Newhaven under pressure.
Bridges continued to press with Mitchell Casselman seeing a good volley deflected wide and Gaskin being just offside as he met Lee Hall's pinpoint cross. Casselman will know that he should have done better with a Gaskin cross that he somehow headed the wrong side of the far post with Buss in no-man's land.
Hall also fired just over in the bewildering 7 minutes of added time, but Newhaven's substitute Kyle Woolven also gave the home defence plenty to think about with a trio of deep free kicks.
Aerotron Man of the Match: Jensen Grant
Referee: Ian Moore
Report by Alf Blackler