1sts beat Arundel 0-3
Firsts back to winning ways with 100th goal
A brilliant piece of individual opportunism and two late team goals meant that Bridges cannot finish lower than second, and in the process of this win, they also recorded their 100th goal in all competitions this season.
Arundel, understandably with fellow strugglers Littlehampton Town coming their way only two days later, were not at full strength, but Ryan Hallett saw an early effort deflected for a corner and Jack Kates fired over from distance as a gap opened up for him. However, Bridges soon settled and dominated possession without seriously testing home keeper Dan Stev in a disappointing first half.
Tyrone Berry headed just wide from a Connor French cross and Jamie Crellin also came close with a header, whilst a through ball from John Lansdale seemed perfect for Ben Bacon, who was only denied by a superb last ditch challenge.
Lansdale provided a string of chances with long throws and deep crosses, but Bridges huffed and puffed for large chunks of the opening half, and it was no surprise to see them come out for the second period with more purpose.
French had an early chance held well by Stev, who then flung himself across goal to keep out a goalbound effort from Berry, but after 61 minutes came a moment of brilliance as Lansdale’s latest throw found Connor French with his back to goal. Unpreturbed, he simply produced a superb overhead kick which Stev could do nothing about and Bridges were up and running.
They really should have settled the game after that, but chances came and went. Nathan Simpson, who had an excellent game in his first appearance since the end of February, saw an effort deflected over, whilst Darryl Siaw broke clear but was denied at the last moment and suffered an injury in the process!
With three minutes of normal time remaining, Bridges produced a brilliant counter strike with Bacon laying the ball off to Simpson on the left, and the resulting pinpoint cross being met perfectly by George Gaskin. Two minutes later Gaskin broke clear on the left and unselfishly laid the ball across goal for the onrushing Nathan Crabb to visciously volley home a third, this being that magical 100th goal of the campaign.
There was still time for Stev to tip away another volley from Gaskin, but the 3-0 win meant that Bridges now have an identical +49 goal difference to leaders Haywards Heath, and they have scored four more!!!
Extended hightlights can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN9TYR1LnvA&feature=youtu.be courtesy of Instant Highlights
Aerotron Man of the Match: John Lansdale
Referee: Nigel Baker
Report: Alf Blackler