1st beat Littlehampton Town 1 - 3
By Mark Beard
Bridges made to work hard against the division's bottom side
Bridges were made to work hard for victory against the division’s bottom side on a pitch that grew heavier as the clock wound down and just when it seemed that they would have to settle for a point, Bridges hit two goals in the last seven minutes to maintain their title aspirations.
Charlie Pitcher shot over after just four minutes following a rare poor ball by Jamie Crellin, but Bridges hit back with Brannon O’Neill firing just wide after being set up by former Littlehampton player/manager, George Gaskin.
However, it was the Marigolds who drew first blood after 18 minutes when a cracking drive by Mitchell Hand crashed onto the crossbar and was deemed to have crossed the line by the Assistant Referee. Crellin had a good effort held by Town keeper Jack Collins, who twice denied Nathan Crabb following good balls by Bradley Peters and the excellent Lee Hall. After the first of those saves, a scramble in the goalmouth from the resulting corner finished with BEN BACON forcing the ball home from close range.
Further chances came to Hall, O’Neill and Bacon, but the sides went in level at the interval.
Jensen Grant seemed to have a decent call for a penalty when he was pulled back around his neck, and Crabb created at least three good opportunities as he constantly left defenders in his wake down the right flank.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, a John Lansdale corner was only partially cleared and Bradley Peters picked his spot perfectly from 25 yards.
There were some heated exchanges both on and off the pitch with the referee getting a lot of stick from the crowd as the game wound down, and 4 minutes into added time, Bridges broke again with both Gaskin and substitute Mitchell Casselman involved before ‘super sub’ Tyrone Berry eluded two challenges to fire home for his third game in succession.
Aerotron Man of the Match: Nathan Crabb
Referee: Dominic Barrow
Stat Fact: This game marked Matt Whitehead's 100th appearance for Bridges
Report by Alf Blackler