1st beat AFC Uckfield Town 2 - 0
Bridges take home the Bacon!
A good win just before Christmas against a side who’d won away to League leaders Haywards Heath only a week earlier. The referee was in two minds about playing the game because of one sticky patch on a leaf strewn pitch, and Uckfield had the first decent effort after six minutes when Kieron Thorp had to make an excellent flying save to keep out Dee Okojie’s well struck shot.
But within two minutes of that effort, it was Bridges, shrugging off the absence of three key players, who went ahead. A lovely flighted ball by Matt Whitehead down the left flank found Darryl Siaw, who laid it off for Ben Bacon to mark his debut with a cool low finish beyond Louis Rogers into the bottom corner of the net.
Bacon came close to adding another with a free kick that Rogers tipped over splendidly, and Siaw continued to threaten the home defence with his pace. But Uckfield had pace of their own on both flanks in Okojie and Bailo Camara, but their final efforts tended to be wayward and Thorp had a generally quiet afternoon.
Uckfield’s hopes were dashed after 68 minutes when Norman, having already been booked for dissent, was sent off after clearly trying to halt another Siaw dash down the left and continuing to argue his case! There had been some bizarre refereeing decisions, but this was not one of them!
Uckfield tried to ring the changes, but a long ball out to Siaw after 83 minutes led to him charging forward and then clipping the ball beyond Rogers for Bridges’ second. But Whitehead, who had been abused by the Uckfield bench throughout the second half, was then sent off for a comment to them, the officials deeming this to be “over celebrating” the goal!
Three substitutions by Bridges in the closing stages slowed any momentum the hosts might have built up, but Bridges’ defence, with Bradley Peters and John Lansdale in notably defiant mood, rarely looked troubled, and Lansdale almost put the gloss on his display with a last second free kick that Rogers just managed to tip away.
Referee: David Joseph
Aerotron Man of the Match: John Lansdale
Report by Alf Blackler