Three Bridges 1st 3-3 Horsham YMCA
Entertaining and feisty game leaves both teams sharing the points
There were no holds barred in this entertaining, if sometimes feisty, match between two sides in the chasing pack behind the League leaders. A draw was probably no good for either side, but it was probably the right result, although Bridges boss Paul Faili was angered by his side failing to defend three set pieces.
The first shot of note came after 15 minutes when Kieron Thorp had to make a good low save at his near post as Phil Johnson drove goalwards, but it was Bridges who took a 24th minute lead as Darryl Siaw cut in from the left and delivered a glorious shot across goal into the far corner.
However, YMCA were level within four minutes as a corner was met by the head of Tom Gilbert and couldn’t be cleared despite a swarm of players on the line. Ben Bacon saw a header flash just wide from Siaw’s superb cross and the first half ended with the excellent Lee Hall shooting just wide with a first time low drive.
The referee came under a lot of pressure from opposing players every time there was a hint of a foul, but he did well to ignore what sometimes became blatant posturing, and he ignored the YMCA protests that led to Bridges restoring their lead from a 74th minute penalty. Siaw left two players in his wake near the corner flag before driving into the box and clearly being felled from behind, and Connor French made no mistake from the spot.
Bacon came close to extending the lead and Nathan Crabb had a shot held well by Aaron Jeal, but again YMCA responded when an 83rd minute free kick resulting in a goalmouth melée with Tom Gilbert being the man to touch the ball over the line once more.
A fantastic ball from Nathan Simpson after 86 minutes found Darryl Siaw, who again cut inside to hit another stunner into the far corner but Bridges just couldn’t hold onto their lead as YMCA hit back for a third time two minutes into added time, another melée finishing with the ever busy Phil Johnson jabbing the ball home.
A game where attacking generally ruled and defenders made some bizarre errors. Entertaining, and exhausting even, but a shame about some of the histrionics that put the match officials under pressure.
Aerotron Man of the Match: Darryl Siaw
Match Report by Alf Blackler