1st beat Ramsgate 3 - 1
By Mark Beard
Bridges win again
Another good win for Bridges, although Ramsgate were no mugs, particularly in a competitive first half. Olu Oluwatimilehin was immense in the home midfield and twice inside the first five minutes he was unlucky not to celebrate with his first goal for the side, a header being cleared off the line and then a shot that was just over the bar as he stole in to strike from the edge of the box.
Joe Tennant had a header cleared off the line and Connor French got in the way of another goalbound effort, but it needed a great challenge by Ibby Akanbi to prevent Ramsgate from capitalising on a swift counter attack. Tijan Jadama saw a header held as Ramsgate had a dominant ten minute spell, but the excellent Lee Hall then provided a chance for French, whose scissor kick looked goalbound until the ball spun away at the last moment!
But after 36 minutes a corner produced a goalmouth scramble with French stabbing home for the opening goal, and four minutes later he showed his strength before striking a beauty which was only denied by the crossbar.
Ramsgate were not without their moments though and full back George Crimmen obviously liked to drill free kicks from distance given the opportunity. He’d seen one deflected away for a corner before Bridges scored, and in the last minute of the first half he hit another which took a slight deflection before James Shaw made a great save at the near post.
The visitors were up against it though once Bridges doubled their advantage inside the first minute of the second half. Alex Clark and Ibby Akanbi played the ball inside to French, who then back heeled it back into the path of Akanbi, who left defenders in his wake before planting the perfect shot past keeper Luke Watkins. And after 65 minutes came another excellent goal with Hall and John Ufuah involved in the build up which saw French completely fool the visiting defence, who expected a cross but instead saw him drive in at the near post!
A few bookings upset the rhythm of the game temporarily, but another cracker by French produced a good save from Watkins, whilst Joe Tennant was denied by the crossbar. Ramsgate then got the better of Bridges’ otherwise stubborn defence by grabbing an 85th minute consolation as substitute Sam Lawford broke through to coolly stroke home, but despite their enthusiasm, Ramsgate were well beaten by the final whistle.
Highlights of the game can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Y53_3SCsM
Aerotron Man of the Match: Olu Oluwatimilehin
Report by Alf Blackler