1st beat Whitstable Town 2 - 1
By Mark Beard
Dramatic end to the season
Three Bridges ended their season in dramatic fashion with a game that saw 3 goals, two red cards and Bridges coming back from a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1. French’s second half volley and a cracker from Brannon O’Neill which is definitely a goal of the season contender saw Bridges beat Whitstable despite being down to 9 men with 10 minutes to go.
It was a slow start to the game with neither side having an attempt on goal within the first 10 minutes. Andrew Sesay had the first half chance when he used his pace to twist and turn through the opposition defenders but his shot was well blocked.
Whitstable won a free kick on the edge of the box 15 minutes in and Stephen Smith drilled it into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 he didn’t hit it as clean as he may have hoped but it was too far in the corner for Bridges keeper James Shaw. Bridges looked to gain an instant comeback and good build up play gave Olu Oluwatimilehin space to shoot but his shot was straight at Whitstable keeper Dan Eason.
Olu switched a lovely ball over to Ibby Akanbi moments later and he took on three defenders with great skill and pace before delivering a lovely ball into the box which just evaded the Bridges players in the box. It was then Whitstable that had two chances to double their lead in two minutes. First Smith headed onto the post following a long throw and then moments later he found himself free in the box but volleyed way over the bar from 6 yards.
French then had a great chance to level it up before the interval after he found himself 1 on 1 with Eason but he curled his shot over the bar to deny Bridges going into the break level. A fairly uneventful first half.
The same can definitely not be said for the second half however. Whitstable looked like the team more likely to score early on and they had a great chance to do so 11 minutes into the second half but Harry Stannard was unable to finish putting his shot straight down the throat of Shaw. Bridges then looked to take control and they nearly levelled in spectacular fashion when Akanbi set the ball down for Lee Hall on the edge of the box and his volley flew just wide.
Bridges then took the lead after O’Neill delivered the ball into the box and French done excellently to acrobatically volley into to the far corner an excellent goal for the striker. I got better for Bridges just minutes later as O’Neill found himself in space 25 yards out on the right hand side and he opened up and let fly with a cracking strike that lobbed Eason and crashed into the top corner. A truly outstanding goal and a definite goal of the season contender.
The drama was not over yet 5 minutes later there was an altercation on the pitch which resulted in a 22 man group in the middle of the pitch with tempers rising. After a few minutes the referee called Connor French over and dismissed him with a straight red card then followed by James Morrish for Whitstable but he received only a yellow card much to the disgust of the Bridges players.
The drama was not finished yet as an off the ball incident saw Andrew Sesay dismissed leaving Bridges with 9 men with 8 minutes to play. Bridges done well to keep Whitstable at bay in the final moments of the game a mixture of good defending and excellent goalkeeping kept them out and Bridges held on.
In a season of mixed emotions for Bridges they eventually finish 14th in the table and look forward to another season in the Isthmian league.
Report by Sam Gadsdon