Three Bridges U18 4-3 Steyning Town Community
By Lorraine Bonner
Dramatic FA Youth Cup win for Three Bridges
In a dramatic FA Youth Cup fixture, Three Bridges U18s came from behind to defeat Steyning Town 4-3 in a thrilling tie.
A last minute goal sent Bridges into the next round after hard work and determination saw them come back from being 3-1 down in the 58th minute.
Steyning started the better side dominating the possession in the first 5 minutes and putting the Bridges defence under a lot of pressure. This eventually proved too much for Bridges as in the 6th minute a sloppy pass from defence fell to Lloyd Grant who was then through on goal with only Powling to beat and coolly slotted under him. Steyning nearly had a chance to make it 2-0 just a minute later when Rafe Brooks was played in by Grant but Powling did well to come out and smother the ball.
On 18 minutes Bridges found themselves with a corner which was crossed in and the Steyning keeper, Isaac Polson, tried punching the ball but it sliced off his gloves and fell short to Adil Raman who headed the ball towards goal but the Steyning defence cleared the ball off the line. Steyning then mounted a counter attack, after good movement the ball eventually found its way to Tom Spano who curled it past on oncoming Powling but was immediately flagged offside.
Bridges then started to mount some pressure of their own and nearly got a goal on 21 minutes. Bridges won a free kick to the right hand side of the box, Hayden Crowhurst delivered a lovely ball into the box and an unmarked Harry Watts but could only direct his header over the bar missing a great chance to equalise.
Steyning had a great chance to make it 2-0 on 29 minutes after Grant crossed the ball into Jenson Day who was totally unmarked, he took one touch then shot from about 12 yards but a heroic sliding tackle from Crowhurst blocked the ball and bounced out for a corner.
Bridges equalised in the 36th minute as Raman was played down the right wing and his cross was deflected to the edge of the box where Harry Watts was standing and he struck a sweet half volley into the bottom corner.
The last action of the half came from Steyning as Bridges had a throw midway inside their own half. There was some miscommunication between the players which saw the throw land at the feet of a Steyning midfielder who fed through Brooks who was one on one but Owen Ansell slid in with an unbelievable tackle to clear the danger for Bridges and keep the score level going into half time.
The second half started quiet but the first chance ended up as a goal after Steyning countered Bridges from a corner. The ball was headed out and one long ball which just evaded the Bridges defence was sent long and Rafe Brooks was left to slot past Powling. They added another just two minutes later when Brooks crossed the ball in, Callum Jones smashed the ball onto his own bar and it bounced off the line but Jenson Day was there to smash home the rebound and give Steyning a 3-1 lead.
This looked to kill off the tie but Bridges were determined to not let it slip. Polson was having a fine performance in Steyning’s goal making many great saves and denying Bridges any chance of a comeback. However in the 72nd minute he went from hero to zero as Adil Raman hit a fierce shot from the edge of the box and it was straight at the keeper but he could only palm it into his own net and give Bridges a way back in.
Bridges then really piled on the pressure with attack after attack searching for an equaliser and they found on in the 80th minute. A corner was whipped in and FINTAN SCARFFE-CODY met it with a looping header into the top corner sending the players into mayhem.
Bridges were now up for it more than ever, searching for a winner and they had it in the 87th minute after Raman’s shot was blocked and the ball fell to Fintan Scarffe-Cody who hit a half volley that looked destined to hit the top corner but crashed against the woodwork.
Finally though, all the hard work paid off when Adil Raman picked the ball up on the edge of the box, took on three Steyning defenders and smashed the ball into the bottom corner in the 90th minute to send Bridges through and create unreal scenes in the Bridges dugout.
A great resiliant performance from the U18s who will now face Worthing at home in the next round on 17th September.
Report by Sam Gadsdon