A good competitive game where Bridges showed plenty of ambition in attack and plenty of resilience in defence against a very good Loxwood outfit. Michael Wood was a constant threat with his pace, and skipper Byron Napper urged his side on relentlessly, whilst Dan Mobsby’s return to the Jubilee Field was one in which he looked generally comfortable in his role at the heart of the defence but also left him with a broken nose!
Bridges had the earliest good chance to open the scoring when newcomer Ami Glloga threaded a delightful ball through to Michael Campbell, who burst forward but lost possession to keeper Sam Smith when he tried to round him. Loxwood hit back with Napper shooting straight at Kieron Thorp, who also held a strike by Wood. Bridges had a couple of penalty shouts as Campbell seemed to be manhandled and Jensen Grant also felt he’d been fouled as he tried to follow up Nathan Koo-Boothe’s header against the bar, but at the other end Thorp had to make two excellent saves to deny Ollie Moore at a critical stage of the game.
Bridges took a 52nd minute lead when John Lansdale’s free kick from deep on the left was headed in by JENSEN GRANT, but Bridges then had to reshape when Campbell went off injured and the returning Matt Whitehead slotted in at left back. No doubt the turning point in proceedings came after 66 minutes when Wood’s shot struck Jamie Crellin on the hand. Up stepped Tiago Andrade to take the penalty but he blasted the ball over the bar and his side didn’t threaten much after that miss.
After 74 minutes Bridges made their visitors pay when a corner was met by JOHN LANSDALE for his third goal in as many games to celebrate his 100th League start for the side. There was a controversial moment when Darryl Siaw crashed into goalkeeper Sam Smith, who was already nursing a knock but carried on gamely for a further eight minutes, and in the sixth and final minute of added time Mobsby headed over the bar as Loxwood proved that they were fighters until the final whistle.
Aerotron Man of the Match: Kieron Thorp
Referee: Ian Moore
Match report by Alf Blackler
Photos by Dave Burt Photography