Three Bridges had to play hard to gain a victory against a tough, physical and very vociferous Walton Casuals.
Bridges were without nine regular first team players but the U21 and Academy players acquitted themselves very well, especially midfielder, Alfie Jones, standing-in for the injured Kieron Thorp in goal.
Both teams had chances. Jordan Cheadle brought out a good save from Jones and Sammy MacVicar did likewise at the other end with Brannon Daly making the save. Ben Godfrey had a shot which rebounded to MacVicar who shot over the crossbar.
Mitchell Casselman collected a loose ball but fired it over the cross-bar and later Gabriel Odunaike was foiled in his effort by the advancing Bridges keeper.
With both defences seemingly in control, the first goal came to Three Bridges after 27 minutes when the ball rebounded from a Casuals defender to Ben Godfrey who chested it down to volley into the top corner of the net from 35 yards – a definite contender for goal of the season.
Scott Day had a chance to level the score minutes later, when he beat the off-side trap, but a diving Jones pushed the ball away.
As the game got rougher it came as no surprise when Casuals’ Stefan Cox was sent-off for a late tackle just before half-time.
Hakeem Adelakun and Abu Touray had chances for Bridges at the start of the second half, as did Jake Nicholson at the other end.
There were lots of substitutions and cautions and the game became frantic.
Mark Pulling was accused of tripping Rhys Paul (the video shows otherwise!) just on the edge of the box on 83 minutes.
The referee awarded a penalty and Jordan Cheadle stepped up to score the equalising penalty.
With a draw looking likely, a shot from MacVicar was stopped by the arm of a defender in the box for Hakeem Adelakun to convert the resulting penalty for the eventual winner.
A melée ensued between both teams in the last minute of the five minutes of added-time which resulted in both Rhys Paul for Casuals, and Abu Touray for Bridges, being sent-off followed by the final whistle which couldn’t come quick enough!
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