Maidstone Utd 3
Three Bridges 1
By Alf Blackler
Two goals in the last five minutes condemned Bridges to another defeat against title favourites Maidstone.
Playing in front of more than 1100 fans, Bridges were clearly the better side in the first half with Tim Rivers in particularly sparkling form.
He hit the post after only three minutes, scored in the 34th minute after being put through by Marcus Elliott.
Abu Touray also had a fierce shot blocked, while United were limited to a solid drive by Shaun Welford that Jess Grimstone superbly pushed away for a corner.
Bridges lost Leon Dussard through injury midway through the first half, but on the plus side they welcomed back Hassan Nyang after a five-year absence, and he had a very positive influence in the centre of midfield on Maidstone’s 3G surface.
Maidstone came out more determined after the break. New signing Stuart King blazed over from Welford’s low cross, while Nicky Humphrey headed wide after 57 minutes.
But two minutes later Humphrey stooped to head home at the near post as a corner came in from former Bridges favourite Warren Whitely, who soon after forced Grimstone into another good save.
But for all Maidstone’s endeavours, Bridges seemed set to cause an upset with Marlon Maxwell and Andy Howard again proving sublimely stubborn with their defensive duties.
But five minutes from time Nyang was forced to limp off and, a low and rather lethargic looking cross from Gillingham loanee Alex Brown caught everyone flat footed and Paul Booth’s half hit shot somehow limped over the line.
And in injury time Dean Carden lost possession to Whitely, who finished comfortably to complete a scoreline Bridges simply didn’t deserve.
Bridges: Grimstone, Carden, Dussard (Cooke 25), Howard, Hooper, Maxwell, O’Hara, Nyang (Brake 86), Elliott, Rivers, Touray (Bold 65). Unused sub: Faber.
Aerotron Man of the Match: Hassan Nyang