Hythe Town 1 Three Bridges 0
By Alf Blackler
Bridges went 10 points adrift at the bottom of the table and extended their winless streak in the league to 16 matches with this narrow defeat on Tuesday.
Hythe scored the only goal of the game in the 74th minute through Ronnie Dolan.
The Crawley club lost key players Tim Rivers and Marlon Maxwell through injury, while goalkeeper Jess Grimstone managed to stay on the field despite breaking a finger.
On the plus side was a return by Elliott Romain for his first Bridges game in five months, although he is also still signed on on dual forms with County League side Horsham YMCA.
His power and presence caused all sorts of problems for a physical Hythe outfit, and he forced keeper Dan Eason to push a drive round the post as early as the fourth minute.
Joel O’Hara saw a cross shot go just wide of the far post and Romain had another solid effort pushed away, but Hythe also had some decent efforts and skipper Dave Cook, the League’s top scorer with 20 goals, should have done better than shoot wide midway through the half.
Hythe were on the front foot and it needed a good save by Grimstone to deny Craig Thompson. The resulting corner then led to Hassan Nyang clearing off the line.
But Bridges hit back after the break with Romone McCrae having a shot pushed away and Romain fired just wide after a good move with Nigel Brake.
O’Hara was also proving a menace, but a quick break after 74 minutes produced the only goal of the game as Dolan finished off the move with a solid drive that Grimstone probably wouldn’t have stopped even if he hadn’t had a broken fingers,
Brendon Cass had an effort blocked on the line as Hythe suddenly seemed to think they could take advantage of Grimstone’s woes, but the young keeper showed his bravery with a brilliant diving save to deny Ashley Miller. He deserved a bit of luck when Cass rounded him only to shoot wide of the open goal.
Bridges had a golden opportunity to equalise ten minutes from time when McCrae’s header out to Marcus Elliott was then returned via a great through-ball, but McCrae somehow drove over the goal to leave every member of the Bridges management team holding their heads in their hands.
Bridges: Grimstone, Boateng, Brake, MMaxwell (Olafunmishe 49), Hooper, O’Hara, Peauroux, Nyang, Elliott, Rivers (McCrae 32), Romain
Unused subs: Joseph, Johnson, Touray.
Aerotron Man of the Match: Elliott Romain