DOUBLE BLOW

COUNTY LEAGUE DIVISION ONE Three Bridges 1 Selsey 3

IT WAS an evening of firsts at the Jubilee Field on Tuesday.

John Crumplin became the first Bridges player to be sent-off this season, and Selsey were the first side to complete a league double over Bridges.

In the first half referee Peter Lindsey suggested no matter what the offence there would be no yellow cards.

In the second half he lost the plot completely-albeit not aided by players from both sides, with two dismissals and five cautions suddenly appearing.

The first half had seen Bridges at least show more urgency and desire.

Glen Newall, Pat Massaro, and Steve Banks all came close to breaking the deadlock, but both Paul Leaver - for a late lunging tackle - and Mark Lee for a blatant pull-back, might well have ended up in the referee's notebook on another day.

Instead, Mr Lindsey merely awarded free-kicks without a word to the offenders, which seemed enough as far as the players were concerned.

But it all went horribly wrong two minutes into the second half, when Ian Ford looked well offside and clashed with Mark Fox as he headed the ball home from the edge of the box.

Stuart Bone was cautioned for protesting, and Danny Punt followed soon after he had been fouled.

A fluent movement down the left ended with Derek Chester adding a second Selsey goal after 53mins, but Massaro responded with a glorious shot on the turn to reduce the arrears in the 66th minute.

The next two minutes produced all manner of drama.

Crumplin was sent-off for a last ditch tackle despite the presence of three other defenders. And the referee wasn't interested in Massaro's comments about a similar foul on him in the first half getting no more than a free-kick.

Jon Bines scored when the free-kick was eventually taken, Banks was booked for a sarcastic comment and less than 30 seconds later Bines was sent-off for elbowing Massaro.

Phil Marsh and Chester joined the names already in the referee's bulging notebook, although Marsh's booking was for handball as the ball was going out of play.

Sadly the bottom line was Bridges lose and could well finish as low as eight if they fail to pick anything up from their last two fixtures.

Bridges: Fox, Crumplin, Leaver, Bone (Bates 89) Punt, Edwards, Butcher, Marsh, Massaro, Banks, (Cheeseman 70) Newall. Unused sub: Bowell.

Aerotron Express Transport Services Man of the Match: Lee Butcher