Bridges came so close to winning this game against their National League opponents.
An 88th minute goal for Hawks took the game into extra time and a controversial third goal for the visitors knocked the stuffing out of the home side.
Hawks started brightly enough with Sam Chaney testing Kieron Thorp early, and they took a twelfth minute lead from a free kick which Bridges defended poorly. Michael Cain simply tapped it wide to an unmarked Kyjuon-Jaeger Marsh Brown, whose crisp shot looped over Thorp via a deflection. But Bridges were level within six minutes when Darryl Siaw was upended just inside the box and Connor French drilled home the penalty.
Siaw was just wide from a cross by the ever excellent Nathan Crabb, but Bridges gained the lead after 31 minutes when a deep free kick by John Lansdale crept through keeper Seny Dieng’s hands. Lansdale had only opened his account for the season three days earlier, so it was a case of buses coming along all at once!
The dangerous Marsh Brown curled a shot just wide a minute before half time, and Dieng had to give way with an injury shortly after the break. But his replacement Jordan Hawkins looked a better prospect and he was soon involved as both Jamie Crellin and Connor French saw efforts cleared away at the last moment. Thorp was called into action with a tip over from David Ijaha, but Hawkins then had to make a good low save at the near post to deny Siaw.
Bridges had to defend well as Hawks suddenly woke up, but it was cruel injustice when they equalised as a speculative drive deflected off a post into the path of substitute Connor Tighe to stab home from almost on the line. Tighe was only playing because Tom Cadman had been injured in the warm up, and it was the same player involved in the controversial third goal after 101 minutes. Marsh Brown’s shot from wide on the right might well have gone in anyway, but Tighe added the final touch from what looked to be a blatant offside position. Assistant Dominic Barrow afterwards said that it had been close but felt that Tighe was onside, something that few in the Bridges camp agreed with!
Marsh Brown added a fourth after 105 minutes with Bridges looked suddenly disorganised, but that score certainly flattered Whitehawk, and Bridges must now bring this sort of form into their League campaign.
Aerotron Man of the Match – Jamie Crellin.
Bridges: K.Thorp; L.Collins; J.Lansdale; L.Hall; N.Koo-Boothe (B.Peters, 84); J.Crellin; N.Crabb (T.Berry,113); S.Day; C.French; M.Campbell; D.Siaw (J.Brissett, 83).
Unused Sub: A.Laszlo.
Booked: Crellin (12); Collins (38); Campbell (82); Lansdale (105).
Whitehawk: S.Dieng (J.Hawkins, 51); C.Arthur; F.Walsh; M.Cain; G.Essuman; L.Broughton; N.L’Ghoul (C.Tighe, 70); D.Ijaha; P.Gueye; S.Chaney (I.Fofana, 70); K-J. Marsh-Brown.
Unused Subs: H.Sanuzi; S.Mensah.
Booked: Walsh (58); Cain (61); Fofana (74); Ijaha (120).
Referee: Matthew Goldsmith.