Southern Combination Premier Division
Horsham YMCA 1 Three Bridges 2
Mitch Casselman earned Three Bridges the local derby honours over Horsham YMCA with a late volleyed goal.
Two of those on form almost combined to put Bridges ahead inside two minutes as Lee Hall’s long ball fell into the path of Connor French, but his shot went straight into ‘keeper Aaron Jeal’s arms.
YMCA’s Phil Johnson looked their biggest threat as they too played long balls to him on the right flank, but Bridges stole the lead after 31 minutes thanks to some degree to YMCA coach and former Bridges midfielder Ben Godfrey, who insisted to the referee that Bridges were about to take a free-kick from the wrong place.
But Hall, after bringing the ball back a few yards, delivered the perfect tempting ball into the box and Bradley Peters nipped in to brush the ball home for his first goal for the club netted during his first league start.
After 38 minutes Bridges probably should have doubled their tally when another long ball fell perfectly for the normally deadly Nathan Crabb, but Jeal managed to block his shot.
The ball was swiftly transferred to the other end and finished with Johnson crossing low for former Bridges Academy player Ollie Gill to drive past Martin Grant.
Liam Humphries fired wide as YMCA’s confidence grew, whilst Moses Ashikodi’s shot at the other end was too tame to trouble Jeal.
The introduction of Andy Somo from the bench though proved to be telling as he constantly troubled the home defence, and playing a one-two with Tyrone Berry, there was almost an instant impact before Berry’s effort was blocked.
A goalmouth melee looked to end in a certain goal, but somehow shots by French, Berry and Peters were all kept out.
Martin Grant made a good save from Dave Brown and French headed wide from Somo’s cross.
A free-kick by Hall was turned away for a corner and French screwed just wide on the turn, but with 85 minutes on the clock, Somo’s excellent run finished with a pass to Liam Collins, whose chip into the danger area finished with Mitchell Casselman volleying excellently into the net.
Somo came close to adding to the tally and YMCA strived to get back on terms during the five added minutes, but were met by the outstanding efforts of Peters and Jensen Grant at the back for Bridges.
YMCA: A.Jeal; D.Carden; D.Evans; T.Gilbert (G.Harding,81); C.Cooke; L.Humphries (B.Curtis,75); P.Johnson; J.Shelley; O.Gill (T.Frankland,64); L.Gedling; D.Brown.
Unused Subs: A.Dugdale; M.Cave.
Bridges: M.Grant; L.Collins; B.Peters; L.Hall; J.Grant; J.Lansdale; N.Crabb; T-J.Johnson; C.French (N.Hilaire,90); M.Ashikodi (A.Somo, 54); T.Berry (M.Casselman, 70).
Referee: Nigel Baker
Aerotron Man of the Match: Jensen Grant (Three Bridges)