Keeper Grant scores to help Bridges to rare win

Three Bridges v Hastings United football action - Kieron Thorp SUS-160224-114516002
Three Bridges v Hastings United football action - Kieron Thorp SUS-160224-114516002

Parafix Sussex Senior Cup Second Round

Hastings United 1 Three Bridges 4

After 13 consecutive defeats, any win is welcome, but Bridges must have feared the worst when three players were stuck in traffic and they had to start the game with substitute goalkeeper Martin Grant playing wide on the right up front!

Unbelievably he scored their second goal, although it needed Bridges’ other keeper Kieron Thorp to make an excellent early diving save to keep out a stinging long-range effort from Sam Cruttwell.

Mitchell Casselman came close with a header from Steve Sargent’s free kick before Bridges took a 13th minute lead when Ricardo Fernandes, another late call up to the starting 11, stabbed the ball through for Tony Garrod to drive home.

And four minutes later a low cross from the byline by the tireless Casselman found Martin Grant at the far post for a swift second goal!

Casselman had a good effort saved by Ryan Nicholls following good interplay with Devon Fender, but Thorp was also kept busy with saves from Cruttwell and Jack Harris, although Hastings at this stage were often guilty of trying to walk the ball home.

On the stroke of half time Bridges were awarded a penalty for a challenge on Casselman, and one of the latecomers Kieran Djilali made no mistake from the spot.

Five minutes into the second half Garrod made it four with a delightful curling effort from 25 yards, but just another five minutes passed before a corner fell to Richard Davies to stab home in a crowded goal area.

Hastings now started to shoot whenever they approached Thorp’s goal, but the Bridges keeper proved to be stubborn as he kept out substitute Sonny Dullaway and then made a magnificent quickfire double save to keep out the persistent Cruttwell and Harry Stannard.

A welcome win indeed, but now Bridges need to start picking up league points as well.

Bridges: Thorp; Lansdale (Adelakun 46), Casselman; Howard-Bold; Cooney; Crellin; Fender; Sargent (Hayles 64); Garrod; Fernandes; Grant (Djilali 26).

Aerotron Man of the Match: Kieron Thorp

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