Three Bridges 1 Loxwood 2: Bridges exit Sussex Senior Cup

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Three Bridges were brought down to earth as they limped out of the Sussex Senior Cup against Sussex County League opposition.

Loxwood were the better side on the night and made light of the atrocious conditions, the wind and rain being no obstacle for them as too many players had an off-night by their standards.

Academy keeper Tyrone Williams was making his first team debut and was guilty of mistakes for both Loxwood goals.

But too often he was put under unnecessary pressure by former Bridges striker Dean Wright who easily outpaced their defenders.

Bridges started reasonably well and Sam Smith had to be alert to push away a dipping effort from Tony Garrod. And after twenty minutes a lovely low cross from the left by Garrod eluded Allan Tait but was met by Abu Touray, only for him to be denied by the crossbar.

Williams’ distribution had already looked doubtful at times before Loxwood pounced for a 38th minute lead. Nigel Brake passed back to him and he got himself in a tangle as Mark Cave closed him down and stole the ball before jabbing into an empty net.

The visiting supporters were now giving Williams hoots of derision every time the ball came his way, but he kept his cool and was still vocal as he encouraged Bridges players to go forward.

Bridges showed a bit more passion as the second half unfolded and a great 59th minute run by Callum Donaghey ended with a sliderule pass for Touray to drive home the equaliser.

Tait will be disappointed with his diving header from Garrod’s dink to the far post as it went wide of the opposite post.

But just as we were in the ascendancy, Wright broke clear and was upended by Williams.

The referee showed leniency as most of the crowd anticipated a red card instead of the yellow shown, but Williams – although he dived the right way – couldn’t keep out the spot-kick by Ollie Gill, who was playing for Bridges Under-18s last season.

It looked like another goal was coming Wright’s way when he burst through again, but Williams saved this one, whilst Tom Summerfield also broke clear but shot wide.

Smith made a good block to deny Touray and good play between Lee Carney and Ben Godfrey ended with the latter almost breaking the crossbar with a vicious shot, but there were precious few highlights for Bridges on the night.

Bridges: Williams, Peauroux (Leach 79), Brake (Pulling 79), Crellin, Donaghey, Godfrey, Touray, Carney, Garrod, Tait, Whitehead (MacVicar 65).

Unused subs: Newman, Jones.

Loxwood: Smith, Holvey (Summerfield 79), Hoyte, French, Familton, Swaine, Wood, Scally (Gill 70), Wright, Cave, Findlay (Elkana 76). Unused subs: Martin, Pritchard.

Aerotron Man of the Match: Callum Donaghey