Three Bridges produced a superb second-half fightback to knock Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-21 out of the Sussex Senior Cup last night.
Goals from Ben Godfrey and Sam MacVicar in the last 17 minutes saw the Ryman League South Division overturn a half-time deficit at the Jubilee Field against Albion’s young prodigies.
This was a brilliant victory for Bridges and one that they eventually deserved for a second-half display of both skill and determination.
Unsurprisingly, it was Brighton who looked the sharper and slicker in the early stages and they took the lead after just nine minutes following a misplaced pass by Dan Mobsby.
A quick through ball found Daniel Akindayini, whose looping shot looked set to clear the crossbar until it suddenly dropped into the left of the goal.
Akindayini alone probably could have had a hat-trick by half-time, but some good saves by Kieron Thorp and occasional sloppiness by the visitors kept Bridges’ interests alive.
They themselves had chances, MacVicar hitting four great low crosses which somehow evaded the rest of the Bridges attack, whilst Godfrey had a solid drive well held by Harry Doherty and a cracking shot by Hakeem Adelakun was similarly dealt with.
Two half-time substitutions and a change of system led to Bridges more than matching their opponents after that, and at the back the ever reliable Jamie Crellin and Nigel Brake were resisting the speedy Brighton attackers.
It took until the 73rd minute for Bridges to snatch the equaliser though when Mitchell Casselman’s persistence won a corner.
Steve Sargent delivered an inviting ball to the far post and Godfrey dived to head home superbly.
A swerving shot by James Tilley hit the post as Brighton suddenly woke up again, but after 79 minutes a goalmouth melee finished with MacVicar lashing the ball home for what proved to be the winner.
Thorp had to make two important saves in the closing stages, but Paul Faili’s side and the management team deserve all the praise for turning things around and earning a third round tie at home to Eastbourne Borough.
Bridges: Thorp; D.Mobsby; Daniel (Casselman 45), Sargent, Brake, Crellin, Pulling (Lansdale 45), Godfrey, MacVicar, Adelakun (Otobo 90+1), Whitehead. Unused subs: Carney, Jones.
Brighton: Doherty, Hunt, Starkey, Molumby, Dallison, Barclay, Tighe (Ward 79), Hutchinson (Tilley 62), Akindayini, Harper (Harris, 56), Monakana. Unused subs: Sanchez, Deen.
Referee: Paul Saunders.
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