Three Bridges get off to winning start

Football. Three Bridges v Uckfield. Conner French congratulates Mitchell Casselman scoring 1st goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1718691 SUS-170814-110349001
Football. Three Bridges v Uckfield. Conner French congratulates Mitchell Casselman scoring 1st goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1718691 SUS-170814-110349001

A win to start their league season, but Bridges were forced to hang on in the dying minutes as ten-man AFC Uckfield Town gained a late penalty and then strived for an equaliser that had looked beyond their reach for much of the game.

Having said that, the visitors started lively enough and the tricky Hassan Ibrahim almost netted inside four minutes with a wicked curling effort that brought a magnificent save from Kieron Thorp.

Ibrahim also saw a free-kick just clear Thorp’s bar, but in between a delicious low cross by Nathan Crabb was spooned over by Mitchell Casselman from close-range.

But a superb run down the left by Matt Whitehead after nine minutes finished with one of the smallest man on the field, the diminutive Casselman, placing a header beyond the reach of keeper James Firman.

But Firman then tipped over a header from Lee Hall following a pinpoint corner from Liam Collins.

The game turned on its head on the stroke of half-time as Collins, Whitehead and Ibrahim all earned the wrath of the referee for arguing about the placement of a free-kick.

While all this was going on Jamie Crellin fell to the ground as Matt Black aimed a fist in his direction, one of the assistants seeing enough to earn Black a straight red card!

Uckfield’s hopes of a comeback took a turn for the worse four minutes into the second half when Casselman laid the ball back to Whitehead, who strode forward to hit a curling effort similar to that of Ibrahim’s, but this time it had the beating of the opposition keeper!

Whitehead almost turned provider when his cross was met by substitute T-Jay Johnson, but the header was somehow scrambled away, whilst the ever willing John Lansdale also came close as Bridges looked for that important third goal.

Instead, Oneil Odofin was adjudged to have held an opponent in the goal area, and with just four minutes of normal time left Anthony Storey stroked home the resulting penalty to lead to an anxious finale which Bridges survived.

Bridges: Thorp, Collins, Whitehead, Lansdale, Conroy, Crellin (Odofin 81), Casselman (Johnson 57), Grant, French (Newman-Knott 81), Hall, Crabb.

Unused subs: Lombardo, Mutongerwa

Aerotron Man of the Match:

Matt Whitehead

Stat Fact: The 100h start in a Bridges shirt for John Lansdale.