Three Bridges deserved a point from this game, but VCD made it four wins from their quartet of league matches with two goals from their man of the match Leon Lalor-Dell.
Giovani Porciatti made his debut in the Bridges goal and had a decent game, although it could hardly have got off to a worst start when he was cautioned for handling outside the area as he slid to collect a header back by Jamie Crellin.
And here’s where inconsistency annoys players as Kieron Thorp did not get booked for a similar offence in another Bridges game two weeks earlier.
Manager Martin Dynan praised: “It was a much better performance from the lads, with a few returning faces.
“Not much changed in terms of officials, as again this match seemed to be all about them with some controversial decisions.”
Porciatti made a good low save from Dominic Odusanya two minutes later to settle any likely nerves, but Bridges made some good attacking moves of their own and had a decent claim for a penalty after a foul on Alex Laing.
Laing then tested VCD ‘keeper Joe Mant with a nice low drive after a neat lay-off by the ever dangerous Connor French. Soon after French laid off to Liam Collins, whose cross was met by a firm Trevor McCreadie header that Mant held.
But after 31 minutes it was Athletic who took the lead when a free-kick on the right by Lalor-Dell flew into the far corner of the net.
Bridges thought they had equalised five minutes later as Laing had a free-kick blocked, Lee Hall’s follow up was pushed away and McCreadie fired home the loose ball only to be adjudged offside.
Bridges were more in the game in the second half, but sloppy play in the middle of the field gave Alastair Gordon the chance to slip the ball through to Lalor-Dell for his second after 65 minutes.
Jamie Taylor looked lively when he came on and after 72 minutes he showed great strength with his back to goal, holding the ball up before laying it into the path of Tyrone Berry, whose lovely low drive beat Mant.
French fired over following good work by Hall and Laing, but the Bridges defence had to work hard too as the home side threatened on the break.
Jamie Crellin led by example as captain and was well supported by his team-mates at the back.
But the deserved equaliser was not to be, and Bridges now have a week off before resuming action at home to Faversham Town on September 15.
Dynan added: “We kick-on and are working hard to get it right. The lads responded well to a chat we had midweek and showed signs of why I asked them to join us in the summer.”
Bridges: Porciatti, Simpson, Hall, Crellin, Collins, Grant, French, McCreadie (Taylor 59), Berry, Laing, Da Costa e Silva (Naranjo 80).
Unused subs: Lansdale, Bromage, Doughty
Aerotron Man of the Match: