Three Bridges secured their second win of the BetVictor Isthmian South East season as they won 1-0 at Chichester City on Tuesday evening.
It was a stubborn defensive display mixed with poor finishing at times but attributed mainly to a stunning goalkeeping performance by Kieron Thorp, who – delayed by traffic – only arrived at the ground ten minutes before kick-off.
He showed his class after twelve minutes with two quickfire saves before Dean Gunner cleared a third effort off the line.. A minute later Lloyd Rowlatt for once got the better of Matt Whitehead only to see his cross blasted over by Emmett Dunn.
Thorp then made a terrific point blank save to keep out Corey Heath’s header before Bridges at last responded with Tom Tolfrey’s low cross being met by a stabbed effort from Brannon O’Neill.
Josh Clack and the impressive Gicu Iordache were the next to be denied by Thorp, and Bridges responded with John Lansdale setting Reece Price-Placid free on the right, the resulting cross being met by the head of Tolfrey before being somehow cleared for a corner.
But from this corner, a Chichester defender handled inside the area and Tolfrey drilled home the 40th minute penalty.
City no doubt felt that this was against the run of play, and their mood wasn’t improved as the half ended with another brilliant save from Lordache by Thorp.
He was again in action two minutes into the second half, but Chichester’s intensity was much lower in this second period with Thorp not troubled half as much.
Much of this could be attributed to a determined defensive display with Gunner and Tadley Bromage looking particularly solid in the heart of the back four.
Whitehead and Lansdale were amongst those throwing themselves in the way of hopeful strikes by City, one block by the former to deny Heath being notably brave.
Gunner cleared off the line as City piled on the pressure in the closing stages, but it was obviously going to be the visitors’ day when Heath shot wide following a pinpoint cross by Robert Hutchings in added time!
Bridges : Thorp; Williams; Whitehead; Bromage; Gunner; Sabek (Azzouz, 67); Price-Placid; O’Neill; Tolfrey (B.Kosia, 86); Lansdale; Sesay. Unused: Welch; Baxter.