Three Bridges young guns star in thrilling FA Cup draw
Three Bridges manager Jamie Crellin took a calculated gamble at half-time as, with his side 2-0 down at South Park on Saturday in the FA Cup preliminary round, he replaced two senior strikers with a couple of teenagers.
And how they responded as they netted all three of the visitors’ goals before the Sparks struck a late equaliser to earn a replay at the Jubilee Field on Tuesday evening.
South Park were the more positive side with Ibrahim Jalloh going close twice before he then broke free to set up Melford Simpson for a 12th minute opener.
Tom Tolfrey had a shot blocked and Callum Chesworth fired wide of the near post as Bridges tried to counter.
Kieron Thorp had to be alert to prevent Leon Lalor-Dell from netting, and the Bridges keeper did well to hold onto a drilled effort from Ben Jordan.
But South Park doubled their lead after 39 minutes when Jalloh broke down the right and took full advantage of poor defending to net.
Tolfrey had a half chance just before the interval but Bridges had been guilty of playing too many hopeful long balls and their passing had been sloppy.
It all changed within two minutes of the restart as Ben Aubrey played a neat ball through for Mohamadou Juwara to clip home off the inside of the far post.
Both these youngsters then continued to cause the home defence a mountain of problems, and with Chesworth also playing his part, the only danger to Bridges would appear to come from swift counter attacks.
Chesworth was denied by the post but, after 81 minutes, Aubrey latched onto a long ball and brought it under control superbly before calmly placing it past Aaron Bufton.
Brannon O’Neill saw a shot cleared off the line and Juwara rattled the underside of the bar before Aubrey cut inside to give Bridges the lead after 86 minutes.
But Bridges’ joy was short lived as a minute later South Park substitute Kevin Rivera took a through ball in his stride before slipping past Thorp.
Bridges follow their replay with two league games this coming weekend.
On Saturday they travel to Herne Bay and on Bank Holiday Monday they are at home to Sevenoaks Town.