Three Bridges extend lead at the top with win over Sussex rivals
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But Bridges felt they should have had an early opportunity to spoil that record when Ibrahim Jalloh looked to have been sent tumbling to the ground inside the penalty box with only three minutes on the clock!
Noel Leighton was unlucky with a couple of close chances but Chichester responded with a stinging effort by Emmett Dunn that Jasper Sheik dealt with at the second time of asking. Ethan Prichard also fired just wide, but at the other end there was a goal line clearance.
With the game finely in the balance, City were awarded a penalty after 36 minutes for a clumsy challenge, but Steve Hutchings’ crisply hit spot kick was brilliantly pushed away by Sheik, and the sides duly went in on deserved level terms.
What turned out to be the winning goal came ten minutes into the second half as Bridges exerted pressure in a crowded goalmouth. Harvey Woollard, who along with the equally diminutive Bryan Villavicencio bossed the centre of midfield, hit goalwards from the edge of the box, and the defensive block saw the ball rear up towards Leighton, whose header looped over keeper Kieran Magee. It was Leighton’s fifteenth of the season to date, and whilst it is unlikely to feature in any Goal of the Season nominations, it certainly proved vital as Bridges held on for their first ‘clean sheet’ of the season!
Much of this can be attributed to excellent performances at the back by the likes of Taylor Curran and Ridwan Euba, but the visitors also showed plenty of flair going forward with Jalloh and Kevin Rivera both unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Camron Lawson had two half chances to give Bridges breathing space, especially as Chichester threw everything at them in the final stages with Sheik having to brilliantly tip over a cracker from Conrad Honore in the third of six added minutes.
Bridges Man of the Match – Harvey Woollard.
Chichester : K.Magee, R.Davidson, R.Hutchings, J.Clarke (J.Moore, 80), C.Da Costa, B.Pashley, S.J.Lee (I.Bello, 54), E.Dunn, S.Hutchings, C.Honore, E.Prichard. Unused Subs. – J.Horncastle, O.Munt, A.Mohamed. Booked – Dunn (80). Bridges : J.Sheik, D.Ferreria, R.Euba, T.Curran, B.O’Neill, B.Villavivencio, E.Archer (C.Lawson, 69), H.Woollard, N.Leighton, K.Rivera, I.Jalloh (B.Irving, 87). Unused Subs. – J.Bendall, E.Hanslow, C.Collcutt. Booked – Euba (23), Curran (35). Referee – Jacob Wright.