Three Bridges throw away three-goal lead against Herne Bay

A game that Bridges seemed to have comfortably won almost became a defeat, and but for a fantastic last minute save by Jasper Sheik, this could so easily have been a nightmare end for the side.
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The two sides seemed content to test each other out in the opening quarter of the game with only Sheik pushing away an effort from Theo Osinfolarin being worthy of note. But after 26 minutes the two players Bridges have sorely missed recently helped to create the opener for the visitors.

Tresor Difika showed remarkable coolness as he broke up a home attack and then delivered the perfect ball for Kevin Rivera, who broke away despite a couple of challenges and was unselfish with the final ball as he set up IBRAHIM JALLOH for a smart opening goal.

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Noel Leighton came close with a couple of headers and Jalloh caused problems with his pace, but the first half ended with Michael Salako headed wide from a good cross. Both full backs, Tom Hanfrey and Sam German, delivered a string of tempting balls into the box, but a mixture of Bridges stubbornness and some indifferent finishing had let Herne Bay down at this point.

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Camron Lawson and Jalloh both tested Harry Brooks as the second half began, and Leighton headed just over from Ridwan Euba’s delightful cross before Bridges doubled their lead after 55 minutes with Lawson and Leighton being blocked before RIVERA finished with aplomb.

And three minutes later, just after Mo Kamara was wide when decently placed, a quick clearance out of defence found JALLOH, who beat the last defender and the keeper to guide the ball into an empty net.

Three goals clear but suddenly Bridges resorted to long hopeful balls instead of calming the play, and on the hour Sheik managed to parry Kamala’s shot only for SALAKO to jab in the loose ball from a yard out.

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It was now Herne Bay in the ascendancy and after 68 minutes a cross from the left was the perfect invitation for SALAKO to head home. And almost inevitably another identical cross was met by another SALAKO header for his hat trick in the 78th minute.

Bridges were now firmly on the back foot with just a few sporadic attacks, and twice there were last gasp clearances by Sheik and his defence as the game shifted into six added minutes. With the referee also determined to let the game flow, albeit that both sides felt they should have had a few free kicks, this proved to be a thoroughly entertaining match and a credit to the League, but Bridges will feel less happier with the final result than their hosts.Bridges Man of the Match - Jasper Sheik.Bridges are away to Sittingbourne this Saturday (18th) with a 2.00 pm kick off because Sittingbourne have a floodlights problem, and on Tuesday 21st Bridges are at home to Sheppey United.

Bridges : J.Sheik, D.Ferreria, R.Euba, B.Irving, T.Difika, H.Woollard, I.Jalloh, B.O’Neill, N.Leighton, K.Rivera, C.Lawson (O.Williams, 70). Unused Subs. - C.Collcutt, C.Donaghey, H.Griffiths, G.Ashley. Booked - Jalloh (90+5). Referee : James Keane

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