The Chipstead players celebrated loudly at the end of the game that they were staying up. But it does not look anywhere near as promising for Three Bridges in a game that was not helped by a wicked wind and a terrible pitch.
The first half was a non event as both sets of players struggled to keep possession and were reduced to long hopeful balls that the defences largely dealt with, although even then some of the clearances would have been frowned upon by park footballers!
It took 34 minutes for either keeper to be seriously tested and even then Martin Grant comfortably held on to Callum Maclean’s drive. But the half ended semi encouragingly for Three Bridges with two efforts from Hakeem Adelakun, the first curling just wide of the far post and the second being a free kick that went marginly over the crossbar.
Chipstead came out of the blocks more determined after the interval though with Karl Parker dragging his shot wide after a nice through ball by Jason Henry. But after 50 minutes a hooked effort by Parker drifted past Martin Grant into the net, and Three Bridges found themselves on the back foot once again.
Parker was now enjoying himself and he forced Martin Grant to a fine diving save, but after 55 minutes Maclean won possession and laid the ball back for Parker to drill a well placed shot into the far corner.
It got even worse after 66 minutes when Jensen Grant was adjudged to have handled the ball as it was blasted at him from less than a yard, and although Martin Grant got a hand to it he could not keep out Chris O’Flaherty’s spot kick.
Four minutes later Three Bridges gained a consolation when Alex Rose’s cross was met by a header from Tony Garrod that looped over everyone into the net. Tony Garrod then hit a lovely shot that deflected to safety off another Three Bridges player, but at the other end Martin Grant had to make good saves to deny Ollie Twum and Jason Henry.
A cracking volley by Kieran Allen Djilali in added time was punched away by Luke Colquhoun, but the sad fact was that it was one of the few times that the Chipstead keeper was seriously tested.
RYMAN ISTHMIAN FL. SENIOR DIVISION SOUTH – 25/03/17
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