Amazingly, Three Bridges’ first home win since 19th December, and it needed some stout defending in the second half to prevent Hastings United from completing a comeback.
The early signals weren’t good when Manager Paul Faili was sent to the stands for what was an obvious misinterpreted comment after only seventeen minutes.
An evenly balanced game turned in the home side’s favour after 25 minutes as John Lansdale played a long ball over the top and JAMIE BROTHERTON raced clear of the Hastings defence to drill his shot under goalkeeper Harry Doherty.
When Doherty raced out of his goal five minutes later, the ever busy Steve Sargent was only just over as he hit a forty yard shot first time, but two minutes after that Tony Garrod sent over the perfect cross from the right for the impressive SAM MACVICAR to head home at the far post.
And by the 38th minute, it was 3-0 as Tony Garrod challenged and the ball ran loose to JAMIE BROTHERTON, who netted with an audacious chip as the visiting defenders scrambled back in vain.
But three minutes before the interval, Hastings were awarded a penalty for a trip and Hastings’ most dangerous player at that point, left back Sam Cole, made no mistake from the spot.
Hakeem Adelakun skimmed the crossbar as Three Bridges tried to extend their advantage after the break, whilst Sam Adams fired just wide for Hastings.
On the hour, a good move involving Mark Pulling, Abu Touray and Hakeem Adelakun ended with Tony Garrod shooting straight at Doherty, and the ball was swiftly delivered to the opposite end where a shot by Chris Cumming-Bart deflected off John Lansdale into the bottom corner.
Hastings now fancied an equaliser and when Robin Deen sent Tyrell Richardson-Brown clear on the right, it needed an excellent block by Kieron Thorp to prevent the visitors from achieving their aim.
But despite a lot of attacks by the visitors, Kieron Thorp was rarely troubled after that, and much credit must go to a mean Three Bridges back four.
Jamie Crellin, Drew Cooney and John Lansdale were all excellent again, and so too was Mark Pulling, playing in an unusual (for him) left back role in the absence of Nigel Brake, Matt Daniel and Matt Whitehead.
He even broke forward and tried an ambitious shot, but it was his organisational skills that shone out. Three Bridges might have had a couple more goals themselves through Abu Touray and Hakeem Adelakun, but the win was very welcome.
Stat Facts … Our fifth League double of the season as Tony Garrod celebrated his hundredth appearance for us.
Ryman Isthmian FL. Senior Division South – 23/02/16
THREE BRIDGES 3 v 2 Hastings United
Three Bridges – K Thorp, J Lansdale, M Pulling, S Sargent, D Cooney J Crellin (Capt),
S MacVicar (A Touray 54mins), B Godfrey, H Adelakun, T Garrod (M Casselman 70mins),
Unused Subs – O Barry, K Newman-Knott, A Jones.
Scorers – J Brotherton (26mins & 38mins), S MacVicar (33mins).
Disciplinary – J Crellin (caution 24mins), M Pulling (caution 28mins), D Cooney (caution 67mins).
J Brotherton (89mins).
AEROTRON Man of the Match – JAMIE BROTHERTON – (selected by Mick Bonner).
Match Report by Alf Blackler.
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