By Alf Blackler
It was a tale of two penalties as Bridges fell back into the bottom three following this undeserved defeat. The Hillians took their chance on the hour for what proved to be the winner, while skipper Lee Carney was denied by the post and a fluke deflection three minutes from time.
Bridges could hardly have wished for a better start though as they took a fourth minute lead.
Allan Tait and Tony Garrod combined to force a corner, and Carney’s flag kick found Garrod on the edge of the box towards the left, and his sweet volley comfortably beat ‘keeper Tom Beadle.
But Bridges couldn’t add to their tally, and they found themselves having to defend stoutly as the home side played a lot of long balls for their wide men to chase. Nigel Brake and Owen Roberts were covering brilliantly and they frustrated Burgess Hill.
But Hillians skipper Darren Budd was having plenty of the ball and Martin Grant had to be on top form with a number of punched clearances as the ball was continually pumped into the area.
A good passing move at the start of the second half finished with Abu Touray having his shot held low by Beadle, but the home side’s pressure paid off after 57 minutes when the ball fell invitingly for Lee Harding to drive home from eight yards.
Bridges then lost Garrod to injury, and on the hour Brake’s only mistimed tackle of the game resulted in a penalty when he felled Pat Harding.
Joe Keehan duly netted from the spot and Bridges were now chasing a game they’d led.
Touray came close with a header following a cross from Mark Pulling, who looked dangerous as Garrod’s replacement, and another of his crosses was met by a fierce header from Elliott Romain, but Beadle made an instinctive block.
A few half chances at both ends kept the game interesting and Bridges seemed to have been offered a lifeline when a handball in the area was spotted by the referee.
With Garrod, the recent penalty taker, off the field, skipper Carney took the responsibility, and Beadle was even going the wrong way until the ball cannoned off the post and the keeper’s trailing foot to safety.
Bridges: Grant, Cooke (Daniel 73), Brake, Roberts, Leach, Romain, Peauroux, Carney, Tait, Garrod (Pulling 73), Touray.
Unused subs: Parsons, Djimah, Maxwell
Aerotron Man of the Match: Nigel Brake