Crawley Down Gatwick 2 Three Bridges 3: Rivers scores late derby winner

Three Bridges Elliott Romain in action SUS-140403-002237002
Three Bridges Elliott Romain in action SUS-140403-002237002

Three Bridges new signing Tim Rivers completed a second half comeback to earn the local bragging rights against his former club.

Returning from Down for a second spell at Jubilee Field, Rivers came off the bench to score an 87th minute winner when he deflected in Carney’s shot.

Bridges started brightly enough with both Lee Carney and Charlie Leach forcing Luke Badiali into action, but despite having most of the possession in the first half, they sometimes lacked composure as the Anvils built a 2-0 lead by half-time.

The opening goal came from a 26th minute free-kick on the edge of the area, Steve Sargent’s effort hitting both posts before rolling over the line.

And then instead of attacking, a sloppy back pass led to all sorts of problems in the 41st minute before the gangly Larry Akanbi hit a beauty over a stranded Martin Grant.

Crawley Down’s defence looked there for the taking, and a slip after 52 minutes allowed Tony Garrod an unexpected shot at goal, but Badiali managed to tip it onto the post before he gathered the rebound.

But a minute later Carney’s corner was met by a powerful header from Elliott Romain, who had a tremendous second half, his pace and determination causing all sorts of problems for the home defence.

Carney’s booking for a foul in a dropped ball situation was little short of ludicrous, and for a while the game became a touch stop-start. But after 68 minutes Leach’s ball into the box was not dealt with and Matt Daniel pounced to drill home the equaliser.

Carney had a great effort somehow blocked as Bridges went for the winner, although there were a couple of worrying moments as the Anvils tried to catch them on the break.

A brilliant substitution led to the winner when Rivers replaced the excellent but tiring Abu Touray. Rivers was very good at shielding the ball and invited the 87th minute free kick that led to him deflecting Carney’s shot past a helpless Badiali.

Crawley Down: Badiali, Hills, Lucas, Akande, Kanu, Nankani (Miller 74), Sargent, Sinclair-Smith (Harriot 81), Tait, Akanbi, Mitchell.

Unused Subs: Miller, Cousins, Solomon.

Bridges: Grant, Leach, Brake, Roberts, Maxwell, Touray (Rivers 85), Peauroux, Carney, Romain, Garrod, Daniel.

Unused Subs: Todd, Casselman, Djimah.