Dulwich Hamlet 2 Three Bridges 0

Three Bridges FC v Burgess Hill FC
Three Bridges FC v Burgess Hill FC

Bridges gave another spirited and defiant performance but came away pointless again, hardly surprising as second-placed Dulwich Hamlet had won 15 and drawn two of their previous 17 games.

The table doesn’t lie, but bottom of the table Bridges are making a determined fight to lift themselves into a position where they have a fighting chance of survival. A week earlier they gained a precious point at third-placed Leatherhead, and they certainly gave Dulwich plenty to think about in this encounter.

The defence was again in obdurate mood, but things just aren’t falling for the side in attack. Just 20 minutes into the game, they were gifted a glorious chance to take the lead when the ball cannoned off a defender and left Romone McCrae clean through with just keeper Phil Wilson to beat, but he inexplicably shot wide.

Earlier Erhun Oztumer had headed over the bar for Dulwich, while a long range effort from Hassan Nyang was held well by Wilson, who was then called into action twice more after McCrae’s miss.

McCrae hit a good long ball for the ever willing Marcus Elliott to chase, but Wilson just managed to get to the ball first, but when Wilson slipped as Abu Touray chipped towards goal, the ball just wouldn’t fall for Elliott before a defender could clear and Wilson could recover.

The half ended with Williams Peauroux’s first time shot going high and wide, and it seemed inevitable that Hamlet would come out in better shape after a likely dressing down from their manager Gavin Rose. Ten minutes into the second half Nyren Clonis played the ball wide to Ellis Green, whose excellent cross was headed in by Oztumer. And it could have been two in less than a minute when Daniel Carr’s cross was met at the far post by a terrible miss from right back Luke Hickie.

But Bridges refused to give in lightly and they probably had as many if not more attacks than their hosts.

Wilson got down well to save a snap shot from Elliott, who also comfortably held on to a Tim Rivers free-kick. Joel O’Hara set up McCrae, but Wilson again held on, and the home keeper then rode his luck when he almost surprised by another drive from McCrae.

At the other end, Jess Grimstone made a good double save to deny Oztumer, but after 75 minutes he seemed to be wrong footed as Yaw Boateng’s brave block of Xavier Vidal’s shot fell invitingly to left back Ryan James, whose slightly mishit shot sailed into the far corner. Even the home officials felt that the scoreline flattered their team, but the final result left Bridges still seven points adrift and urgently in need of a morale-boosting victory.

Bridges: Grimstone, Boateng, Brake (Rivers 72), Maxwell, Hooper, O’Hara, Peauroux, Nyang, Elliott, McCrae, Touray.

Unused subs: Olafunmishe, Johnson, Joseph, Jemwa.

Aerotron Man of the Match: Marlon Maxwell