Three Bridges U21s 3 Whitstable Town U21s 3

Ryman Under 21 League South

Monday 22nd December 2014

Scorers: Martin, Lester, Curtis George

The U21s travelled to Three Bridges last night and came away with a 3-3 draw following an entertaining game that could have gone either way.

Whitstable started well and were in control of the game and looking most likely to score when yet another soft goal was conceded on 30 minutes following a mix up on the edge of the penalty area. In comfortable possession Whitstable overplayed on the edge of the box allowing Three Bridges to nick the ball just outside the box, play in their winger who slotted past Wood at the near post. Three Bridges were lifted by their good fortune and were the better side going in to half time 1-0 up.

The second half was end to end stuff on a surprisingly decent playing surface. Town were denied an equaliser when Josh Algar tucked the ball away following a spilled shot by the Three Bridges keeper but he was adjudged to be offside. Shortly after however, on 64 minutes, Matt Martin, looking threatening all evening was played in by Matt Guila and lifted the ball over the advancing keeper to level the scores.

Parity was short lived though as the Three Bridges winger broke down the right flank and crossed for a simple tap in for the centre forward. There were many who thought the scorer was offside but the officials were having none of it and the goal stood, leaving Whitstable trailing 2-1.

Bridges could then have put the game to bed, having a few good chances to extend the lead. It was thanks to Toby Wood who made two outstanding saves to keep Whitstable in the game and this was a turning point. On 82 minutes Joe Lester, on for Martin, raced down the right wing. He crossed the ball to the far post and the ball flew over the keeper, hit the far post and rebounded back in to the net. Lester deserved this good fortune for the pace and commitment he showed to make the run in to the channel and beat his man. 2-2.

Within three minutes Town were ahead. A decent move through midfield ended with the ball being played towards the edge of the Bridges box. Curtis George, making his first start for the 21s skilfully let the ball drop over his right shoulder before placing a volley across the goalkeeper and watched as the ball nestled inside the far post. A quality finish that capped a decent first game for the winger.

Bridges then chucked everything at Town who resolutely kept them out with last ditch defending. The last word however went to the referee, who had already dished out seven bookings in a game that didn’t seem to contain a bad tackle throughout. A free kick was lofted in to the Town box on 92 minutes and was well dealt with by Wood, punching the ball clear. The referee however blew up controversially and awarded a penalty for what he later described as a foul on the Bridges centre forward. No one had appealed for a free kick but it was coolly slotted away to bring the scores level.

All in all it was disappointing to drop two points having fought back and taken the lead. A draw was probably a fair result on the balance of play and chances but this is the second time recently (Chatham away) that Town have conceded late on from set pieces that the young squad will need to learn from to enable us to pick up more points.

Some great commitment from the players following the disappointing display against Faversham that bodes well for the future of the team.

Wood, Skinner, McGinty, Wilkins, Sayer, Healey, Mukura (Baah 57), Algar (Josh 67), Martin (Lester 75), Guila, George.