Three first half wonder goals proved to be enough to see us progress to the 2nd round of the Buildbase FA Vase.
Our opponents, Three Bridges, came with a formidable reputation and they certainly started the game on the front foot. The opening 10 minutes saw us penned into our own half but the lads didn’t panic and we slowly started to get a grip on the game.
In the 14th minute the ball was played forward to Tom Neale who, with no support, had no choice but to go on his own. As it turned out he didn’t need any help as he beat the full back and fired a powerful shot across the keeper into the bottom corner of the net. The celebrations proved how much our boys were up for it.
The goal knocked the wind out of our visitors and we applied tremendous pressure which resulted in a 20th minute free kick being given away 5 yards outside the area. Everyone watching was expecting Levi to step up for the kick but it was Jack Mills who took the responsibility, and what a result. Jack unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. 2 up and our tails were well and truly up. In the next couple of minutes both Steve Loveridge and Levi King hit the crossbar and the Bridges keeper made a number of very good saves. There was however nothing he could do about our 3rd goal in the 25th minute.
Levi brought the ball down 25 yards out and, with his Levi vision, he spotted the keeper of his line off his line and promptly lobbed the ball over his head. A fantastic goal, and a fantastic first 25 minutes from the boys.
With a 3 goal lead I think we relaxed a bit too much, because within a minute, hesitation in the defense allowed our visitors to pull one back. Michael Campbell with the goal. The remaining 15 minutes of the half was a bit nervy as Bridges tried to close the gap even more but the defense held out to take a 3-1 lead into the break.
The 2nd half saw Three Bridges applying more pressure than the first but our defense worked hard and looked fairly comfortable. A special mention should be made of Jermaine Queensborough who dealt with everything that was thrown at him, including a couple of cowardly charges into his back by the increasing frustrated Bridges players.
A goal in the 65th minute for our guests lead to an anxious last 25 for our supporters but our players remained concentrated and, in the end, put together one of the strongest 90 minutes of our season.
A well deserved win against a strong, if not a bit arrogant, opposition. Away to Walton & Hersham in the next round on the 11th November