Heath Leave Bridges With All Three Points
By Stuart Morgan
In a game that had nearly everything Heath left with all three points as Nathan Cooper struck deep in added on time
If ever there was an advert for non-league football this match had to be it, goals, sending off, saves and a penalty.
Heath went into the match without Karly Akehurst (Suspended) and Byron Napper (Unwell) there was however a few familiar faces with Naim Rouane straight into the middle of the park and Trevor McCreadie in amongst the subs.
Our Hosts have been in fine form of late climbing the table and to be fair on a wet night at Jubilee Fields were good value for their half time lead although it certainly wasn't all one way traffic in the first half.
Heath started the match well with Callum Saunders calling Bridges keeper James Shaw into action early on with a good stop, Alex Laing was next to try his luck but the effort was harmlessly wide of the target.
The hosts woke up and an effort from Ibby Akanbi was just wide of the mark, the hosts upped their game and the ever dangerous Alex Clark fired narrowly wide after cutting in from the right wing.
With 12 minutes played Sean Roddy was needed to make a perfectly timed block that had goal written all over it had he not be bang on the money.
With 20 minutes played only a fine save from James Shaw prevented Kane Louis opening the scoring and the loose ball went over the bar from Andrew Dalhouse's overhead attempt.
Although Three Bridges enjoyed good spells of possession Heath looked dangerous going forwards and when Melford Simpson found Callum Saunders 30 yards out from goal he drove forwards and fired into the bottom right corner on 25 minutes.
Bridges 0-1 Heath
The game started to play out in the middle of the park until the 38th minute when Alex Clark beat Luke Robinson and pulled the ball back to Connor French who fired past Josh Heyburn with the added deflection off Nathan Coopers chest to tie the game up.
Bridges 1-1 Heath
Heath almost retook the lead straight away but Melford Simpson's effort came back off the outside of the post. The drama took another turn 2 minutes before the end of the half as Heath's quick break was broken down a ball through the middle found Brannon O'Neill and he gave Josh Heyburn no chance finding the back of the net.
Half Time - Bridges 2-1 Heath
Heath started the 2nd half with a shoot on sight policy all lead by the influential Alex Laing, Block saved and wide were his three attempts inside the opening 5 minutes of the half, but despite Heath's early dominance of the half it was Bridges who increased their lead on 57 minutes as George Gaskin found some space to turn and find the back of the net.
Bridges 3-1 Heath
The 2 goal lead lasted just a minute though as Heath won a free kick half way inside the Bridges half, Callum Saunders sent in a perfect free kick that Alex Laing got in fron of his marker and headed powerfully home.
Bridges 3-2 Heath
With just over an hour played Alex Laing was again in the thick of it committing a foul just outside the Heath box that earned him a yellow card but the events after put a spin on the game as Bridges most influential player Alex Clark was show a straight red for a headbutt. Any signs of the hosts shutting up shop never showed up as they looked to add to their tally even though they were now down to 10 men. Josh Heyburn again made a great stop on 67 minutes with a full length diving save.
It was all level with 71 minutes on the clock and from 45 yards Callum Saunders saw keeper Jame Shaw out of position as he lined up a free kick looking like a standard floated ball into the box but then let rip that the keeper just could readjust to get to.
Bridges 3-3 Heath
Trevor McCreadie then made his return replacing Melford Simpson and his energy again sparked new life into the Heath attack, Heath then saw efforts from Kane Louis go wide, Alex Laing again brought out a save from James Shaw and also saw another effort well blocked.
As time ran down neither side was content with just a point, a smart turn and shot needed saving by Heyburn before a high challenge on Laing earned Gaskin just a yellow but would end the winger match as after a good 5-7 minutes he needed to be stretchered off.
Deep in Injury time Laing's replacement Alusine Bangura almost won it but on the stretch couldn't keep the ball down then with 10 minutes extra played Trevor McCreadie turned in the box and had his ankles clipped and the referee didn't hesitate at pointing at the spot. Callum Saunders stepped up but it was James Shaw guessing right and saving the spot kick at the expense of just a corner. Saunders went straight over and sent the corner in that captain Nathan Cooper got in front of the keeper and his marker to head in the winner.
Full Time Bridges 3-4 Heath