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Three Bridges 1-0 Chichester City

Three Bridges players celebrate Mason Doughty’s winner (Picture: Eva Gilbert Photography)

A stunning strike by Mason Doughty in the 80th minute condemned Chichester to a first loss in five Isthmian south east division games.

When the teams last met at Jubilee Field in February of the curtailed 2019-20 season a late Kaleem Haitham goal in time added on gave Chi the win in a seven-goal thriller.

And here Chi, with 21 goals in their last seven matches in all competitions, were by far the better side in the opening 45 minutes.

A super run and subsequent pass from left back Rob Hutchings earned the first corner of the match with barely two minutes on the clock.

Lloyd Rowlatt took this and picked out Ben Mendoza who whipped a cross in that Tyrone Madhani headed goal-bound only for a defender to clear.

At the other end Bridges’ Brannon O’Neil wasn’t far away with a free-kick after Callum Chesworth was fouled in a dangerous position.

Madhani and Ryan Davidson got Chi going again with the right back forcing a smart save with his legs out of the hosts’ keeper Dan Smith.

Next Mendoza called Smith into action once more with a fierce effort from fully 30 yards which the shot-stopper palmed away for another in a catalogue of Chi corners.

Mendoza found Emmett Dunn but his header went narrowly over the bar before the former Rocks player skewed an attempt in the 10th minute.

Hutchings, Dunn and Mendoza were all involved in a slick move that ended with Scott Jones flicking the ball into the box but no one was there.

Referee Jamaal Horne brandished a yellow card to Tad Bromage, the only one of a fiercely contested encounter, on the quarter hour mark for deliberate handball.

Smith made another fine stop two minutes later to concede a sixth corner in 17 minutes after neat exchanges between Mendoza, Dunn and Jamie Horncastle before Mendoza dragged one across goal and wide.

Next Davidson picked up a knock in a shooting opportunity and Smith pulled off a spectacular finger tip save to deny Dunn.

Hutchings delivered the subsequent corner and Davidson’s header was turned out for another.

Mendoza tried his luck again from distance on the half hour but it curled away.

Doughty’s pace helped Three Bridges in a rare raid on 32 minutes but Ben Pashley defended capably and steered the ball out for a throw-in.

Doughty then linked up with Billy Irving whose effort from some way out was always going wide.

Madhani, in a second nice run, opened things up for Chi once more but he should have unloaded to Jones.

The Chichester No9 then sent in a cross for Dunn who headed over from close range.

Madhani had a go as the break approached and then pulled a fine stop out of Smith with a set-piece the keeper palmed away for a corner that came to nothing.

Jones was the next Chi player to be denied by Smith, in imperious form, when he got a glove on Jones’ header and not for the first time tipped an effort over the frame of the goal.

After being dominated in the first half, the home side started the second one with more intensity and a higher press.

Substitute Brian Villavicencio drilled an early effort wide before Ben Pashley combined with Rowlatt but the return pass was too firm.

Three Bridges won their first corner of the match eight minutes in only for Matt Axell, who had replaced the injured Davidson, to head clear.

Pashley then played a long ping to Mendoza but Smith was out bravely and took a knock for his troubles.

The hosts might have had a penalty when Hutchings and Doughty came together in the area but Mr Horne awarded a corner which Bromage got a decent connection on and headed wide.

Chesworth then spurned an opportunity clean through one-on-one with Chi keeper Kieran Magee and his counterpart did well to intercept a pass from Dunn intended for Jones.

Villavicencio and Doughty hooked up next but Doughty’s shot on the turn was comfortable enough for Magee.

Madhani couldn’t get enough dip on a 69th minute free-kick and at the other end Doughty fired an attempt off target.

Callum Overton came on for Jones two minutes later and Magee got off his line quickly to beat Doughty to the ball and then Chesworth gave him something else to think about with a shot from distance.

Hutchings lifted one over the bar following good work by Madhani and was involved again with Axell before sending over a cross which Smith misjudged initially but he recovered before Rowlatt could get to the scraps.

And then Lee Hall found Doughty who cut inside and cracked a worldy into the top right-hand corner to make Chi rue their missed chances.

Chichester huffed and puffed for the last 10, and three minutes of additional time, but couldn’t find an equaliser like they did in dramatic circumstances against Sittingbourne at the weekend, and Bridges sub Ben Bacon should have doubled his side’s lead with one of the last kicks of the game.

The win, their second in the league this season, sends Three Bridges above Chi into eighth place with Miles Rutherford’s men twelfth.

Chi are back in cup action next and welcome Great Wakering Rovers to Oaklands Park in the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday 9th October (Kick Off 3pm).

Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Hutchings, Horncastle, Cody, Pashley, Rowlatt, Dunn, Jones, Mendoza, Madhani. Subs: (Haitham, Axell, Hyde, Heath, Overton)