Sussex Senior Cup Semi-Final Tue 1 March Sussex County FA
Three Bridges
  • Pattenden (38')
  • Meekums (52', 78')
  • Rodari (70')
  • Kealy (72')

Following Saturday’s impressive win over Enfield Town, Luca Cocoracchio, Marvin Armstrong, Dajon Golding and Reece Myles-Meekums came in for Joel Colbran, Ollie Pearce, Jesse Starkey and the cup-tied James Beresford. Ollie and Jesse were joined on the subs bench by Club Captain Darren Budd and U18’s and Academy Skipper Owen Spicer.

A quiet start to a decidedly wet evening saw the designated visitors – Worthing – dominate possession, though Bridges netminder Mitch Bromage remained largely untroubled.

Particularly when the first real chance, after twelve minutes, resulted in Davide Rodari volleying Cam Tutt’s left wing cross over the bar, fence and Shoreham.

The one save he was required to make emanated from a Jasper Pattenden corner, that Aarran Racine met and led to Golding being kept out by the ‘home ‘keeper from close in.

Reds’ Skip then almost inadvertently helped to open the scoring at the other end, when fromer Rebel Curt Gayler robbed him on the right-hand edge of the penalty area, then flashed a dangerous low drive across the face of Harrison Male’s goal.

However, pressure finally paid off thanks to a typically patient build-up on the left that all started when Cocoracchio played forward to Myles-Meekums. A quick turn of speed by Meeky and a slide-rule pass to send Golding bursting to the byline later, resulted in Bromage only able to push out the ball to centre-half and brother Tad, which allowed Reece to lay back to Pattenden who stroked home.

A mere six minutes had elapsed in the second period before Mr. Meekums was heavily involved in the Isthmian League leaders doubling their previously slender advantage.

Danny Barker went on a charge through the middle and his threaded through ball gave Callum Kealy the chance to turn his marker Ryan Brackpool, only for the ball to run onto Myles-Meekums who took it in his stride and picked out the bottom corner. Despite Bromage, M getting a hand to his low, curling effort.

The side from the South Coast might have made it three-nil, thanks to a lovely clipped pass down the left flank by Cocoracchio that sent Kealy clear. He proceeded to turn Brackpool inside out and, with Giani Ashley unable to get rid, Golding blasted a good opening over the top when well placed.
Recent replacement Michael Wilson, rather ambitiously, tried to beat Male from virtually the centre circle; taking Brackpool’s short pass, advancing briefly and clearing the target quite comfortably in a rare attack by Bridges.

Rodari should have put the game to bed but headed Pattenden’s delivery the wrong side of the upright and was almost made to pay for that miss, when Racine gave the ball straight to Bryan Villavicencio who immediately slid in Gayler. Unfortunately for the midfielder, he placed his shot too close to Male.

Play soon switched to the other end again when Pattenden surged down the right and teed-up Kealy in the eighteen yard box, only for a sliding Joe Stone to deflect the danger over and out for a flag-kick.

Two goals in sixty seconds then sealed Worthing’s place in the final.

Firstly, Cam Tutt’s corner was only glanced as far as the ‘d’, leaving enough room for Rodari to steam in and smash a rocket out of the reach of Mitch Bromage, into the old bottom corner.

The fourth was soon with Kealy, as the Aussie hitman got on the end of substitute Pearce’s precise pass across the area to knock home, six yards out.

Roles reversed moments later, with Kealy finding Pearcey in space, in the danger zone, only for Ollie to lift the ball over the crossbar. Although, in fairness, it did appear to be slightly behind him.

Eleven to go and a seven-man move started with Cocoracchio switching the play from right to left. In the blink of an eye, Marvin Armstrong held up then Pattenden took over at a rate of knots, before handing things over to Kealy who swivelled and fed Myles-Meekums to apply the coup de grace from close range.

To their credit, Three Bridges never let their heads drop and still managed to carve out a couple of late opportunities to get themselves on the scoresheet.

Top scorer, Dan Perry pounced on a loose ball and fired goalwards but a lack of venom behind it gave Male an easy gather.

Finally, a rare lapse in concentration in the Reds’ rearguard saw Barker let a Cocoracchio pass go past him, allowing sub Cam Lawson to seize on the mistake; racing clear of Pattenden although unable to beat Male at his front stick. The custodian’s outstretched boot ensuring the recently introduced Starkey could mop up.