A game settled by a penalty shoot out in the end, but everyone in the ground – both on and off the pitch – wondered how there weren’t any goals during normal playing time!
Mitch Bromage, one of three players making their senior debut for Bridges, made a good early save from Tyler Christian Law, and the ball switched to the other end of the field for Dan Perry to be denied by Harry Brooks.
Alex Barbary was also denied by Brooks, who also prevented Noel Leighton from marking his debut with a goal, whilst Bromage denied Johan Canvey-Brown. The latter also hit the bar but was guilty of missing three decent opportunities. With so many chances going begging at both ends, it came as no surprise that one from each side, Kane Rowland and Curtis Gayler, drove wide as the half drew to a close.
Three more teenagers were introduced to the game for Bridges at half time, Ben Aubrey and Camron Lawson getting their latest opportunities to impress and Harvey Woolard making his debut with an excellent performance in midfield.
Injury curtailed Bromage’s debut and his replacement Leo Anderson was soon called into action with a brilliant tip over from Toby Ajala’s header.
More chances came at both ends, but three minutes into the four added at the end of the game, Brannon O’Neill saw Brooks off his line and tried an audacious lob from just inside Sittingbourne’s half. Ironically this too went just wide!
So, into the penalty shoot out. James Hawkins (Sittingbourne) and O’Neill both netted. Harry Stannard hit the visitors’ second, but Leighton then blasted over the bar. The next four penalties were all excellently put away, Yao Aziamale and Ajala for Sittingbourne and Lawson and Ben Bacon for Bridges. Anderson then saved from Jed Smith and Joe Kay levelled at 4-4.
Sudden death therefore and after Harrison Pont netted for Sittingbourne, Brooks guessed correctly and saved from Dan Mobsby to earn his side a trip to Tooting And Mitcham United in the next round. The score on penalties though might well have been the score during the previous ninety plus minutes on another night!