A late Jordan Wheatley penalty earned West Bridgford a hard fought point away to Kimberley today.
Bridgford travelled to Kimberley today in the second game of their East Midlands Counties campaign. Heavy rain and blustery conditions were a contrast from last weeks perfect sunshine.
Bridgford were the first to show when a precise through ball from Ryan Wheatley put Ryan Whitehurst in on goal on 5 minutes. His shot was saved by the home keeper to deny Bridgford an early lead.
On 10 minutes the game was turned on it’s head when the Kimberley forward Goodhall was adjudged to be onside in behind the Bridgford defence. Goalkeeper James Fogg came out of his area to challenge but committed a foul and as the last line of defence, was shown a straight red card.
With no keeper on the bench, Bridgford were forced to move midfielder Joe Terry in to the goal and would have to play the remaining 80 minutes with a man less than their opponents.
Despite this, Bridgford dominated the remainder of the first half, Hopkinson and Whitehurst both had opportunities to score. On 35 minutes Bridgford suffered a further setback as John Whitehurst, a scorer last week at Clipstone, took a knock on his knee and had to be replaced.
Half Time Kimberley Miners Welfare FC 0 West Bridgford FC 0
The second half started as the first had ended, Bridgford creating chances, but not taking them. They were punished on 55 minutes when a freekick from the left found Jordan Lambert who managed to scramble the ball past Terry in the Bridgford goal.
The game became stretched as the 10 men of Bridgford strived to find a way back into the match, this led to chances at both ends. Stand in keeper Terry making a number of impressive saves as he kept his sides hopes alive, Whitehurst, Oldham and Hopkinson all going close at the other end.
The decisive moment for Bridgford came in the 85th minute. A ball into the box resulted in Tom Batterham being fouled by the Kimberley keeper and a penalty was awarded. Jordan Wheatley showed great composure to drill the ball into the bottom right hand corner and level the match.
Bridgford continued to push looking for a winner, Batterham almost converted from a tight angle and in the last minute, Hopkinson outpaced the home defence but fired his shot just over the bar.
Full Time Kimberley Miners Welfare 1 West Bridgford FC 1
With the chances created Bridgford will feel disappointed to not win the game, however, playing for 80 minutes with 10 men and still getting something from the game shows great commitment and effort from the players.
Bridgford finish the day in third place in the early league table, with 4 points from their opening two games. There is no game next Saturday, Bridgford return to action away to Gedling on Saturday 24th August.