Yet again West Bridgford found their squad depleted in this away match at Arnold Town, so much so that Liam Porter from the academy was drafted in and the management duo of Chris Marks and Stuart Robinson both had to be named on the substitute bench.
The game kicked off in dark and damp conditions with Bridgford starting brightly with attacks down both flanks through Sylla and Jayieola. Arnold also had a chance in the opening minutes when Danny Hayes headed just wide from an in-swinging corner.
Abou Sylla and Carl Westcarr had chances before the home keeper Connor Smith cleared straight to Jamie Spiers who fired just over from distance. Two minutes later in the 25th minute opposition keeper Smith blundered badly when a simple back pass by Danny Hayes was sliced into his own net for the Bridgford opener. (0-1 Bridgford).
5 minutes later Arnold brought on substitute Matthew Peberday for their injured keeper Connor Smith. Bridgford keeper Sam Clark then superbly pushed away a fierce drive by Mason Cox.
In the 37th minute a forceful run into the box by Jamie Spiers set up Carl Westcarr to extend the reds lead. (0-2 Bridgford).
Just as it looked that Bridgford would have a two goal half time advantage a poor misjudgment from keeper Sam Clark allowed Danny Hayes to head home reducing the deficit in the 44th minute.
HT 1-2 Bridgford
In the 55th minute West Bridgford introduced substitute Tim Hopkinson for Abou Syla and began to press.
The young energetic Arnold Town side equalised however in the 60th minute through Kaylum Mitchell and three minutes later a cross from the Arnold left side saw Clark misjudge another cross pushing the ball straight to the head of veteran striker Barry Payne who nodded home for a shock Arnold 3-2 lead – a superb fightback from the hosts.
Back came West Bridgford and two minutes later former Arnold Town striker Aaron Large curled in a magnificent 35 yard free kick into the top right hand corner – it was a moment of pure brilliance which had both sets of supporters applauding. (3-3)
West Bridgford continued to attack through efforts from Newsome and Spiers and on the 78th minute a long ball from captain Jonathan Ventrella saw Carl Westcarr outpace the Arnold defence to place the ball in the net for Bridgford’s fourth and his 15th goal of the season. (3-4 Bridgford)
Arnold refused to lie down and in the 83rd minute levelled again, Sam Clark again parried a cross from the right from substitute Alex Clarson putting the ball to the feet of Kaylm Mitchell who blasted home for yet another equaliser. (4-4)
The match finished with a flurry of West Bridgford chances but with both sides looking settled for a point each, man of the match Jamie Spiers drove his way into the Arnold Town box and fed former Nottingham Forest striker Tim Hopkinson who tapped in at the near post to win the contest for Bridgford.
FT 4-5 West Bridgford
Man Of The Match: Jamie Spiers
West Bridgford Joint Manager Stuart Robinson w as pleased after the game: ‘It was a terrific game, two young sides going at each other for 90 minutes. Arnold caused us so many problems with their movement and pace in the final third and were as good as anything we have we have come across this season – to come from behind and win it at the death shows fantastic character’