Bridlington Town 4 Staveley MW 0
The Seasiders got their season off to a perfect start with this impressive win against a side that is going through a transitional period.
It was Town’s first opening day victory for four seasons while Staveley had not lost their first fixture of the season since 2004.
The hosts showed their intent from the kick-off when Scott Phillips just failed with his attempt to lob over goalkeeper Dan Tollerfield but only five minutes in they had taken the lead. Brad Ricketts’ ball in from the right caused confusion in the visiting defence and Craig Hogg pounced to put the ball in.
Town started to take control of proceedings and went further ahead in the 15th minute. Rikki Paylor played in Phillips who went round the on-rushing Tollerfield before steering the ball in from a wide angle.
Staveley danger man Ryan Damms got in a cross from the right despite the attention of Wayne Aziz but Chris Jenkinson was on hand to clear into touch.
Brid’s domination was emphasised with a stunning goal one minute before the half-hour mark. Joel Sutton latched on to the ball fully 30 yards out and lashed it past a startled Tollerfield.
There was a bizarre incident nine minutes before the break when Staveley’s Josh Scully went off the field to have an earring removed and when he returned he was shown a yellow card for not awaiting the referee’s permission.
In an isolated attempt on Mark Wilberforce’s goal, Luke Beatson headed just over the bar from Rod Ludlam’s free kick.
Town were playing the ball about with confidence and only the offside flag stopped Sutton getting through on the right then an Allanson corner was returned to him by Ricketts and the midfielder’s attempt with the outside of the foot was tipped round by Tollerfield. Jenkinson headed the resultant flag kick just past the post.
The Seasiders went into the interval with a comfortable lead while Staveley had failed to trouble Wilberforce.
Three minutes into the second half the game was put out of reach of the visitors. Hogg showed neat footwork on the left flank to get past Ludlam before releasing Tom Fleming who went on to fire the ball home.
Jamie Smith had a chance to reduce the arrears but completely missed his kick on the edge of the penalty area.
In an attempt to put some impetus into his side Staveley manager Neil Cluxton made a double substitution and in their next raid Wilberforce easily dealt with a Nathan Whitehead header.
Allanson weaved his way across the field before playing the ball to Ricketts who saw his cross held low down by Tollerfield.
Ben Silburn replaced Sutton after 59 minutes and two minutes later Fleming put Silburn through with the Staveley defence stretched. Play was brought back, however, as in the build-up Fleming and Whitehead had run into each other and Hull referee Stephen Wade inexplicably awarded a free kick to the Welfare before brandishing a yellow card in the direction of the Bridlington captain.
Not for the first time Jenkinson came to the rescue after Damms had found his way past Aziz then Danny Brunton got forward to find Hogg on the edge of the area but the striker’s effort went just over the top.
Darren Rookes came on for Hogg and soon after he cut in from the left to strike the ball just past the angle.
Staveley were making a late effort and Aziz deflected a ball from Smith, intended for substitute Jake Vernon, behind for a corner. Damms also had an effort put out for a flag kick, which was partially cleared and when the ball was played back in Vernon was caught in an offside position.
Ricketts and Silburn combined to find Rookes on the right but his centre was held by Tollerfield then Rookes wasted another opportunity when his control let him down as he got into the penalty area and the ball was cleared.
Just before the end a promising raid involving Silburn was brought to an end with an offside decision against Town’s third substitute Paul Wray, who’s only previous appearance had been as a substitute in the League Cup win at Heanor nine months ago.
Following this competent performance the Seasiders now prepare for Wednesday’s trip over the Humber Bridge to play Barton Town Old Boys who went down 5-1 at Retford.