Bridlington Town’s season ended on a high as they retained the East Riding Senior Cup by beating North Ferriby United.
Joel Sutton scored the only goal of the game, 20 minutes into the second half, to give the Seasiders victory over a team who will operate four divisions above them next season.
Having won the Conference North play-off final at the weekend, the Villagers rested a number of theirn first team regulars, but still sent out a strong squad, including Ryan Kendall, the striker who scored twice in their FA Trophy win at Wembley last year.
However, a huge effort from Town, with a notable display by man of the match goalkeeper James Hitchcock, meant the underdogs ran out deserved champions.
The final at the KCom Stadium in Hull started slowly, with Town undaunted by the surroundings or the task in front of them.
With new signing Brett Agnew cup-tied, Andy Norfolk led the line superbly and he linked up well to create the first chance of the game, Sutton curling an effort wide of the far post from 18 yards.
Norfolk then forced Ferriby keeper Tom Nicholson into action, but a defelection on his shot took the sting out of it.
United’s first effort came from a well-worked free kick routine, Ross Armstrong’s shot was blocked and when the ball fell to Ben Middleton, his attempt was scrambled out for a corner.
Town won a set-piece of their own in a dangerous position when Kwadwo Kvei pushed Chris Jenkinson, but Nicholson confortably gathered Sutton’s kick.
Just passed the half-hour mark, Ferriby stepped up a gear and forced a stunning save from Hitchcock, Wayne Brooksby motored down the left wing, then collected Kendall’s back heel and hit a flashing low drive which Hitchcock got down to his left to push behind.
At the other end, Norfolk’s persistence caused chaos as he chased down a back pass and tackled Nicholson, but Ferriby’s shaken defence eventually cleared their lines before Brid could take advantage.
Kendall showed a glimpse of his threat again, but shot wide of Hitchcock’s left-hand post, while Town’s dangerman Sutton made a jinking run which ended with another easy save for Nicholson.
The game had burst into life in the closing minutes of the first half, and Bridlington needed full-back Danny Brunton to keep them level going into the break. Kendall cut the ball back to Harvey Spence, who smashed a shot past Hitchcock, but Brunton appeared from nowhere to make a remarkable block on the goal-line.
They should really have taken advantage at the start of the second period. Tom Fleming powered past three oponents and found Norfolk, but he fired over the bar from 12 yards out.
It was to be one of Norfolk’s last contributions as he limped off injured, to be replaced by Chris Adams.
Kendall got past Jenkinson after the defender slipped, but Hitchcock palmed his low cross away to safety and then came the match-winning moment.
Will Waudby surged down the left wing, beat two defenders and found Sutton, who had got across his marker and sent a controlled volley past Nicholson’s right hand.
Fleming was harshly penalised, and booked, for a tackle on the edge of the area but Hitchcock saved the day again. Brooksby’s free kick bounced right in front of him but he got down well and pushed the ball out.
Town had the ball in the net again from a training ground set-piece routine, but Adams had run down the side of the Ferriby wall too soon and was offside when he received Sutton’s pass and set up Fleming for a tap-in.
Bridlington were dropping deeper but their defending was calm and Ferriby rarely looked like taking the game into extra time. Kendall saw a shot deflected high over the bar and Armstrong couldn’t keep his effort on target as the clock ran out.
An outstanding effort by the Seasiders had earned the reward it deserved, and Town will be out to make it a hat-trick of cup wins next season.