Bridlington Town 2
Armthorpe Welfare 1
TOWN know you can’t steamroller opposition in every game, and Easter Monday’s win was just as pleasing as the 9-0 demolition two days earlier.
Armthorpe are always an awkward team to get past, and it took guts and effort to squeeze past them, with a touch of quality and a slice of luck thrown into the mix too.
On-fire striker Josh Greening got the winner with a really excellent finish, his ninth goal in 10 days, but the Seasiders were hanging on a little as referee Paul Cook somehow found five minutes of injury time.
Throughout the 90 minutes, or 95 as it turned out, the hosts enjoyed good spells of possession but the final killer pass was lacking.
Nathan Cook showed why he usually uses his left foot, when he shanked the first chance of the day wide with his right foot after good build-up play across the width of the field.
The passing and tempo was good in the first quarter of the game, with Billy Logan frequently making inroads down the right, but clear-cut chances were hard to find.
Craig Hogg almost broke the deadlock on 26 minutes, when he hit an instant volley from a poor headed clearance, but his shot swerved narrowly away from the top corner.
Armthorpe almost gifted Brid a goal when Craig Fletcher turned the ball inches past his own post, before they did make a mess of things to let the hosts open the scoring.
Former Football League striker Leo Fortune West, operating at centre half, should have cut out Greening’s low cross but completely missed his kick and Craig Hogg couldn’t believe his luck, firing home unmarked from six yards out.
James Bennett almost added a second when goalkeeper Jamie Green raced from his area to deny Hogg and the midfielder took a touch, before trying a 40-yard lob which bounced over the defender racing back to the goalline, but skimmed the outside of the post.
Mark Wilberforce preserved the lead as he dived at the feet of Henry Sibenge, after the striker had teamed up with Richard Smith to cut through Town’s defence, although credit to Chris Jenkinson who was breathing down Sibenge’s neck to make life as uncomfortable as possible.
But that was Welfare’s only chance of the half, and Brid had two more close calls as half time approached. First, Hogg ran 50 yards to create a counter attack, but with a numerical advantage Town lost their momentum before Logan tried a chip which Berivan Kurde was able to head off the line.
Hogg went alone the next time, curling a shot which landed on the stanchion with Green watching nervously.
After the break Green dived at the feet of Greening, while Craig Morley scooped over after the visitors were given a soft free kick wide on the right.
Then, on 62 minutes Josh Greening continued his rich vein of form by showing a touch of class to make it 2-0. Bennett and Logan linked well on the right and Greening spun sharply and fired a low shot past Green.
He could have added another soon afterwards but dithered after beating the last defender, and then Tom Fleming volleyed into the side netting.
Two up and Town seemed reluctant to throw men forward which invited pressure from Armthorpe, who will win the award for worst kit by a visiting side at Queensgate this season.
The Welfare grew in confidence and Leo Fortune West made amends for his first half blunder, picking up a 41st birthday present as he sneaked in between Town’s defenders and Wilberforce to bundle home a close-range header.
A nervy final quarter of an hour could have been avoided when Town earned a penalty straight away, as Green upended Fleming as he stepped round him. But Hogg’s spot-kick lacked power and accuracy and Green easily saved, diving to his left.
Frank Belt made a crucial block after Wilberforce made a good parry as Armthorpe pressed for an equaliser, but Ash Allanson and, more clearly, Logan could have eased worries but missed the target.
However it was not costly as Armthorpe couldn’t muster a clear opening, despite the baffling extra time found by referee Cook, who impressed few in the ground.
Two tricky away trips really will show if Town have what it takes to win the title. Armthorpe on their own patch next Tuesday evening could be a very tough proposition.