This was another incident-packed, keenly-contested encounter between two sides that had met twice before back in November when Town won both games by a one-goal margin.
The hosts went straight on the attack to earn a corner that was flicked towards goal by Adam White forcing Philip Dobson to kick away and then punching clear from the return. Matthew Thornton sent in a cross that was too high for Adam White, then the visitors conceded two consecutive corners with Wayne Aziz blocking Jack Briscoe’s attempt from the second one.
Kyle Cook upended Joel Sutton 25 yards out and Town should have taken the lead after Tom Fleming headed on the free kick to put Craig Hogg clear on goalkeeper Josh Herring. The striker put the ball past Herring only to see it come back off the bar.
Athersley immediately went on the counter attack and were awarded a free kick just outside the Bridlington penalty area by Tadcaster referee Anthony Murphy. After consulting his assistant, who had flagged for offside, he allowed the decision to stand and Kieron Scargill struck the free kick into the top corner off the underside of the bar.
Sutton gained a corner from Joel Ramm’s pass but five minutes after the opening goal Town found themselves two down to another decisive strike. This time Lee Bennett beat Dobson from 25 yards although there was another hint of offside in the build-up.
The Athersley defence was picking off most of the balls forward. That was until Craig Palmer got forward and spotted a space through which to fire a low shot from the edge of the area. Herring got his hands to the ball but it slipped through his fingers into the net.
Town were the more positive side after the break but when they broke three-on-two James Bennett put his pass straight to a defender.
Palmer curled a free kick just past the post after Adam White had been booked for bringing down Sutton.
Then, slightly against the run of play, the Penguins increased their lead 10 minutes into the half when a mistake in defence presented Lee Bennett with an opportunity to fire in off the far post. After making three substitutions the Seasiders took the game to their opponents and got their reward after 67 minutes.
Cook needlessly gave away a corner and from Sutton’s kick, Rikki Paylor pounced to force the ball home.
Substitute Robert Cartwright headed a good chance wide while at the other end Sutton and Craig had their efforts blocked.
Town went all out for the equaliser and with five minutes added time being played Town rescued a point right when referee Murphy adjudged that Scargill had handled the ball in the penalty area and Sutton confidently hit the spot-kick past Herring.
Athersley lost their composure and there were three more yellow cards shown including a second for White resulting in his dismissal.