Tadcaster Albion 1
Bridlington Town 0
FAILURE to register a competitive goal for the first time this season meant that Bridlington Town fell further behind in the race for the NCEL championship.
Brighouse Town and Scarborough Athletic won their respective games leaving Town relying on them both to slip up, because even by winning the games they have in hand the Seasiders would still fall short of the top two.
More likely than not the two games involving the three teams will determine the destination of the league title, namely Easter Saturday’s Queensgate derby and Scarborough’s visit to Brighouse two weeks later.
An ankle injury ruled out Nathan Cook with Craig Hogg being restored to the starting 11. Regular substitute Aaron Allanson was unavailable but with Beverley Town’s game being postponed Mitch Cook was able to name Tyler Collishaw and Asa Pardoe among the substitutes.
Tadcaster included four recent signings from Staveley Miners’ Welfare in their squad.
Some people had doubts about whether the game should be played because of standing water on a firm surface but Doncaster referee Mark Griffiths’ decision to go ahead was vindicated with an entertaining game.
The visitors, starting with three up, did the early pressing but were unable to get through a well-marshalled defence. Scott Phillips, just inside the opposing half, headed the ball down for Tom Fleming to play it through towards Josh Greening but the alert Matthew Sparkes’ intervened.
Ash Allanson found Hogg on the left side of goal and although he struck the ball home it was from an offside position.
Tadcaster started to get into the game and, after combining with Terry Taylor in the Town penalty area, Scott McGrory was halted by Chris Batchelor’s timely tackle.
A counter attack ended for the Brewers with Kyle Hawthorne screwing the ball wide then Wrigglesworth tipped over a shot from distance by Scott Phillips.
A Batchelor corner was returned back towards him but Nick Thompson got to it first and Batchelor was cautioned for his late challenge on the Tadcaster captain.
Greening muscled his way past Steve Jeff to reach a pass from Allanson and broke down the right only for Mycoe to get across to cover the threat.
Another Phillips’ attempt from the edge of the area was pushed over by Wrigglesworth after Hogg had squared the ball to him.
Despite just about edging the first half, the Seasiders went into the break all-square.
As the second half got under way it was Town who took the initiative with a move involving Batchelor, Phillips and Hogg but once again the pass into the area for Greening went too far and Phillips had the ball plucked off his head by Wrigglesworth as he attempted to reach a Batchelor centre.
The Brewers retaliated and Hawthorne got through on the left hand side of the area to put in a low effort that Wilberforce saved.
Both managers made substitutions with Billy Logan replacing Hogg for Town and former Town player Stuart Rice coming on for Tadcaster.
Within four minutes of taking over from Hawthorne, Rice was booked for a trademark rash challenge on Frank Belt but was to make a more telling contribution 10 minutes later.
The ball appeared to be held up by the mud in the Town area and, when they failed to clear, it was sod’s law that it would be ex-team mate Rice who would benefit and he got clear to fire past Wilberforce.
Buoyed by having the advantage of a goal, Tadcaster continued to attack and Wilberforce saved with his feet from George Bissett but when Town threatened the hosts got men behind the ball in numbers to make it difficult for their opponents.
Rice tried his luck from Youlden’s pass but was too high and at the other end Greening delayed shooting and laid it off for Logan who just missed the target.
Allanson swapped passes with Fleming before his volley also went close.
Town had not been sharp enough in the final third of the field and the determination of Tadcaster’s second half display gave them a deserved victory.