Official takes centre stage in Garforth defeat

Bridlington Town's Tim Taylor v Garforth Town
Bridlington Town's Tim Taylor v Garforth Town

Bridlington Town were left pointing the finger of blame at the match officials as they lost their first home game of the season 2-1 to Garforth Town on Tuesday night.

Controversial decisions through the second half had the Seasiders fuming, but the contributed to their own downfall with a red card and a missed penalty.

Both teams had won their opening league match at the weekend, but it was Garforth who opened the scoring at Queensgate, on the quarter-of-an-hour mark.

Curtly Martin-Wyatt, who was a handful all evening, surged down the right and played a low cross to the back post which was met by the unmarked Mark Simpson, and he tapped in from close range.

Immediately, Bridlington responded. Lewis Clarkson hit a magnificent shot on the turn from 25 yards, but watched it bounce back off the post.

Moments later, the impressive Tim Taylor was brought down and referee Andrew Dunne pointed to the spot. Joel Sutton stepped up but found the car park, rather than the net, as he blasted his penalty horribly high.

The next big decision for Dunne came when Brid keeper James Hitchcock handled outside the penalty area, but with no clear goalscoring opportunity for the visitors, he decided a yellow card was sufficient punishment.

Taylor hit a fierce volley over the bar as half-time approached by Town did not have to wait long after the break for their equaliser.

Sutton found Taylor on the halfway line and he threaded a lovely pass behind the Garforth defence for Clarkson to run on to and score his fourth goal in three games since his arrival.

It was Garforth’s turn to attempt to rectify matters straight from the kick-off, but Luke Mangham wasted a glorious chance by firing wide when one-on-one with Hitchcock.

Ryan Nichools hooked an effort just past the post after keeper Ben Hunter spilled a corner, before the match’s main talking point.

Clarkson burst clear again and knocked the ball past Hunter, who dived in with his feet, rather than with his hands. The striker tumbled but Dunne gave a goal kick, and was surrounded by Town players who were adamant they should have had a second penalty.

Clarkson was not booked for diving, but did receive a yellow for his continued protests.

Tempers were on the rise, and on 63 minutes, Ombeni Ruhanduka was shown a red card for foul and abusive language towards the referee just eight minutes after coming on as a sub, as Bridlington continued to argue their case.

A flurry of yellow cards followed in a short period of time, before with 19 minutes to go, Garforth got their winner - but the hosts were angry again.

A wayward shot fell into the path of Simpson, who beat Hitchcock from eight yards, but Town surrounded the referee feeling Simpson was offside when he put the ball into the net.

The 10-men’s hopes of getting back into the game suffered a further setback when Taylor limped off, and it was Garforth who came closest to scoring in the closing stages, when a counter attack saw them hit the post.