Once again these two sides provided an entertaining and pulsating game to warm up the spectators on a wintry afternoon.
The incident-packed game had swung to and fro with Bridlington holding the upper hand until two Joel Ramm goals in the last five minutes completed his hat trick and ensured that his former club are still searching for their first win of 2015 while his present side now have four consecutive victories.
The Seasiders were without the suspended Tom Fleming and with Ombeni Ruhanduka unavailable Craig Hogg was restored to the starting 11 and he soon made his presence felt.
In the first minute Will Waudby played Hogg through and, as he made his way into the penalty area, Toby Wells came racing out of his goal to challenge but only succeeded in upending the striker.
Middlesbrough referee Michael Gillespie immediately pointed to the penalty spot but, for reasons best known only to the official, Wells escaped further punishment. That decision may have played a major part in the result as the goalkeeper went on to make several fine saves starting with the penalty taken by Ash Allanson who followed up the miss to volley the ball at full stretch against a post and out of play to the frustration of away fans.
Sam Calvert almost made the visitors pay when he went one-on-one with James Hitchcock but the goalkeeper blocked Calvert’s effort with his legs.
Five minutes in the penalty was almost forgotten as Chris Jenkinson’s pass out of defence found Hogg and he turned to lift the ball over Wells to open the scoring.
Ex-Bridlington players Robbie Hawkes and Billy Logan spurned chances to equalise then Chris Adams’ run took him past three Pickering defenders before Chris Batchelor rescued the situation.
The game went from one end to the other and somehow, a goalmouth scramble was endured by the hosts as Tilsley twice blocked shots on the line and Wells, cleared the ball from underneath the crossbar.
Wells quickly had to produce a fine double save to deny Chris Adams and Danny Brunton but was left helpless as Jarrod Smalley rounded him, only to put his shot wide of the near post with Batchelor scrambling back to guard the goal line.
Hitchcock produced a routine save from Calvert’s header then smartly turned round a Hawkes 20-yard effort. Hawkes and Ramm put chances wide while Logan fired over from a free kick and there was no addition to the score at the break.
As the second half got under way Waudby reverted to left back with Shaun Day, who had come on for the injured Danny Brunton 10 minutes from half time, operating in midfield.
Five minutes into the half Ryan Cooper replaced Sam Calvert for Pickering then after Wells had saved a deflected Allanson shot, the home side found themselves two goals behind when Hogg scored his second of the afternoon by converting a Chris Adams right-wing cross at the far post just before the hour.
As is usual in encounters between the two clubs there were more twists and turns to come and five minutes after Hogg’s goal Ramm and Cooper had levelled the score with two goals in as many minutes. Ramm took advantage after Logan’s persistence had enabled him to put the ball into the six-yard box and Cooper accepted Batchelor’s pass before cutting in from the left and firing past the advancing Hitchcock from the edge of the penalty area.
Two minutes on, however, Adams restored the Seasiders’ lead when his attempt from 15 yards rebounded back into play but the referee’s assistant rightly signalled that it had crossed the line.
Again chances were created at both ends with the visitors looking the more likely winners.The Pikes had Frank Belt and Jamie Patterson cautioned for fouls before making a double substitution 10 minutes from time that helped to turn the game on its head again.
Substitute Regan Fish slotted the ball through for Ramm and with Hitchcock sensing danger, he raced out of the area, but Ramm fired the loose ball hopefully towards goal and his effort evaded Chris Jenkinson and Alex Knaggs to nestle just inside the foot of the post
Bridlington could have won it in the 89th minute when the ball was cut back for Allanson but Tilsley blocked the shot and Belt cleared to safety.
Still the drama wasn’t over because in the third minute of stoppage time Ramm collected the ball and turned into space before feeding Hawkes who advanced towards the box, beat Waudby and pulled the ball across goal where Ramm slid in to get his toe to the ball to squeeze it past Hitchcock and stun his former team mates.
Bridlington must now forget this setback and with five consecutive home fixtures coming up, four of which are in the league, they have a chance to get their season back on track.