Town move up to sixth

Maltby Main 2 Bridlington Town 4
Maltby Main 2 Bridlington Town 4

Despite going behind to a 12th minute goal, Bridlington Town completed the double over Maltby Main to go into Christmas in sixth position.

Maltby were without regular goalkeeper Ben Brunt was unavailable and outfield player Neil Spruce was due to deputise but defender Gary Hibbert sustained an injury in the warm up and manager Mick Norbury decided to switch their positions.

However, It was visiting goalkeeper James Hitchcock who saw the early action by saving from Oliver Fearon who appeared to be in an offside position, gathering the ball from the feet of Brian Cusworth and tipping over a vicious drive by Sam Forster.

Spruce was cautioned for stopping Ombeni Ruhanduka’s surge forward with a trip and after Hibbert saved Hogg’s free kick, Chris Adams put the rebound over the bar.

Hitchcock was finally beaten in the 12th minute when Cusworth’s header found captain Reece Wesley near the six-yard box and he fired past Hitchcock to open the scoring, although there were suspicions of a push in the build-up.

The score was level again seven minutes later when Eddy Birch’s pass found Adams in the clear on the left of goal and as Hibbert came to challenge Adams rounded him before walking the ball in.

Town started to get the upper hand but Craig Hogg missed a chance by firing wide from 15 yards and then after making a neat turn 20 yards out he was well tackled by Daniel Payne.

Two attempts by Ruhanduka went wide then another chance was missed following a mix-up in the home defence and the teams went into half time all square.

Ruhanduka was to the fore on the restart but play was allowed to continue after he was clipped near the edge of the penalty area and the ball was cleared then Hibbert held on to a shot from the striker.

Hogg, who had been struggling, was substituted for Will Waudby five minutes into the second half as the Seasiders continued to press and after 63 minutes they went in front.

Ruhanduka found Waudby on the left and from his pass Tom Fleming turned past Fearon before striking the ball home.

Again, several chances went begging for Town with both Ruhanduka and Ash Allanson missing the target while Adams hit the bar from a good position.

They were made to pay 15 minutes from the end when Forster capitalised on a mistimed header by Chris Jenkinson.

The game appeared to be heading for a draw when, with seven minutes remaining, Waudby broke into the penalty area where last defender Fearon brought him down with a mistimed tackle.

Mansfield referee Mark Jones brandished only a yellow card but as Fearon had been cautioned earlier yellow was quickly followed by red. Allanson duly converted his third penalty of the season by blasting the ball past Hibbert.

Bridlington piled on the pressure in the final minutes and Birch put Ruhanduka in on goal and he went past both Wesley and Hibbert before slotting the ball home to ensure Town’s sixth victory from the last seven outings.