Town rediscover form

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Barton Town Old Boys 2

Bridlington Town 3

A GOAL in injury time from former Bridlington favourite Ash Dexter gave a result that somewhat flattered the home side.

Apart from the opening 10 minutes the Seasiders dominated proceedings with their best performance of recent matches and should really have won by a larger margin.

A family bereavement understandably prevented Wayne Aziz from appearing and Craig Suddaby formed a central defensive trio with Craig Palmer and Chris Jenkinson while Billy Logan and Frank Belt operated as wingbacks.

Ash Allanson was considered fit enough to take a place on the substitute’s bench after recovering from injury. Tom Lee was absent for the hosts although five former Bridlington players started and another, Danny Buttle, was on the bench.

Barton started well and Declan Marshall sent in a low cross that Mark Wilberforce took low down then the goalkeeper collected a header from Scott Phillips following a free kick from the halfway line.

The visitors started to assert themselves and James Bennett sent a 25-yard effort wide. Josh Greening was just beaten to a poor Garth back pass by Bramley and then the striker lost control on the edge of the penalty area after good work down the left between Belt and Nathan Cook.

After this good spell by the Seasiders Barton took the lead in the 15th minute when Anthony Bowsley sent a free kick from the left wing over Wilberforce and into the far corner of the net after Palmer had tripped Owen.

There has to be a question mark over the near post positioning of Wilberforce for the free kick

For a change Brid were trying to get shots in instead of attempting to pass their way through a crowded penalty area but generally the home defence blocked them although Cook managed to send one just past the post.

Town started to string their passes together and the equaliser came from a superb move between Belt, Fleming and Bennett. The latter put in a shot that looked to be going in until Dave Bramley got a hand to it but the league’s leading scorer Craig Hogg reacted quickly to put the ball beyond Bramley.

Greening was using his pace to good effect and after going past Garth he got an unfortunate bobble that sent the ball away from him.

Phillips seemed to spend more time trying to wind up his former teammates with his banter and niggling pushes.

Ryan Cooper went on a run that took him past three defenders before gaining a corner for his efforts. Wilberforce then parried a free kick under pressure with Belt tidying up.

Bridlington had been well in command while Barton had tended to rely on balls over the top and Owen’s long throw-ins but with Suddaby and Jenkinson forming a formidable partnership they were all dealt with comfortably.

On the restart Bramley spectacularly tipped a Bennett free kick over then collected the corner after Dexter had tripped Fleming 20 yards out.

Palmer lost the ball to Phillips when trying to dribble his way out of defence but the Barton man hit a poor shot well wide.

Bramley was again in the action palming a Greening effort for a corner then turning round Logan’s 25-yard right foot shot.

Palmer aggravated an old injury and made way for a welcome return to duty by Ash Allanson after 54 minutes.

Kallum Radley cut out a Hogg pass intended for Greening then just before the hour mark the visitors deservedly went ahead.

As they tried to stop their opponents in their tracks the hosts were prone to giving away free kicks and after Dexter had fouled Greening he had the misfortune to turn the ball into his own goal when Bennett’s free kick somehow got through to the far post.

In an attempt to get back into the game Barton made a triple substitution. The changes didn’t have the desired effect as the Seasiders still pushed forward with both Fleming and Cook narrowly missing the target from 20 yards and then on 72 minutes they gained a two-goal cushion.

Bennett took a corner from the right and Hogg ran in from the 18-yard line to head home.

Greening made another run to take him past Radley but the defender recovered enough to concede yet another corner.

Bramley saved a shot from Allanson then pounced on the loose ball as Stuart Rice closed in.

The game was winding down as two minutes of time added on were signalled but it was three minutes over the 90 when Town temporarily lost concentration and Ash Dexter compensated for his earlier mistake by converting a Lattimore free kick at the right end.

A WELCOME return to form for Mitch Cook’s charges and they will need to carry this on for Saturday’s home game against last season’s runners-up Parkgate who had an easy 6-1 home win against Pickering Town last Saturday.

The Rotherham outfit have not quite lived up to expectations this time round and are eight points off the pace in seventh position with eight of their remaining 12 games to be played on opponents’ territory.

In the corresponding fixture at the Roundwood Sports Complex in October, Town had a fairly comfortable 3-1 win against 10-man Parkgate with goals from Craig Palmer and Craig Hogg (2), although the turning point of the game was Mark Wilberforce’s penalty save when Town led 1-0.