Town return to winning ways

New signings Scott Phillips and Dave Kemp congratulate Alex Rhodes after scoring his long range goal
New signings Scott Phillips and Dave Kemp congratulate Alex Rhodes after scoring his long range goal

Bridlington Town 2

Armthorpe Welfare 0

Northern Counties East League

TIRED Bridlington Town dug into their reserves of energy to end their run of four successive league draws.

They battled to a 2-0 win against bogey side Armthorpe Welfare, the second time they had played them in four days.

Saturday’s encounter had finished 2-2 in South Yorkshire, with the Seasiders throwing away a two-goal half time lead.

But they had learnt their lesson by midweek and clung on to claim the three points, despite being given a serious examination by Welfare.

Former professional striker Leo Fortune-West had given the Town defence a torrid time at the weekend, and defenders Dave Kemp and Tom Lee would have been glad to see his name missing from the team sheet at Queensgate.

And their spirits were lifted further when they took the lead within three minutes. Joe Wilcox, who had scored at the right end on Saturday, turned James Bennett’s low cross into his own net.

Lee Wright made a crucial last ditch tackle to thwart former Manchester United trainee Ben Muirhead and Lee headed an inswinging corner off the line at the near post.

Armthorpe continued to look dangerous and Chris Dyson’s header on 17 minutes had Mark Wilberforce beaten, but clipped the foot of his right hand post, before Rob Oldham flashed a shot wide.

Craig Hogg should have given Town breathing space but he skied a glorious chance when Tom Fleming rolled the ball into his path.

James Bennett’s crafty cross shot had keeper Jamie Green scrambling and he just managed to tip the ball over the bar, crashing into the post in the process.

Bizarrely, in a half where there were no substitutions and no need for physios, ref Alf Greenwood played 10 minutes of stoppage time, and Brid could have benefitted as Craig Palmer redirected Hogg’s shot wide, despite looking suspicoiusly offside, and then in the 53rd minute of the half, Tom Fleming had a shot blocked.

After emergency repairs to the offical’s watch at half time, Armthorpe came out the stronger, just as they had on Saturday.

Danny Brunton cleared Craig Morley’s header of the line and made sure he was first to the loose ball to prevent a tap-in.

Armthorpe were strong up front, physical all round the park and had a very direct style, which saw the ball played to their lively strikers as early as possible.

Sub Henry Sibenge was a real threat, forcing Alex Rhodes to produce a great block, and then skipping past Wright to set up Darren Mansaram, but the ex-Grimsby striker hit the side netting.

Wilberforce saved from Sibenge low at his near post as it looked like Armthorpe would get the goal they deserved. David Buck spurned a free header from inside the box, while Fleming’s long range effort straight at Green was Brid’s only effort of note.

Then came the crucial moment. Buck found himself one-on-one after breaking the offisde trap, but eye-to-eye with Wilberforce, the keeper spread himself to his right and saved.

Welfare wouldn’t get a better chance and in te 85th minute, against the run of play, and with his team-mates flagging, Fleming found the energy to lash a 20 yard shot which took a deflection on its way past Green.

That killed off the visitors and gave Bridlington a first win since November 6 and a first at Queensgate since Lincoln Moorlands were beaten in mid-October

But crucially, it meant an elusive clean sheet, only Town’s second of the season, and a confidence boost ahead of Saturday’s trip to Pickering.