Bridlington Town’s hopes of finishing the season strongly were rarely tested in a game they controlled from start to finish.
Three goals in a 20-minute spell either side of half-time gave them plenty of breathing space against Armthorpe Welfare, with the only complaint being that they failed to keep a clean sheet.
In their penultimate home game of the NCEL season, and with places up for grabs for the East Riding Senior Cup final team, there wasn’t too much to worry the Seasiders from their South yorkshire opponents.
Early on, Town worked a quickly-taken corner to Conner Harman on the edge of the penalty area and his chip was helped over the bar by goalkeeper William Biggs.
From the resulting second corner, Craig Hogg was afforded a free header but his powerful effort sailed over the bar.
Harman was off target from 20 yards again as the opening stages were all one-way traffic.
Armthorpe’s first efforts on goal saw a dangerous cross cleared from underneath the crossbar and James Hitchcock make a good block at his near post after referee Matt McGrath played a good advantage.
The visitors weren’t as impressed with the official on 32 minutes when he awarded Bridlington a penalty, although there didn’t seem to be much cause for complaint.
Welfare made two clearances on their own six-yard line and as Chris Adams chased the second, he was tripped by Kieran Benson.
Town don’t have the best record from the spot this season but Eddy Birch took responsibility this time and casually rolled the ball home as Biggs dived in the opposite direction.
Armthorpe looked to make an immediately reply and captain Joe Lumsden wriggled past Harman’s challenge in the area but hit a tame shot straight at Hitchcock.
Skipper Tom Fleming was again standing out in the midfield and he almost doubled Bridlington’s lead.
He seemed to have had a heavy first touch as he ran on to Harman’s pass but still managed to dig out a shot which bounced back off the post.
Armthorpe went just as close moments later when Hitchcock could only watch Lee Winslow’s curling effort hit the crossbar and Jay Rollins turned the rebound wide.
But there was still time in the first half for The Seasiders to make it 2-0.
Will Waudby had enjoyed an impressive opening 45 minutes down the left flank and he benefited from good work by Harman and drilled a low first-time shot past Biggs.
A half-time substitution saw Jarrod Smalley replace Hogg and he played his part in Town’s third goal which arrived on 54 minutes.
His shot was saved at close range by Biggs but Adams was on hand to squeeze the rebound home.
The game died off after that, with the points in the bag, and a string of substitutions from both sides.
Armthorpe gave themselves a glimmer of hope with 12 minutes to go. Rollins chased a through ball, brushed past Danny Brunton and finished high into the net.
Suddenly there was an increased urgency about the visitors, and when full back Ben Alport fired wide from 20 yards, they sensed they could set up a nervy finish.
But they couldn’t force a second goal and it was Town who looked most likely to add to their tally in the final stages.
A defensive mix-up allowed Smalley a run on goal. He played in fellow sub Lewis Poucher but the striker side-footed wide.
Birch was too high from 25 yards and then Fleming tried another long-range effort which was straight atBiggs.
The win lifted Bridlington above Barton Town Old Boys and into fifth-place in the NCEL table.
They have another free Saturday this weekend, but travel to title-chasing Shaw Lane Aquaforce on Tuesday evening.
Their remaining games see them at Nostell Miners Welfare and at home to relegated Glasshoughton Welfare.
Team: Hitchcock, Knaggs, Brunton, Harman (Smith), Nicholls, Jenkinson, Waudby (Poucher), Fleming, Hogg (Smalley), Adams, Birch
Town’s end-of-season presentation night will take place on Saturday, May 23 at the clubhouse at Queensgate.