Trio of first half goals put Town in driving seat

Tom Fleming heads the Seasiders first goal v Liversedge Fc
Tom Fleming heads the Seasiders first goal v Liversedge Fc

Three goals in the first half-hour should have set Bridlington Town up for their biggest win of the season.

But they were unable to capitalise on having the majority of the possession in the second half and once again conceded a late goal to deny them a clean sheet.

Ash Allanson’s injury ruled him out and Conner Harman took over the number four shirt to put in a sterling performance in midfield while, with Ombeni Ruhanduka still out, Craig Hogg returned to the starting line-up after resuming training on Thursday.

The Seasiders’ got off to a perfect start with skipper Tom Fleming earning a corner from a Danny Brunton pass after four minutes and the skipper rose unchallenged to head home from Eddy Birch’s flag kick.

Town had started well and another corner resulted in Liversedge central defender Josh Hope getting injured in the process of clearing away from Fleming at the near post.

Chris Adams then went on a run from the halfway line but his finish lacked accuracy.

Liversedge began to get forward and both Joel Farrar and Eli Hey had efforts that found the safe hands of James Hitchcock.

In the 16th minute Fleming won the ball and played it down the left to Hogg who crossed to find Jarrod Smalley just beyond the far post and he fired past goalkeeper Samuel Dobbs to double the lead.

Dobbs blocked a Hogg effort from eight yards after a move involving Adams and Fleming then a centre from Adams eluded four Town players as they looked to increase the lead.

A Liversedge counter attack almost produced a goal but Hitchcock was equal to it by going down to save from Hey.

The visitors created openings but their finishing was not as clinical as the home side and on the half-hour Danny Brunton got forward to play a one-two with Fleming before steering the ball past Dobbs.

It was an open, entertaining first half in which both goalkeepers were tested with Hitchcock saving from Hope and Andrew Wood while Dobbs denied Harman, Adams and Birch but there was no addition to the score before half time.

Early in the second period Dobbs twice thwarted Hogg before new signing Lewis Poucher replaced the striker 10 minutes in as part of a double substitution.

Liversedge had also made a change and replacement Jameel Nawaz almost made an instant impact by seizing on a poor kick from Hitchcock but the goalkeeper redeemed himself by pushing away the attempt from Nawaz.

Poucher proved to be a handful for the Liversedge defence by gaining a corner then nearly putting Fleming in.

Then with 20 minutes to go Louis Andre bundled him over in the penalty area but neither referee Mark Swift nor his assistant deemed it an infringement.

Town continued to have the better of the exchanges with Harman heading straight at Dobbs, Will Waudby having his effort blocked and Benn Lewis being denied by a goal-line clearance from Tom Jackson that struck the bar on its way to safety.

With the game in its final minute the home defence was stretched from another counter attack and unmarked substitute Marcio Lopez fired in a consolation goal for Liversedge.

The win keeps the Seasiders in sixth position, three points behind Staveley Miners’ Welfare and just ahead of Heanor Town, Handsworth Parramore and Barton Town Old Boys, who all have games in hand.

This Saturday the Seasiders are at home again when Parkgate visit the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Stadium then on Wednesday they travel to Farsley to play Albion Sports at the Throstle Nest.

Bridlington Town: Hitchcock, Lewis, Brunton (Heseltine 55), Harman, Knaggs, Jenkinson, Adams (Will Waudby 62), Fleming (c), Hogg (Poucher 55), Smalley, Birch.

Unused substitutes: Tom Waudby, Sandall (Gk).

Attendance: 150