Waudby strike salvages point for 10-man Brid

Will Waudbys late equaliser at Rainworth was his sixth goal of the season.
Will Waudbys late equaliser at Rainworth was his sixth goal of the season.

Debutant Brett Agnew turned in a man-of-the-match performance as Bridlington Town fought hard for a point after being reduced to ten men for almost an hour.

Agnew, an acquisition from Hull United, was only cleared to play hours before the kick-off following relentless work by Bridlington chairman Peter Smurthwaite over Friday and Saturday to get the paperwork completed in time.

Although his efforts failed to produce a goal, Agnew added a new dimension that will surely reap dividends in the remaining matches.

Town were without skipper Tom Fleming, Conner Harman and Ryan Nicholls then had Josh Heseltine harshly sent off when both camps agreed that it was a yellow card at most.

Danny Brunton made a welcome return in defence following six weeks out though injury.

The hosts, who had five players unavailable, included manager Julian Watts among the substitutes. Rainworth had most of the early possession and Benn Lewis headed a free kick behind for a corner after Tim Taylor had been penalised for a high foot.

The Seasiders’ came more into the game but Jack Andrews cleared a Will Waudby cross before Agnew started to show his potential.

Following a throw-in the ball was played into the striker who aimed for the corner of the net from 10 yards. Rainworth goalkeeper Ben Townsend, however, was in top form all afternoon and saved low down to his right to deny Agnew but Townsend could only watch as his next effort went narrowly wide after Heseltine’s ball over the defence gave him the chance.

Matt Plant then headed off the line from Agnew when he met a Waudby corner.

The game’s only two cards were shown within a minute of each other when Killamarsh referee Adam Burgess showed a yellow to Rainworth’s Declan Brewin for blocking the taking of a 32nd minute free kick then Heseltine was not so lucky when the referee appeared to be swayed by the reactions of the home contingent and dismissed the defender for an alleged high tackle although he appeared to get the ball first.

Despite being a man short Town still took the game to their hosts and before the half finished Plant once again headed away from within his own six-yard area.

On the resumption, the Seasiders brought on Andy Norfolk for Chris Adams.

Town still went forward and Norfolk almost put them in front with Townsend out of his goal but he got back in time to divert the ball away for a corner. Rainworth scrambled a free kick away for a corner from which Townsend saved well from Taylor and Agnew’s follow up went over the top.

James Hitchcock did well to divert a 20-yard free kick round the post for a corner then 20 minutes into the half Rainworth went in front when Liam Theakstone was played in one-on-one with Hitchcock and as the goalkeeper tried to close him down, Theakstone struck the ball past him.

The Seasiders’ hit back but Joel Sutton’s rising shot went over the bar and Townsend punched away a Tim Taylor free kick after Agnew had been felled on the edge of the box.

Town must have thought it wasn’t going to be their day when Chris Jenkinson headed a Waudby corner against the bar with eight minutes left and as the ball was swept straight up field Hitchcock made another good save from Theakstone.

Three minutes later, however, Waudby drew the visitors level when he intercepted an attempted headed clearance by Townsend from outside his area and the winger went on to take full advantage despite having Townsend and Andrews in close attendance.

The visitors could have sealed a win with a couple of minutes to go but there was nobody on the end of a dangerous low cross from Sutton that went across the goalmouth after Jenkinson had found him with a long diagonal pass.