Allanson pride at Town’s cup show

Bridlington Town
Bridlington Town

Boss Gary Allanson was bursting with pride at the performances of his Bridlington Town side despite their eventual FA Cup exit in dramatic circumstances on Tuesday night.

Former Brid fans favourite Chib Chilaka scored in the 89th minute of the replay to seal Harrogate’s place in the next round.

Allanson said: “It was another gut-wrenching night for the players and the club.

“We can hold our heads very high and have enormous pride in our achievements of how we have performed in the last two games against a team four levels and 81 league places above us.

“We were four minutes away from beating them on Saturday and a minute away from taking them into extra-time after coming back from 2-0 down.”

He added: “If we put it into boxing terms we were certainly on the ropes in both games, but we wouldn’t fall down.

“The players came off to a standing ovation from both sets of supporters and Harrogate’s players knew they had been in a game,

“I cannot praise the players enough of how they performed and how they worked for each other, they covered every part of the pitch and never stopped running.

“The players we have at this club are honest, genuine and hardworking and we have created a special spirit and togetherness, to go toe to toe with a massive club like Harrogate Town takes some guts, but we showed passion and desire of the highest level to compete against them.”

Town kept the same starting 11 and, as in the first game, defended well and kept their shape to keep their opponents at bay until the 25th minute.

Jon-Paul Pittman’s header from a Jack Emmett cross was blocked but the striker reacted quickly to hook the ball in and three minutes later Simon Ainge headed in from Joe Colbeck’s free-kick only for an offside flag to rule it out.

Try as they did the hosts could not break a resolute defence before the half-time whistle then the tie looked to be heading for a home win when Emmett was found unmarked at the far post and he fired past James Hitchcock.

Within a minute Chris Adams pulled one back after some good work by Joel Sutton on the right enabled him to get in a cross to Adams.

Hitchcock again pulled off some fine saves and sensing there may be a chance of pulling something out of the bag with fresh impetus, Gary Allanson replaced Adams and Danny Chambers with Ash Allanson and Brett Agnew.

With less than five minutes of normal time remaining Allanson was fouled25 yards out by Wayne Brooksby and, from the resulting free-kick taken by Sutton, Ryan Nicholls rose to head in a leveller.

In the 89th minute ex-Bridlington favourite Chilaka spun on the edge of the area and sent his shot past Town’s defence to break the resistance of his former team.