Bridlington Town’s slim title hopes are finally ended

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Barton Town Old Boys 3

Bridlington Town 2

Another season in the NCEL looks inevitable for Bridlington Town who saw their title hopes virtually disappear with this defeat at the Euronics Ground.

Mitch Cook was down to the bare bones of his squad and had to make five changes to the side that started against Scarborough Athletic. Injuries ruled out Frank Belt and Ash Allanson, although the latter was named as the only substitute.

Chris Batchelor, Tom Lee and Mark Wilberforce were unavailable and despite efforts on Friday to arrange transport for a couple of reserve players, they declined the opportunity on Saturday morning.

Aaron Allanson made his first start in many months and Ben Silburn came in for his full debut.

Barton, who had four ex-Bridlington players in their starting line-up, gained the first corner from which skipper Ash Dexter headed wide then from a Brid free kick, just inside their own half, Josh Greening fired over from 20 yards.

A similar free kick found Scott Phillips and from his pass Craig Hogg found the safe hands of Ben White.

A move between Silburn, Billy Logan and Scott Phillips gave Hogg an opportunity from the left but his effort was always rising and cleared the bar.

Adam Crane missed the target from inside the six-yard box although he had already been given offside.

From a diagonal ball by Nathan Cook, Tom Fleming forced a corner that saw Cook shoot just wide from 25 yards.

The patched-up side had done well in the opening exchanges but fell behind after 20 minutes. Tim Taylor rattled the Seasiders’ bar from 25 yards and in the ensuing scramble for the ball, Adam Crane went down in the area. Lincoln referee Andrew Park adjudged that a foul had been committed and pointed to the spot and Taylor firmly planted the kick past Paul Fraser.

Fleming’s pass from the right reached Hogg on the edge of the area and when White blocked his shot Phillips put a header straight to the goalkeeper.

Crane had been injured in the earlier penalty incident and was replaced after 28 minutes by Alex Sherwood.

White gathered a long throw-in from Logan then the full back saw a free kick rocket off the defensive wall for a corner while at the other end slack defending allowed Gareth Barlow to turn and with a good sight of goal, he spurned the first of several chances that came his way.

A blatant push in the penalty area had Barton appealing vehemently for another penalty but referee Park waved away the claims and spent much of his time admonishing the two benches instead of concentrating on what was happening on the field.

Five minutes before the half ended Fleming was shown the inevitable yellow card and just before the whistle Fraser, at full stretch, palmed the ball round for a corner that was sliced over the bar for another by Aaron Allanson.

On the resumption Town went on the offensive and White came out to collect Phillips’ flick-on that was intended for Silburn.

Three minutes into the second half Declan Marshall was cautioned for dissent and within a minute team-mate Ryan Cooper followed him into the book for pulling back Logan.

Cooper put a shot on the turn well over the top and Cook, having got the better of Dexter, was brought down by the former Bridlington favourite.

With 55 minutes on the clock the Seasiders levelled the score only to fall behind again two minutes later. The ball was worked out of defence by Aaron Allanson, Tom Fleming and Billy Logan who sent a diagonal pass to Josh Greening in space on the right and his perfect cross was met by Phillips’ header at the far post

Then a Barton free kick delivered from the left was headed back across goal where Sherwood pounced to put the ball in.

Sherwood got through again but the ball was eventually scrambled away and Barlow missed another chance after some good control had taken him past Wayne Aziz to give him the opportunity.

With half-an-hour left the game was seemingly put beyond the visitors grasp when another former player Gareth Owen flicked the ball past Logan and finished with a vicious half volley.

Barlow missed another chance after Sherwood had played him in then Taylor became the third home player to be booked when he tripped Greening.

After some neat play on the left Phillips shot well wide from Silburn’s lay off then Sherwood flashed an effort narrowly past the post.

Eleven minutes from time Ash Allanson took over in defence from brother Aaron who was feeling the effects of his longer-than-normal stint.

Barton were trying to preserve their lead by getting players behind the ball but with seven minutes remaining the arrears were reduced. Greening had the ball in the net but the whistle had already blown for the second penalty of the game following a push on Phillips.

Nathan Cook blasted the resultant kick past White to give Town a lifeline and only a good tackle by Tom Bennett on Phillips kept his side in front and go on to record their first win in 10 outings.

Just before the end Cooper was lucky to escape a second yellow card when he went in on Fraser then kicked the ball away following the award of a free kick.