BRIDLINGTON TOWN: The biggest derby so far?

Frankie Belt v Scarborough Athletic
Frankie Belt v Scarborough Athletic

BRIDLINGTON Town take on Scarborough Athletic on Easter Saturday, with the stakes higher than in any of the meetings between the two clubs to date.

BRIDLINGTON Town take on Scarborough Athletic on Easter Saturday, with the stakes higher than in any of the meetings between the two clubs to date.

Defeat will practically end third-placed Town’s hopes of winning the NCEL championship, and will edge their rivals one step closer towards the title.

But Town will approach the fixture in fresh and confident mood, with this week’s games at Thackley and Parkgate were snowed off, meaning the Seasiders have not played since a gallant 3-1 defeat to North Ferriby in the East Riding Senior Cup semi-final last Tuesday.

Frank Belt has played in derby matches for Bridlington and Scarborough and admitted this is the fixture all the players have been looking forward to.

He said: “Personally, this is the first match I look for as soon as the league fixtures are released.

“I can’t recall a bigger league game coming up between the two sides since Scarborough got promoted into the NCEL Premier Division a few years ago.

“The atmosphere will be tense and you will see both sets of players giving their maximum.

“It really doesn’t get much bigger than this, especially at this stage in the season when both teams are fighting for promotion. The lads are well up for this tie and confident too.

“The match against Ferriby last Tuesday has left us feeling good about ourselves, having proven that we can compete against the high flyers of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

“Even though we did lose on the night it’s arguable to say that the best team didn’t go through. I thought the way we matched them one to one and our work ethic on and off the ball was very good.

“This is what we have to take into the match against Scarborough and show them why we’re not out of this promotion push just yet.”

Fellow defender Wayne Aziz added: “I’m looking forward to it. We are disappointed not to be closer to them, but I think their resources within the squad at this time of the season has made a huge difference.

“We haven’t given up and have nothing to lose and will be giving it a real go on Saturday.”

Scarborough won the season’s first league match 2-1 on Boxing Day, which was midfielder Chris Batchelor’s first experience of an East Coast derby. He said: “We just have to take each game as it comes and hope Scarborough and Brighouse drop points. They are expecting a big crowd for the Boro game so obviously you want to play in those matches and win them.

“It’s all getting exciting at the business end of the season and all we can do is win our games and hope we have a chance.”

Manager Mitch Cook says he is confident of being able to choose from a full-strength squad. He said: “Everyone is available, so we are fit, ready and raring to go. We will train on Thursday and I already know the team I will pick.”

Kick off is at 11.30am and fans are urged to get to the ground as early as possible.