Captain at the double as Seasiders end bad run

Tom Fleming scored twice at Retford.
Tom Fleming scored twice at Retford.

Joel Sutton scored for Bridlington Town in the 18th minute to end a goal dought that had lasted seven minutes short of five hours and set his side on the way for their first points in four games.

Two more first-half goals from captain Tom Fleming, his first of the season in the league, sealed the victory despite the hosts scrambling a goal 10 minutes from the end.

Rain had fallen on the ground for the previous three days but with a brisk wind drying it out, the game got under way with the Seasiders’ facing the wind and a low glaring sun.

Retford broke in the opening minutes through Jason Bradley and after James Hitchcock had come off his line to force him wide, he got in a cross that Town eventually got away despite a poor first clearance almost letting in the hosts.

Most of the play had been between the two penalty areas in the opening 18 minutes until Tim Taylor threaded the ball through to Sutton, who had got behind the Retford defence, and he went round goalkeeper Jamie Davies before slotting the ball in.

Soon after Bradley pulled up with an injury and although he returned after treatment he was substituted by Mark Stuart after 24 minutes.

The Badgers only rarely threatened the Town goal and a free-kick conceded on the edge of the area was driven into the Bridlington defensive wall then cleared for a throw in from which Brad Kerr shot wide.

Will Waudby tracked back to halt a promising move down the right flank by Retford and from the first corner of the game, after 35 minutes, Alex Knaggs rose to head the ball straight at Davies then two minutes later he headed down another corner from which Fleming back-heeled the ball past the goalkeeper to double the score.

Morgan Sellars sent a 25-yard free-kick well wide of Hitchcock’s goal before the visitors practically sealed the win on the stroke of half- time when Conner Harman and Sutton combined to enable Fleming to strike the ball home from 10 yards.

Early in the second half Sutton appeared to be bundled over in the area but play was allowed to continue then 10 minutes in he was pulled back by Dec Lycett when he was through on goal earning Lycett the third Retford booking of the game after Sellars and Adam Carter.

Town had more of the play but they then contrived to give away several free-kicks in their own half.

Both teams used up their quota of substitutes but the only alteration to the score came after 80 minutes when a corner was stabbed off the line by Benn Lewis but Badgers captain Adam Lee got a touch to score a consolation goal.

Four minutes from time Retford’s first real effort on target, apart from the goal, was held by Hitchcock who was booked two minutes later for time wasting.

In time added on Sutton’s 30-yard effort went narrowly wide then Craig Hogg, returning from injury, almost scored a fourth for Town when one-on-one with Davies but the goalkeeper got a vital touch to concede a corner.