In the first round of the Whiteheads Fish and Chips League Cup, Bridlington Sports Club were handed a tricky away tie against a motivated AFC Rovers.
Despite the absence of several key players, the visitors began with confidence as they sought to dominate proceedings.
Josh Christlow and Billy Tyler were providing a constant threat and this early pressure soon paid dividends as the home side failed to deal with a James Webb long ball and Christlow stole in to take full advantage.
A greater emphasis was placed on defensive shape by manager Paul Smith as a means of frustrating the opposition.
The task soon became all the more difficult for the home side as they were reduced to 10 men following a petulant kick out by Stuart Wrightson at Webb.
However, despite the dismissal, Rovers began the second half fired up as Lyle Bogle was forced into action with a string of fine saves.
The hosts continued to apply pressure but Sports Club’s attacking threat was still very much apparent on the break as Rovers desperately threw bodies forward in search of a leveller.
A sweeping Sports Club counter attack, involving the creative spark of James Faulkner and Tyler was clinically dispatched by Christlow as the visitors once again displayed a killer instinct.
Rovers eventually halved the deficit late on as substitute Gareth Sewell applied a neat finish to finally penetrate Bogle’s stubborn resistance.
Just when the hosts saw a glimmer of hope, predator Christlow fired home from inside the six-yard box to complete his hat-trick and seal the man of the match award.
As the game entered the closing stages, there was still just enough time for Mike Tate to make it four. The powerful centre forward punished the home side further with a ruthless left footed drive into the far corner as Sports Club rubber-stamped their place in the next round.