Dismal end to season as bottom club stun Town

Bridlington Town 0 Glasshoughton Welfare 2
Bridlington Town 0 Glasshoughton Welfare 2

Bridlington Town’s league season ended with the tamest of whimpers, as they were beaten at home by Glasshoughton Welfare.

The visitors arrived at Queensgate having already been relegated and with a goal difference of -123.

They had only won four league matches before their trip to East Yorkshire, although they had knocked Bridlington out of the League Cup earlier in the campaign.

The home side created a host of chances, but Welfare rode their luck and then struck twice in two minutes around the hour mark to record an unlikely victory.

Town made a host of changes to their starting line-up, possibly with next month’s East Riding Senior Cup final in mind, but the deicision back-fired.

And the performance proved that the Seasiders remain far too reliant on their captain Tom Fleming, who has carried the team at times this season, but wasn’t even among the substitutes.

In his absence, Ash Allanson wore the captain’s armband and he fired in the game’s first effort on goal, a 25-yard volley which clipped the top of the crossbar.

Jarrod Smalley then lashed over the bar after being teed up by fellow striker Ombeni Ruhanduka, and he saw another attempt deflected wide after a good pass from Shaun Day.

A great run by Duka created another chance for Day, but his shot was blocked by a defender, and Town’s appeals for handball were waved away.

The attacks continued and DannyBrunton conjured up a cross from near the corner flag, but debutant Tom Waudby saw his scooped effort clear the bar. As if Town’s squad wasn’t young enough, Waudby was the youngest of all the players to have represented the Seasiders this season - too young even to enjoy the over 18s comedy night in the clubhouse after the game!

Welfare keeper Josh Archer, who was in for a busy afternoo, clawed away another Allanson attempt from the edge of the box, before Town finally had the ball in the net.

Smalley stroked the ball home from Conner Harman’s pass but an offside flag cut short his celebrations.

There was no flag 60 seconds later but Duka dragged his shot wide of the near post.

It looked certain that the goal would arrive before half time, but somehow Archer blocked Ryan Nicholls’ close-range header from a free kick.

By half time and itseemed a case of when, not if, Bridlington would score and there only appeared to be one winner.

After the break, Waudby chased a long ball and tried to lob the keeper at full stretch, but Archer got a hand to it and flicked it out for a corner.

Chris Jenkinson headed the resulting corner over the bar.

Then a lovely move set Brunton through but Archer got enough of a hand on his shot to slow it down enough for a colleague to hack it off the line.

Allanson was off target again before Bridlington brought on a couple of first-team regulars in Eddy Birch and Chris Adams to try to finally unlock the Welfare defence.

Almost immediately, the deadlock was broken - but not at the end everyone was expecting.

Town keeper James Hitchock had hardly touched the ball all afternoon, but on the hour mark he dropped the ball under no pressure at all.

Nathan Perks kept his calm as Hitchcock tried to make amends, and when the striker finally shot, team-mate Declan Walker stuck out a boot in the six yard box and diverted it into the net.

If that was a surprise, a minute later Town were left shell-shocked.

Thomas Scott broke the offside trap and produced a wonderful, exquisite chip over Hitchcock to double Glasshoughton’s advantage.

Having absorbed pressure for an hour, suddenly it was all Welfare. Town were hampered further when Jenkinson limped off and Perks’ free kick almost made it three but Hitchcock just got a strong enough hand to it and it went a whisker wide.

Adams had given Town a fresh impetus when he came on, and he skipped past a couple of defenders but his drove went wide of the near post.

Archer capped a man of the match display when he saved with his legs to deny Smalley, and then Day found plenty of power, but not enough direction, on his header.

And that was it. Somehow Town had manged to lose a game they had dominated, against a team who had conceded 18 goals in their previous four matches.

They had lost games 12-0, 11-0 and 10-0 this season and were beaten 8-0 at home by Heanor last weekend.

But they showed determination which belied their league position and earned their strokes of luck.

Town will turn their attention to their trip to the KC Stadium on May 11, knowing they will need to improve on this display to see off Humber Premier League side Hull United.

However, on the whole, eighth spot is wholly acceptable for a particularly young squad which has shown many glimpses of potential and laid down a solid platform to build upon next season.

But they need a bit of extra experience and muscle to make up for the days when their captain fantastic isn’t there to get them out of trouble.