Bridlington Town warmed up for this weekend’s crunch clash with Tadcaster Albion by stretching their unbeaten run to 13 matches with a 2-0 win over Staveley Miners Welfare.
A Joel Sutton penalty in the last minute of the first half set them on their way, and Andy Norfolk sealed things with a second goal with a quarter-of-an-hour to go.
That means the Seasiders have not been beaten during the whole of November, December and January.
Once again, it wasn’t a classic contest, with a heavy pitch and an erratic referee not helping matters, but Town’s new-found ability to grind out results paid dividends.
They also managed to hold on without captain Tom Fleming for the last quarter of the game, after he was substituted because he was walking a tightrope, after being booked in the first half and the visitors keen to find any way they could to get him sent off.
Staveley created the early chances, with striker Courtney Hastings firing wide after a neat turn in the area, and Jamie Brown benefiting from a bizarre onside decision, but after rounding keeper James Hitchcock, his cross was cleared.
Hitchcock then denied Steve Carty, who was forced off balance as he shot, while Town were struggling to make inroads at the other end.
A Will Waudby cross landed on the top of the net, and Tim Taylor’s attempt limped wide, but there was little threat.
Chris Jenkinson made a vital interception to stop Brown getting to a rebound after an attack down the left.
Norfolk and Staveley captain Matthew Varley were shown yellow cards for something which didn’t involve then, and Greg Fitzpatrick followed them into the book after a nasty foul on Sutton on the edge of the area.
Luckily for Varley, the referee was signalling for the free kick, and did not see his stamp on Danny Brunton who had tried to play an advantage.
Fleming picked up his inevitable booking as the game turned more fiery, before Bridlington finally took control.
Norfolk went close with a shot which was deflected just over the bar, before Ross Goodwin clattered into Waudby and Sutton blasted the penalty past Nick Siddons in the 45th minute.
Tim Taylor was booked for a trip early in the second half, while Goodwin escaped despite a knee into Fleming’s chest, before another moment of controversy.
Carty’s inswinging corner looked like it had been scrambled out of the net by Hitchcock, but play went on, and for once, Staveley were not too vocal in complaining about the decision.
Flaming made way for Eddy Birch while Town still had the option to do so, and it was not to prove costly as the Seasiders went on to double their lead.
Paul Wray, who impressed in an unfamiliar full back role, sent a ball over the top for Waudby, who beat Goodwin for pace and played in a low cross which Norfolk slammed past Siddons from eight yards out.
Varley took time off from arguing with the referee to move into the Town penalty area and hit a shot over the crossbar.
Then, with time ticking down and the points safe, sub Chris Adams’ lovely pass dissected the Staveley defence but Norfolk couldn’t keep his shot on target.