Holders Town avoid a cup upset

Sculcoates Amateurs 3

Bridlington Town 5

(after extra time)

East Riding Senior Cup

A DETERMINED display from Sculcoates Amateurs pushed Bridlington Town all the way before losing out to the Senior Cup holders in extra time.

After the demolition of Heanor Town in the League Cup in midweek, the visitors would have expected to progress through this round against lower league opposition but, despite going in front after only two minutes and leading 3-1 10 minutes before the break, an out-of-sorts Town struggled to contain the Humber Premier League side and it took two Craig Hogg goals in the extra half hour to finally finish them off.

Soon after the start Billy Logan played the ball to Josh Greening whose pass inside found Scott Phillips with the goal at his mercy and he didn’t miss the opportunity of giving his side an early goal.

Sculcoates hit back and, after failing to convert two half chances as well as seeing Danny Blount’s effort put out for a corner by Chris Batchelor, they drew level in the 16th minute when the Town defence went AWOL from a Danny Moon corner to present Ricky Field with a free header at the far post.

Town regained their advantage six minutes later following a mix-up between the home goalkeeper James Hitchcock and central defender Blount that left Josh Greening clear to take full advantage of the situation.

The Seasiders’ defence was getting caught out and they were almost undone again when Ricky Howlett ran unmarked from deep to meet a corner but his header went marginally over the bar then Wilberforce had to be alert to block an attempt from Mike Leng.

Phillips got free on the right flank to send in a centre from near the corner flag, which was caught by Hitchcock with Greening in close attention.

Hitchcock was at fault on 35 minutes when he fumbled a Greening corner. The ball was worked to Bridlington skipper Tom Fleming who lifted it over the goalkeeper and into the net despite Blount’s vain attempt to keep it out.

Not to be outdone, the Amateurs hit back again two minutes before half time when Leigh Haworth stooped low to meet a cross from Field and head the ball past Mark Wilberforce.

On the restart the visitors survived a scare in their six-yard area before leading scorer Carl Stewart, who had been brought on at half time in place of Eddie Cass, tried his luck with a first time shot although he had more time than he realised to get in a more controlled effort.

Fleming made progress on the left and his ball in was cleared only as far as Phillips but Hitchcock reacted with a good block.

Leng almost profited when Jenkinson slipped on the surface but after he cut in to shoot the ball was deflected behind. Wilberforce conceded another corner with a punch from a Moon free kick and Moon drove an effort from the right straight into the hands of Wilberforce.

Nathan Cook had a 25-yard shot deflected for a corner but Town struggled to kill off the tie and twelve minutes from the end former Town player Danny Drayton, on as a substitute, sent it into extra time by drilling in from a cross by Field.

Before 90 minutes was up Drayton just failed to connect with a diving header, Moon had his attempt saved by Wilberforce after Cook had lost the ball and Stewart’s pass into the Sculcoates‘ goalmouth was scrambled away.

Bridlington’s fitness told in the extra half hour and six minutes in Craig Hogg got ahead of Hitchcock to score with home captain Tony Scruton unable to prevent it from crossing the line.

Town pushed forward and Stewart sent a 20-yarder past a post while Hogg fired into the side netting after a one-two with Phillips.

Sculcoates almost snatched another equaliser when they had a corner headed off the line and the follow-up shot was deflected over the top.

Three minutes after the turn-round Hogg notched his second goal and just missed out on a hat trick by dinking the ball the wrong side of the post.

Town continued to press with their opponents failing to mount any worthwhile attacks in the final 10 minutes and after both Hogg and Stewart had been caught offside Ash Allanson saw Hitchcock push his volley away for a corner.

It had been hard work but the holders took their place in the quarter finals.