Pre-season programme ends with narrow defeat

Bridlington Town 0

Whitby Town 1

BRIDLINGTON’S hiccup-hit pre-season programme ended with a defeat, but they gave a good account of themselves against opposition from two leagues higher.

Having seen three friendlies cancelled at short notice, Mitch Cook’s men were pleased just to be able to take to the field after 10 days without a game.

And although they enjoyed good spells of possession, they lacked the guile to open up Whitby’s solid defence, well marshalled by Kevin Burgess.

A crisp strike by midfielder David McTiernan separated the two teams, in a game which saw decent football but few clear-cut chances.

The visitors had the evening’s first effort but a drilled shot by former Middlesbrough and Cardiff City striker Andy Campbell was safely gathered by Mark Wilberforce.

At the other end, teenage keeper Matthew Calvert was at full stretch as Craig Hogg tried to nod the ball over him, but defences were on top for the opening 20 minutes.

As the half progressed it was Whitby who created the better opportunities. Rob McDermid might have found more joy if he had been confident enough to use his left foot, but instead his right foot effort was staright at Wilberforce.

McTiernan then cleared the wall with a 30-yard free kick but again Brid’s keeper was not unduly troubled.

Good defending by Burgess twice stopped Hogg from geting a shot away, and it was not until 31 minutes that the hosts had their first shot on target, although it was a tame, long-range effort from the returning Ash Allanson.

Whitby looked the more likely to score as half time approached and two right wing crosses from the lively Callum Martin nearly brought about an opening goal.

McTiernan was a whisker away from connecting the first, while McDermid headed the second over from inside the six yard box.

But on 44 minutes the visitors broke the deadlock. Wayne Aziz misjudged the bounce and Campbell’s lay-off was thumped into the bottom corner by David McTiernan from the edge of the area.

Bridlington made wholesale changes at half time, with newcomer Paul Fraser making his debut in goal and Gareth Owen, Carl Cook, Ged Dalton and Danny Brunton introduced.

Breaking down the Whitby defence still proved difficult though, with Dalton’s curled shot and Josh Greening’s volley the only efforts of note. One was easily the saved, the other flew over the bar.

Several players were brought back on as Cook looked to find the craft to create an equaliser, and Whitby made changes of their own as the game fizzled out somewhat.

In honesty, it looked more likely to becme 2-0 than 1-1, and the away side could have put the game to bed after good link-up play between substitutes Jake Fiachney and Andy Leeson but Tom Lee made a vital interception.

Newcomer Fraser proved his worth when he denied Fiachney with his feet and Danny Brunton saved Town when he made a goalline clearance from the resulting corner.

The Seasiders played at a decent tempo and looked comfortable in possession but will be looking for more of a cutting edge when the real business gets underway at Maltby Main on Saturday.

Town: Mark Wilberforce, Jamie Patterson, Lee Wright, Wayne Aziz, Tom Lee, Nathan Cook, James Bennett, Ash Allanson (c), Craig Hogg, Craig Palmer, Josh Greening. Subs: Paul Fraser, Ged Dalton, Gareth Owen, Carl Cook, Danny Brunton

Whitby: Matthew Calvert, Ashley Lyth, Rex White (Billy Blackford), Ibrahim Hassan, Kevin Burgess, Darren Williams (Mark Ellison), Callum Martin, David McTiernan (Sam Hodgson), Rob McDermid (Andy Leeson), Andy Campbell (Jake Fiachney), Mark Robinson (c)

Referee: Steve Wade.

Attendance: 168