Seasiders defence shines in Handsworth stalemate

Brid Town keeper Jody Barford punches clear in the 0-0 draw against Handsworth
Brid Town keeper Jody Barford punches clear in the 0-0 draw against Handsworth

Despite the 0-0 scoreline this was a very entertaining game in which Handsworth had the better of the chances but they were unable to break a resolute Bridlington defence.

Town kept faith with the same 11 that started the East Riding FA Senior Cup quarter-final against Hedon Rangers and for the most part they matched a Handsworth team who are in second place in the league table.

The Ambers made just one change to their line-up with a debut for 18-year-old goalkeeper James Leverton, who had arrived on a youth loan deal from Doncaster Rovers.

The first chances fell to Handsworth’s livewire attacker Jordan Turner, but his effort deflected off Jody Barford for a corner before he was caught marginally offside as he attempted to break clear.

A corner-kick caused a nervous moment in the Town six-yard box before Tim Taylor managed to kick the ball clear of the penalty area.

Although the early half- chances fell to the visitors, Town played their part in an excellent contest and were playing some nice football, but Handsworth should perhaps have taken the lead when Turner once again outpaced the home defence and rounded Barford, but he was pushed too far wide to convert the difficult chance.

Bridlington skipper Tom Bennett found Jake Day in space but he hurried his shot and sent it well wide, then minutes after being cautioned for clattering into Lee Cooksey, the striker fired another effort over the bar.

A further Handsworth attack caused consternation in the Town area and after two attempts to clear the hosts eventually got the ball away.

Joel Sutton’s 30-yard free- kick was punched away by Leverton for a corner from which the goalkeeper held Chris Jenkinson’s header under his crossbar.

As half-time approached a foul on Day in the visitors half went unpunished and from the counter-attack Turner drove too high to end a half that Handsworth had shaded but were unable to break the deadlock.

Handsworth started the second period on the front foot with Barford saving well from Brad Nicholson.

A minute later Turner had another opportunity but Barford was equal to it and, as the ball ran loose, leading scorer Jon Froggatt had a clear sight of goal but lost his footing at the vital moment to let the chance slip by.

Turner also saw an effort miss the target when leading a counter-attack following a Town free-kick for a foul on Joel Sutton on the edge of the opposing penalty area.

The game continued with both sides going in search of the vital breakthrough, and although an attempt by Day lacked the necessary power, it forced Leverton into making a good save and then his opposite number Barford punched away a free kick taken from the edge of the Bridlington D.

Handsworth still looked the likelier to score despite Leverton coming out of his area to clear from Day and his defence just managing to clear their lines from a free-kick.

In a last-minute push by the visitors there was a scramble in the Town goalmouth that ended with the Seasiders being awarded a free-kick for offside.

As the Handsworth players left the pitch the expressions on their faces showed that they felt they had lost an opportunity, especially when the news drifted through that league leaders AFC Mansfield had lost 5-1 at home to Liversedge.

After the game the draw for the semi-finals of the East Riding Senior Cup was made by former Hull City player Ryan France and ERCFA Competitions Secretary Liz Shipp.

It paired Town with York Minster Engineering League side Dunnington while Beverley Town were drawn to play Hull City Academy.

The Seasiders’ tie will be played at the Roy West Centre (East Riding County FA Headquarters) on Tuesday March 20, kick-off 7.30pm, and means that they have a nine- match schedule for March.

Last night the Seasiders were due to play their previously postponed League Cup third round tie away to Worksop Town.

On Saturday Brid travel north for a league game against Harrogate Railway Athletic, who are in danger of a second relegation in three seasons.

The Seasiders will be looking to complete a double over the Harrogate side, as they roared to a 5-2 home win against the Railway team back in October.

Jake Day smashed in four for the hosts at Queensgate, the other effort coming from Joel Sutton, with three Brid goals and Railway’s second coming in a crazy closing six minutes of the match.

Both the Reserves and Thirds hope to return to action after their fixtures were postponed last week.

The table-topping Reserves are at home to Driffield Evening Institute, while in the East Riding County League Division One it is bottom-versus-top when leaders Withernsea AFC visit the Sports Club ground.

Both matches kick off at 2pm.

Bridlington Town: Barford, Dennison, Buttle, Paylor, Jenkinson, Williamson, Taylor (Brown 73), Bennett (c) (Knaggs 61), Day, Sutton, Adams (Knaggs 90+5).

Unused substitute: Nestor (Gk), Bowsley.

Handsworth Parramore: Leverton, Ludlam, Nicholson (Rippon 70), Istead, Cooksey, Radford, Hemmingway, Phillips, Froggatt (c) (Hill 81), Turner, Green.

Unused substitutes: Yates, Eades, Ashmore.

Referee: Darren Whatling.

Attendance: 201.