Seasiders return to winning ways at Clipstone
Bridlington Town bounced back from last week's home defeat by winning their seventh consecutive away league fixture against a side that had taken all three points away from Queensgate in August.
Boss Curtis Woodhouse was delighted with the way his side performed against a tricky Clipstone side.
He said: “Before I came here they beat Brid so we knew were in for a good game.
“But I was very impressed with the way we played Saturday and our shape was a lot better than the Hemsworth game.
“We were very solid, which is something I like to work on a lot as a manager, I like my sides to be organised and we are doing a lot better in that department, but we are still a work in progress.”
Woodhouse singled out centre-back Chris Jenkinson for praise.
“Chris had a very good game on Saturday, he is very good in the air but was excellent all-round against Clipstone,” added Woodhouse.
“Brett Agnew and Joel Sutton had a quiet first half on Saturday, so I had a chat with them at half-time and after the interval Brett was unplayable on his way to a hat-trick.
“He is a good, old fashioned number nine and when he is on top form he is very hard to stop.”
The Seasiders play host to NCEL Premier Division leaders Cleethorpes Town this Saturday, and Woodhouse admitted this will be a crunch clash.
“We have put ourselves in the perfect position for this match after our good run over the past couple of months,” he said.
“We have gone from looking over our shoulders at relegation to moving into the promotion battle and Saturday will be a good measure of how far we have come as Cleethorpes are clearly the best team in the league.”
On Saturday, midfielder Tim Taylor replaced the injured Benn Lewis on the right of Brid’s defence.
The only other change saw Andy Norfolk’s defensive qualities give him preference ahead of Jordan Harrison on the right of midfield.
The hosts gave a debut to keeper Reece Mills, whose jittery performance did little to inspire a hesitant defence.
The Seasiders went on the offensive from the outset and gained two early corners, the second of which was cleared by Joe Austin after Mills had nervously mishandled it.
James Hitchcock was twice called into action before Will Waudby got free on the left, but from his pass Agnew hit an effort wide when a lay-off to the unmarked Norfolk appeared to be a better option.
A neat move that started from the back and continued down the right was ended when Andrew Fox cut out a low cross from Sutton, then Hitchcock saved with his feet when Clipstone broke forward, although there was a hint of offside.
Sutton was booked for a foul on Adam Shepherd after referee Abbas Khan had failed to spot a blatant push on Taylor seconds earlier.
Agnew made amends for his earlier miss when he met Norfolk’s low cross to hit a first-time shot past Mills from just inside the penalty area in the 34th minute.
Two minutes later the lead was doubled with Jenkinson’s header from a Sutton corner, taking a slight deflection off Clipstone skipper Richard Patterson and going past Mills.
With two minutes of the half remaining, Andrew Fox had a chance to pull a goal back from the spot after he had been upended by Alex Knaggs. Fox’s low kick was going towards the corner of the net, but Hitchcock pulled off a great save to palm it round the post.
Knaggs was cautioned for the offence and on the stroke of half-time Adam Fox followed him into the book for a late challenge on Sutton.
Five minutes into the second half Nicky McNamara and Reece Treasure saw yellow following an altercation then, with Clipstone having a better start to the half, Fox missed another chance by heading wide from a corner.
In the 55th minute Agnew put Town further in front when he chased a forward pass into the opposing penalty area where both Mills and centre-back Richard Haigh took their eyes off the ball and completely missed it allowing the striker to run on and put it into an empty goal.
Town made two quick substitutions, defender Kurtis Bedford coming on for Tom Fleming allowing Taylor to move into midfield then shortly after Will Waudby was booked for a foul he was replaced by Jordan Harrision.
Clipstone came close to scoring when a free-kick from the left struck the far post but, after Agnew dragged a shot wide with only Mills to beat, Patterson reduced the arrears by curling a shot just inside the post with six minutes left.
The Cobras’ joy, however, was short-lived with the visitors scoring two late goals. Agnew completed a hat-trick by accepting a pass from Taylor and stroking the ball past Mills then an in-swinging corner from Jack Walters was headed in at the far post by McNamara.
Bridlington Town: Hitchcock, Taylor, Walters, McNamara, Jenkinson, Knaggs, Norfolk (Fox75), Fleming (c) (Bedford 61), Agnew, Sutton, Waudby (Harrison 65).
Unused subs: Blakeston, Wain (Gk).