Seasiders roar back to sink Thackley in dramatic finale

Andy Norfolk in action for Brid Town
Andy Norfolk in action for Brid Town

Bridlington Town came back from 2-0 down to claim a superb 3-2 win on their travels at Thackley,the final two goals coming in the final six minutes.

Town started the game brightly but it soon went downhill with the first half performance being probably the worst they have put in all season and at the break they trailed by two goals scored by substitute Sam Cable.

Town rallied in the second half and despite still lacking any quality they knuckled down to snatch all three points with two of their three goals coming inside the last six minutes.

The Seasiders were already devoid of the services of central defenders Fraser Papprill (ill) and skipper Chris Jenkinson (unavailable) then Alex Knaggs broke down in the pre-match warm up and was replaced by Ethan Nelson.

Reserve team player Lee Micklethwaite made his debut after twice being an unused substitute.

Thackley were missing the presence of leading scorer Joe Hughes who has already reached double figures for the season.

Eleven minutes into the game a Jack Walters free-kick, from out near the touchline and a few yards inside the home half, was fumbled by goalkeeper Luke Wilson but he recovered the ball and released Matthew Broadley, who went on a long run deep into the opposing area before putting in a low cross that was taken by James Hitchcock in the Town goal.

The exerting run took its toll on Broadley as he had to go off for treatment on a suspected hamstring injury and, being unable to return, he was replaced by Cable three minutes later.

Thackley looked suspect at the back and another free-kick from Walters was pushed wide by Wilson while Micklethwaite took the eye with some intelligent runs and was also able to produce a long throw-in.

A Town free-kick was cleared but they were able to play it in to Jack Griffin who had his effort saved.

Mick Garrod fired a shot into the visitors’ side netting and striker Daniel Broadbent missed the chance to put his side in front when he got clear of a hesitant defence only to hit James Hitchcock in the chest before the goalkeeper gathered it in.

Eleven minutes before half-time Town once again failed to make a free kick count in the Thackley half and it was cleared up to Nicholas Matthews who had his attempt blocked but Cable latched on to the loose ball to open the scoring from close in.

With time added on being played at the end of the half, Thackley again got goal side of the Town back line and winger Thomas Marshall fed the ball in for Cable to get his and his side’s second goal.

Micklethwaite had done well on his first appearance but he was sacrificed at the start of the second half for Chris Adams to enter the fray and 10 minutes later Jake Day replaced Andy Norfolk.

The visitors continued to struggle defensively and were unable to produce anything up front until they were offered a lifeline with 26 minutes remaining.

A push on Brett Agnew, 25 yards out, gave Joel Sutton the opportunity to show his prowess from a free-kick and he duly obliged by firing into the net via the goalpost to give Town a chance of gaining something from the game.

Within minutes Sutton had a similar opportunity following another push on Agnew but this time his attempt went inches the wrong side of the post.

As Town pushed forward the game got tense and both Craig Bentham of Thackley and Bridlington’s Tim Taylor were cautioned in separate incidents.

The game entered the final 10 minutes and, with Day putting a header narrowly wide, it appeared that Town would be heading for their first defeat at Dennyfield since April 2009 but they scored two late goals to come away with yet another victory.

With six minutes of normal time left Adams found Day in the area and although goalkeeper Luke Wilson blocked his attempt Agnew followed up to put the ball into an empty net. Three minutes later Sutton got free on the left and played the ball in for Day to go round Wilson and fire into the far bottom corner for a win that took Town into sixth place.

Bridlington Town: Hitchcock, Lewis (Richardson 74), Walters, Griffin, Nelson, Norburn, Norfolk (Day 55), Micklethwaite (Adams 46), Agnew, Taylor, Sutton

Unused Substitute: Knaggs

Thackley: Wilson, Garrod, White, McGuire (c), Bentham, Omoldkun, Broadley (Cable 14), Whiteley, Broadbent, Matthews, Marshall

Unused Substitutes: Harper, Storey, Barylski, Higginson (Gk)

Referee: Jack Hall

Attendance: 93

With no midweek game the Seasiders return to Queensgate on Saturday when Thackley again provide the opposition and it is hoped that the hosts will put in a vastly improved performance.

The two sides should have played back-to- back games over the Festive period but, with fixtures having to be rearranged because of FA Cup and Vase games, Christmas has come three months early.

Town will then face a stiff task at the Hudgell Solicitors Stadium on Tuesday when newly-promoted and the league leaders for the past month, Pontefract Collieries, are the visitors unless they have a FA Vase replay against Winsford United.

Pontefract have won seven of their nine games so far but have only played two away fixtures.

Their only league defeat came from a 1-0 loss at home to Pickering Town.