Stewart hits hat-trick as Arnold suffer bus mishap

Josh Greening, who turned down an approach from a rival NCEL club last week to stay at Bridlington, netted Town's second. (DT1236-4C)
Josh Greening, who turned down an approach from a rival NCEL club last week to stay at Bridlington, netted Town's second. (DT1236-4C)

Bridlington Town 5

Arnold Town 2

NCEL Premier Division

NCEL Premier Division

YOU’VE heard of a team ‘parking the bus’ to stop their opponents scoring.

Well, Arnold tried a different bus tactic to try to put the brakes on Bridlington’s goal threat.

A transport mix-up meant the visitors’ coach only arrived at Queensgate 15 minutes before the scheduled kick off.

The game eventually kicked off 25 minutes late, but it seemed like the Arnold defence were still on the bus as Town scored three goals in the first 12 minutes to set them on their way to an easy win.

In truth, the Seasiders never had to get out of third gear, as Arnold endured a miserable trip to the coast .

After a quick change and the briefest of warm-ups, the Nottinghamshire side fell behind after five minutes.

Nathan Cook set Carl Stewart free and as keeper Ben Hallam came to meet him, the striker produced a controlled lob to open the scoring.

Within 60 seconds, Stewart found himself in a carbon oopy situation. This time Hallam raced outside his box to try to clear the danger.

But he misjudged his attempted header, Stewart scuttled in behind him and sent a shot towards goal.

A defender cleared it from inside the six-yard box but the ball went straight to Josh Greening who calmly side-footed a volley in from the edge of the area.

In an all-action start to the game, Arnold pulled a goal back on nine minutes. A volley from former Doncaster Rovers winger Tris Whitman hit Billy Logan in the face and looped into the far corner of the net.

But the fourth goal of the first 12 minutes went Bridlington’s way.

Ridiculously simple and again Arnold were responsible for their own demise.

Hallam presented a clearance straight to Greening whose heavy touch sent it back to the keeper. Having not learnt his lesson, he sent his second kick to Craig Hogg.

He ran down the right, squared to Stewart, who tapped home completely unmarked.

It could have got worse soon afterwards as Greening evaded a half-hearted tackle on the halfway line but was left in two minds whethere to pass or shoot as he bore down on goal.

His attempted pass to Stewart was cut out and the chance was gone.

Both keepers made comfortable saves as the clock ticked past 4pm. Hallam scrambling to gathered Natahn Cook’s 20-yarder and Mark Wilberforce comfortably stopping Whitman’s acrobatic attempt.

Hallam then did well to prevent Stewart, diving at his feet as he tried to dribble round him after collecting Tom Fleming’s excellent through ball.

After two lengthy stoppages for injuries, a head wound to Arnold striker Steve Chaplin and when Cook was on the receiving end of a bad tackle from Fred Stannard, the half-time whistle arrived at about 4.20pm.

Cook’s injury was so bad, he did not return for the second half, while Stannard was booked by referee Neil Guest.

Wayne Aziz made a brave block to deny Rob Gill’s powerful shot after Logan had slipped but the second half followed the pattern of the first with most of the action at the other end of the field.

Stewart’s thunderous volley from 15 yards took the slightest of deflections over the bar, but he only had to wait 11 minutes into the half to complete his hat-trick.

Hogg robbed full back Josh Schofield and headed for goal. Hallam saved his effort but the ball fell to Stewart who slammed the ball into the roof of the net from six yards.

The fifth goal arrived on 76 minutes. Another tremendous pass created it, as Ash Allanson picked out Scott Phillips perfectly and the sub controlled the ball well and fired home clinically.

Town were able to give livewire Darren Rookes a run out for the last 15 minutes but perhaps they took their foot off the pedal too much as they allowed Arnold to grab a consolation second five minutes from time.

Gill crossed from the left and sub Tony Law was left unmarked to convert from six yards out.

Man of the match: Carl Stewart

Attendance: 143