Title hopes all but over after another blank

Long Eaton United 0

Bridlington Town 0

The long midweek trip to Derbyshire saw Bridlington Town register a third goalless draw in their last four league games. The point gained puts them back up into second place on goal difference from Parkgate but the two points lost means that Farsley, with their superior goal difference, need only to win one of their last two games to take the title.

Town made three changes for this game. Ben Saynor replaced the injured Mark Wilberforce in goal with Dave Kemp and Gareth Owen coming in for Scott Phillips (unavailable) and Alex Rhodes who was on the substitutes’ bench alongside Tom Fleming and Craig Hogg.

On a dry, dusty pitch Long Eaton were the first to show and they had players lining up to have a shot when Town, through some poor defending, couldn’t get the ball clear.

Brid went on to the attack and Danny Brunton tested home goalkeeper Simon Baldwin with two efforts then a move involving Mark Barber, Gareth Owen, James Bennett and Steve Lyon resulted in the game’s first corner. Owen was again involved when he fed Phil Harrison whose cross towards Brunton was cleared by Michael Allsop.

Paul Gamble sent a 25-yar free kick yards over the top after Lee Wright was penalised for shirt pulling and Rob Eeles tidied up to foil Kevin Mabon when an awkward bounce deceived Mark Barber.

Barber sent a long throw into the middle of the penalty area with nobody able to get a telling touch on it.

After 34 minutes Nathan Parker went into the referee’s notebook for dissent after he was harshly adjudged to have fouled Owen.

With Eeles and Wright in command at the back, Town were trying to play football on the tricky surface to hold the upper hand and Long Eaton did not gain their first corner until six minutes before the break.

A lot of the first half had been played between the two penalty areas but it was the visitors who had created the better chances.

Three minutes into the second half Long Eaton had an opening from a corner but Michael Martin completely missed his kick near the far post. The hosts had another corner from which Saynor failed to reach the ball and Martin Bowles missed an easy chance before winning a third flag kick.

Bennett had a good effort go narrowly wide following a build up between Kemp and Lee then after 56 minutes Owen came off in favour of Alex Rhodes.

Wright made one of his rare errors of the night when an attempted back header to Saynor fell short and Kelvin Mushambi trying to take advantage put the ball on to the roof of the net.

With 62 minutes gone Rhodes turned to make space on the right flank and drove forward only to be unfairly checked by Allsop who received a booking. Bennett sent the free kick to the far post where Brunton headed wide.

Two minutes later Town made a double substitution followed by one from the home side.

Wright impeded Martin twenty yards out on the right edge of the box and Gamble sent in a free kick that brought a diving catch from Saynor down to his left.

With Long Eaton pressing Barber, who was having another good game in defence, got in a good covering tackle to halt Bowles. The same player then tried a long-range effort that Saynor parried then gathered with Mabon closing in.

Another long throw into the area by Barber bounced past Kemp and found Rhodes with a good chance but he screwed his attempt over the bar. Hogg was the next to fire too high after some neat play by Fleming on the edge of the penalty area.

Lee lost the ball to Martin who crossed for Morgan to score but the substitute was flagged offside.

Rhodes had another chance but had to stretch for the ball and could only direct it straight at Baldwin. The goalkeeper then punched away a thirty-yard free kick after Martin was adjudged to have pushed Harrison.

Fleming went for a fifty /fifty ball with Gamble from which the Long Eaton man was injured but play continued until Wright was upended as he brought the ball out of defence. Gamble received treatment before being withdrawn while Morgan confronted Fleming over the incident and referee Mr Mark Jones spoke to both players.

Rhodes had a shot saved from a Bennett free kick but a foul had already been given in Long Eaton’s favour for holding and Rhodes summed up the night when he had chance to send in a cross only to put it behind for a goal kick.

Long Eaton United: Baldwin, Breach, Gamble (Lord 88), Allsop, Whiley (c), Parker, Armstrong, Martin, Mabon, Mushambi (Morgan 66), Bowles (Campbell 81).

Substitutes not used: King, Rickford.

Bridlington Town: Saynor, Barber, Kemp, Bennett, Eeles, Wright, Harrison, Lee (c), Lyon (Hogg 64), Owen (Rhodes 56), Brunton (Fleming 64)

Attendance: 44

West BS Man of the Match: Lee Wright (Hardly put a foot wrong)

This Saturday relegated Dinnington Town visit the Neil Hudgell Law Stadium for the return league fixture then on Wednesday night Town travel over the Humber Bridge for a difficult game at Winterton Rangers.