A resilient defensive display saw Bridlington Town stretch their unbeaten run to nine games as they began 2016 with a 1-0 win at Clipstone.
Missing suspended trio Andy Norfolk, Will Waudby and Joel Sutton, the Seasiders’ depleted starting 11 were under the cosh for most of the game, but full back Benn Lewis headed the only goal of the game.
They held on for the three points, which sees them third in the NCEL Premier Division at the start of the new year, and manager Gary Allanson was thrilled with the character his side showed.
Allanson said: “We travelled to Clipstone on Saturday with the bare bones of a squad because of the suspensions and injuries and came away with a fantastic 1-0 victory.
“They were lying fifth and had just beaten Worksop and Handsworth so were in good form. We were in good form ourselves but with a depleted squad knew it was going to be very difficult.
“Tom Fleming was returning after his suspension but because of postponements he hadn’t played for four weeks, Jamie Reeson’s last game was September and we had Chris Adams and Danny Brunton starting their first games of the season.
“We were under a lot of pressure but we showed great character and resilience to keep a clean sheet, every player ran themselves into the ground on a heavy pitch, it was a great battling, backs against the walls performance and shows how far we have come in the last three months.
“Being honest we didn’t create a lot but we were clinical with the two chances we had and converted one, which was a fantastic header from Benn Lewis. On chances created did we deserve to win, the answer is no. On the way we defended from 1-11, closed down, blocked, pressed, tackled, worked hard, ran our socks off, then it is a massive yes, we earned and fully deserved the three points.”
Having ended 2015 with an eventful and disappointing 3-3 draw at Garforth, and then seen the Boxing Day clash at Pickering postponed, Allanson was proud of how his troops responded.
“Every player worked unbelievably hard and it is very difficult to pick a player, but Chris Jenkinson was magnificent marshalling a solid, disciplined back five.
“Chris showed a brilliant reaction after the Garforth game and every player should take that on board because that attitude epitomises everything we want at this club.
“We won’t let our standards drop, if they do, we will let them know and we expect a reaction. If we went to war, I would want every single one of this squad alongside me in the trenches because after that display, I know we would look out for each other and stay together until the very end.
“I can’t praise these players enough at the moment.
“We seem to have got the winning habit but more importantly of not wanting to lose. There is a feel good factor around the squad and a very good spirit forming. Andy Norfolk, Will Waudby, Joel Sutton, James Whittingham and Ash Allanson, who were suspended or injured, all travelled to the game on Saturday to support their team mates which shows the spirit we have at the club.
“We had two very hard fitness sessions over the Xmas period and we had full attendances at both which shows the attitude of these players and where they want to be.
“Hopefully we can continue our good form into the new year, we have had a good start so let’s see where we can go. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs but we need the support of the fans to keep us going and keep promoting the positives.”
Town are at home to Brigg Town in the League Cup on Tuesday evening and travel to Nostell Miners Welfare on Saturday.