Town can’t hold on after lightning quick start

Bridlington Town v Scarborough Athletic
Bridlington Town v Scarborough Athletic

Pre-season ended in defeat for Bridlington Town, but only after they had given Scarborough Athletic a real scare.

The Seasiders raced into a 3-0 lead inside 12 minutes, but their tenants gradually fought back and snatched victory in the final few minutes.

On paper, it looked a mis-match. Town were missing several key defenders and were forced to play striker Craig Hogg as an emergency centre-half.

With no fit goalkeepers available either, they borrowed Steve Janney, who had played against them for Hall Road Rangers last weekend.

At the other end they fielded North Ferriby United forward, and former Scarborough hot-shot Lewis Clarkson for the first time and he made an immediate impact.

He opened the scoring inside two minutes, as his deflected shot looped up over keeper Ben Simpson and into the net.

Gary Bradshaw could have replied immediately but his chip landed the wrong side of the post and soon afterwards Town had doubled their lead.

Clarkson latched on to an Ash Allanson pass and even though he had team-mates queuing up for a pass, he showed the confidence to fire past Simpson.

Boro’s defence was a shambles and Joel Sutton waltzed through but Simpson made a tremendous one-handed save to win the one-on-one battle.

But with Boro’s back line all over the shop, and doing little more than waving their hands in the air and making hopeful looks to the linesman, Sutton was given a second chance on 12 minutes, and he made no mistake - rounding Simpson and tappingin.

Few could believe what they were seeing and in the chaos, shell-shocked Athletic skipper Leigh Franks was taken off and replaced by Lloyd Henderson.

Boro steadied their ship and Town needed a good tackle by Andy Coverdale as Dom Rowe was about to pull the trigger and a crucial block by Hogg to stop Tom Corner’s header.

Clarkson was looking very lively for Town against his old club and tried an audacious lob which dropped over the bar.

But Scarborough were getting closer and after Bradshaw had curled a free kick just wide, they scored twice in a couple of minutes to reduce the arrears.

Bradshaw nipped in behind the defence and beat Janney and then Corner took full advantage of a lucky bounce in the area to lash a fierce shot into the net.

The momentum had well and truly shifted and Janney had to twice make smart saves from long-range efforts from Stephen Mallory late in the half.

He made an even better stop early in the second period, pushing away Joe Fox’s piledriver. Nathan Peat should have equalised from the resulting corner but put a free header wide.

Clarkson was still making a nusiance of himself at the other end and should have completed his hat-trick, when he controlled Will Waudby’s long pass and left Henderson baffled, but he missed the target.

Simpson pushed Sutton’s 20-yard attempt wide before Boro made a crucial substitution.

If there is one thing more cretain than a striker scoring against his former team, like Clarkson had done, it is that Ryan Blott will score against Bridlington.

He had a couple of sighters, and Janney was at full-stretch to keep out Alex Peterson’s header, but the inevitable third goal arrived on 80 minutes.

Two Boro efforts hit the back of Town defemders before the ball fell invitingly for the prolific striker and he made no mistake.

After all Brid’s efforts, you felt there was only going to be one winner, but a twist in the tale arrived when referee Stephen Wade gaveTown a soft-looking penalty.

But Simpson produced an excellent save low to his right to deny Clarkson a hat-trick again.

And with the clock almost at 90 minutes, a wonderful Kieran McCaffrey cross was headed home by Blott, who proved to be the match-winner yet again.