Town culled by the Badgers

Bridlington Town 1 Retford United 2
Bridlington Town 1 Retford United 2

Bridlington Town’s stuttering year ended in disappointing fashion with a home defeat to the 2011/12 champions.

Bridlington Town’s stuttering year ended in disappointing fashion with a home defeat to the 2011/12 champions.

Retford became the first team to the double over The Seasiders this season, a result which leaves Town in an unfamiliar 12th place in the NCEL table.

In the first game since midfielder Ash Allanson’s departure, Town switched systems and played three at the back, with Craig Palmer returning to the defence after injury.

Palmer, who became a dad on Christmas Day, was one of the few highlights for the hosts.

They had started well, with Joel Sutton having two early efforts. The first flew over the bar, the second saw him battle his way into the penalty area and force a save from Jody Barford at his near post.

Tom Fleming blasted a volley from the edge of the area, which worried the Retford keeper, but was off target, as the reds settled into their new system quickly.

They took the lead on 10 minutes. James Bennett played a lovely through ball from the halfway line and Craig Hogg ran on to finish high into the net.

Retford looked confident on the ball but were creating little, and could twice have fallen further behind.

Dean Craig set Hogg free down the left flnk and he cut inside and shot across goal but Barford blocked with his feet.

Thirty seconds later Hogg rose well to meet a deep cross but sent a powerful header wide.

He went closer still when he met Bennett’s corner at the near post but headed narrowly over the bar.

On 32minutes, the visitors levelled. Bobby Johnson had looked like he was the man who had the key to unlock the home defence and he proved it with a killer pass, which tempted Phil Dobson to race from his line.

But striker Richard Medcalf beat him to the ball, nipped round the keeper and finished from an awkward angle, despite the best efforts of Chris Jenkinson to get back and keep the ball out.

There were few chances after the break, but Town faded and the longer the gme went on, the more Retford looked like they would find a winner.

Sutton accelerated into the penalty area from the halfway line but pulled his attempt wide of the far post.

Another long-range effort from Sutton went just off-target before Dobson got down well to save from Jake Stannard, who had covered 50 yards to get on the end of Reece Thompson’s pass.

Suddenly, it was Retford creating the chances, Johnson curling a free kick just wide.

Their winner arrived on 79 minutes. Town were careless in possession around the own penalty area, and eventually Fleming bundled over Thompson.

Johnson sent the spot kick to Dobson’s right, and although the keeper got a hand to the penalty, it suqeezed into the corner of the net.

Town couldn’t find much by way of a reply and suffered their sixth league defeat of the season.