Town dig deep to beat Collieries

Bridlington Town 2 Pontefract Collieries 1
Bridlington Town 2 Pontefract Collieries 1

Full-back Benn Lewis was Bridlington Town’s unlikely hero as they earned a hard-fought 2-1 against Pontefract Collieries.

The Seasiders showed four changes from the side which had played 120 minutes at Sunderland RCA in the FA Vase at the weekend, and match-winner Lewis was one of the additions.

After a number of missed chances, the Seasiders took the lead on the half-hour mark through leading scorer Ombeni Ruhanduka.

But Colleries were back on level terms within 10 minutes. Max Leonard’s shot was saved by James Hitchcock but Aaron Moxam squeezed the rebound past Lewis on the line.

Town lost striker Craig Hogg to injury while they were ahead, but his replacement Joel Sutton almost put Bridlington back in front. His free kick beat the wall and keeper Ellis Halpine, but bounced back off the post and Lewis’ follow-up was headed off the line.

After the break, Town’s weekend efforts seemed to be catching up with them, and Hitchcock had to save Leonard’s swerving effort.

Pontefract’s most dangerous threat then beat the keeper to a through ball, but couldn’t control his shot after taking the ball around Hitchcock.

Sutton headed wide at the back post after a surging run and deep cross by Will Waudby.

Pontefract were vocally contesting every decision which went against them, and a bad foul by Tom Fleming brought him a yellow card.

But Town got their noses in front on 73 minutes. Waudby’s shot, at the end of a move started by a lovely back heel by Fleming, was pushed behind by Halpine and when the corner was nodded nown, Lewis nudged the ball past a defender on the line.

Filled with confidence, Lewis then auditioned to be Bridlington’s answer to Charlie Adam but Halpine raced back and tipped his 50-yard chip over the crossbar.

There was a heart-stopping moment in injury time when Bridlington gave the ball away cheaply in their own half, and Moxam was sent clear but he curled his effort wide of the far post with virtually the last kick of the game.