A run of 11 consecutive league wins came to an end for Staveley Miners’ Welfare at the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Stadium on Saturday and dropped them back into fifth place, one above Bridlington Town who moved up from eighth.
Skipper Tom Fleming was missing as he served the first of a two-match suspension but Ryan Nicholls returned to central defence after a gap of eight matches. His appearance was cut short, however, after yet another injury forced him out of the game midway through the first half.
Only three Staveley players from the side that played Town on the opening day of the season made the starting 11 although all five substitutes were involved on that occasion.
The Seasiders’ started off the better side and kept the visitors pegged back in their own half for much of the opening 10 minutes.
Staveley then started to get a foot in the game and Kurtis Morley brought out a good save from James Hitchcock at the expense of a corner. Morley and Ellis Wall both fired over the top before Nicholls was substituted.
Several half chances came for Town in one spell of bagatelle in the Staveley area but they couldn’t get a clear sight of goal.
Hitchcock almost presented the visitors with a chance when he miskicked just outside of his penalty area but he got back inside to drop on the ball and recover the situation.
Danny Brunton got in a good tackle to stop Jahmal Smith then Hitchcock kicked clear as the same player chased a through ball.
Town finished the half on the front foot although there was a late chance for Staveley when Jordan Hodder’s effort went just wide of the post.
The Seasiders’ made another positive start to the second half and goalkeeper Steve Hernandez tipped over Will Waudby’s teasing cross. Three free kicks deep in Staveley’s half came to nothing and Ombeni Ruhanduka’s low shot on the turn was held on his line by Hernandez.
It was Ruhanduka who broke the deadlock after 64 minutes when he latched on to a Craig Fisher back pass and rounded Hernandez before putting the ball into an empty net.
‘Duka’ almost got a second but his 25-yard attempt clipped the bar and went over the top.
Brunton made another timely tackle to halt Brad Jones’ run down the right then when Town worked the ball in from the left, Conner Harman shot just over from 20 yards.
With five minutes remaining Staveley cleared a Town free kick upfield where Smith side-stepped Chris Jenkinson before putting the ball past Hitchcock who appeared slow to react.
Ruhanduka was brought down right on the edge of the penalty area but his free kick clipped the wall and went behind.
Town finished with a flourish but they were denied by Hernandez who tipped over from Birch and blocked a Chris Adams’ effort.
On Tuesday night the Seasiders are away to Shaw Lane Aquaforce who were 3-1 victors at Queensgate in November and currently lie in third position.