Town pull clear at top after 11th straight win

Tom Fleming's header is cleared off the line v Thackley
Tom Fleming's header is cleared off the line v Thackley

Bridlington Town 4

Thackley 1

NCEL Premier Division

THACKLEY arrived with an impressive away record, having lost just once on their travels when they lost 4-1 at the same venue against Scarborough Athletic in their second game of the season.

They went home having the score line repeated as Bridlington Town, who also have games in hand over the two teams directly below them, extended their lead at the top to three points and their winning league run to 11 games.

In an entertaining first half the two goalkeepers were instrumental in keeping their defences intact and Thackley’s Mark Bower was particularly outstanding.

It all changed soon after the break with a quick-fire double from Town’s Craig Hogg and a reply by Nicky Matthews. Hogg went on to complete his second hat trick in four games and just before the end Carl Stewart continued his impressive record of scoring in all but one of his league appearances.

Nathan Cook had recovered from a knee injury and along with Josh Greening and Stewart was recalled to the starting line-up.

In Town’s first attack Stewart, who had been fouled 20 yards out, hit the free kick into the defensive wall and had his follow up punched away by Bower. Stewart’s control then let him down as he tried to take a pass from Tom Fleming.

Billy Logan saw his free kick deflected for a corner and another deflection from a good strike by Stewart had Bower diving to turn the ball round the post. Hogg got into the area but his shot lacked power and was easily taken by Bower.

The game went from end-to-end and as Thackley passed the ball round well, Missin twice shot straight at Wilberforce.

Greening’s cross from the right was cleared to Hogg who flashed an effort inches over while Chris Batchelor won the ball on the halfway line and worked it to Stewart who brought out another fine save from Bower.

The goalkeeper again denied both Stewart and Batchelor, then a cross from Batchelor was headed away from Greening by Davey and Hogg had his attempt deflected on to a post and behind for a corner.

Town finished the half on the attack but Stewart missed a couple of chances and Hogg, put through by Greening, saw Bower spread himself to save his first-time shot.

In the 47th minute Cook was brought down on the right, just beyond the penalty area, and although the free kick was cleared it was gathered by Ash Allanson who delivered a cross to the far side of the six-yard box where Stewart headed it back across goal and Craig Hogg volleyed it in.

A minute later Billy Logan played a long ball to find Hogg in the clear and he rolled the ball past the advancing Bower.

Wilberforce tipped over a shot on the turn from Nicky Matthews but he was beaten after 51 minutes by the ex-Bradford Park Avenue player who went on a run past three defenders on the edge of the penalty area before delivering a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Logan was only inches from adding to the score following a free kick and Allanson had an effort well saved by Bower while Tasker headed off the line from a corner.

Thackley hit back with a break on the right and Wilberforce smartly saved when Matthews swivelled to send in a crisply taken shot. The custodian then parried a Missin effort and saved again when Davey followed up.

After 73 minutes came the best goal of the game. Stewart was again the provider when he juggled with the ball, just inside the area, to outwit two defenders then played it across to Hogg who executed a perfect overhead kick that flashed past a bemused Bower.

With 90 minutes of normal time approaching, the Seasiders appeared to be playing out time but made the game safe when Mike Jones had a shot pushed away by Bower and the substitute followed it up to play the ball back for Carl Stewart to volley in from the edge of the 18-yard box.

There was still time in the game, which had been excellently controlled by referee Mark Swift of Grimsby, for Wilberforce to turn over a 30-yarder from Thackley substitute Adam Hill.