First of all a huge apology for not publishing a match preview for today’s game between Bridlington Town and Thackley AFC. Unfortunately the festive period caught up with us and we got a little behind on our workload.
Thackley AFC joins us today from just north of Bradford. A club currently celebrating its 87th year, they have become a mainstay in the NCEL Premier Division. Thackley makes a near 150 mile round trip to join us at the Hudgell Solicitors Stadium.
Bridlington started the first half very brightly. With the cold wind and wet pitch causing several early mistakes from both teams, Bridlington looked the team in ascendance. With Bridlington piling on the pressure, it was more a question of when the deadlock would be broken, rather than if.
A quick succession of shots from Bridlington was rewarded with nothing but the rattling of the crossbar and woodwork. If it were not for a stellar performance by the Thackley keeper the result could have been much worse for the visitors.
Thackley didn’t manage a single shot on target throughout the first half. Bridlington managed to cause the visitors a few scares, epitomised with a well-placed free-kick coming to nothing.
The first half finished 0-0, with Bridlington the happier of the two sides.
Thackley managed to get into the game after the break. Their players pushing much further forwards than during the first half. Their pressure was finally rewarded when Jordan Hendrie slotted home in the 52nd minute. After a crunching tackle on the Thackley player, the referee awarded a free kick from just outside the edge of the box. Hendrie producing a fine shot that gave the visitors the lead.
Condeding from Thackley’s first shot on target appeared to spur Bridlington on, with some great attacking football. Several great attacking runs were thwarted by a linesman with a twitchy offside flag.
Thackley then came close to making it 2-0, after causing the Bridlington keeper to produce a fine save. The Thackley player’s shot looked to be rolling in, but somehow kept out of the net.
Bridlington continued to pile on the pressure, with Jake Day producing some excellent runs and well-placed passes. Bridlington’s attacking play was finally rewarded when a Thackley defended brought one of the players down at the edge of the box. Thackley’s keeper found himself in the referee’s book after hoofing the ball away after the free kick was awarded. Things went from bad to worse for the young keeper, after an excellent free-kick was powered home by Joel Sutton to make it 1-1.
Paul Robson reaped the rewards of a fine performance on the 78th minute with a goal of his own. Again finding the pace to run through the Thackley defence, Robson slotted the ball past the keeper to give the home side the lead.
Bridlington looked to seal the three points with another goal, with several players coming close, including yet another shot hitting the bar.
Thackley continued to press in the final 10 minutes, with a free-kick of their own at the edge of the box. Thackley were unlucky that the free-kick came to nothing, and was booted far from the Bridlington end.
The referee blew full time after what seemed like an eternity of injury time, giving Bridlington the full three points, and sending them up a position in the league.
The first half of the game was one of the best team performances I have seen from Town. Finally, the team has gelled together and are playing as a solid unit. The passing was excellent in slippery conditions, and all that was missing was the goals.
Thackley will head home happy with a decent performance, but will want to work on their defensive speed. Both Bridlington goals (and several near-goals) came from slow defending.
Taking Bridlington into 2018 with a win is definitely a plus point, and with a great performance, even after going 1-0 down, was an added bonus.
180 fans helped to warm up a cold day at the Hudgell Solicitors Stadium, and a large majority will be heading home with big smiles on their faces.
Scores From The League
With several matches postponed only four games went ahead. The scores were:
AFC Mansfield 3 – 2 Hemsworth Miners Welfare (Smythe 13, Guest 57, Dear 90/Holt 56, Docherty 70)
Bridlington Town 2 – 1 Thackley AFC (Sutton 62, Robson 78/Hendrie 52)
Maltby Main 1 – 1 Staveley Miners Welfare (McDonnell 63/Baskerville 83(pen))
Penistone Church 1 – 1 Worksop Town (Kieghtley 32/Hill 4)
The NCEL Premier Division league table (courtesy of ncefl.org.uk):
Next Up: Bridlington Town vs Hall Road Rangers
The next home game for Bridlington Town is against Hall Road Rangers. Scheduled to take place on Saturday the 13th of January, this game should be an exciting one.
With Hall Road Rangers clinching the Division One title in the final game thriller of last season they are more than settled into the Premier Division. Hopefully, there will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere.
Where and When: 3 pm 13th January, Hudgell Solicitors Stadium.