This game was an excellent advertisement for non-league football. The match may look like a bore-draw on paper, but it was far from it. From last-minute nail-biting to end-to-end attacking, this game left both sets of fans entertained. And what is football about, if not entertainment?
Unfortunately my usual assistant was not at the game, so this match report will not be a detailed without his note-taking!
Although some decisions by the match-day referee were dubious, to both teams, it has to be said the linesmen were on point. One excellent call certainly saved a point for Bridlington.
The first half started quietly, with both teams weighing the other up and looking for weaknesses to exploit. Bridlington controlled the majority of the first half. Curtis Woodhouse, Bridlington’s manager, has said he is trying to create a passing team. The first half was a prime example of doing that right.
Although there were few and far between shots, there were some fine passages of play from both teams. Lewis Dennison made some great runs for Bridlington, showing his pace.
Bridlington had the lions share of the game during the first half. Unfortunately, though, they could not break through Handsworth’s solid defence.
The second half began with Handsworth showing just why they’re second in the league. They played some enjoyable football and kept Bridlington keeper Jody Barford on his toes.
Unfortunately the main talking point of the second half was the refereeing. Though not always for the wrong reasons. Though many of his decisions were somewhat dubious it was refreshing to see a referee not resorting to his cards for every decision. Several times, when others would have flashed a card, he spoke to the players and their captains. It was great to see a referee that understands that games can get heated and that it’s fine.
Handsworth began to boss the game for long periods of the half, but it was Bridlington that came closest to breaking the deadlock. After an excellent run into the box from the wing, the Bridlington player could sadly only find the side-netting.
The most questionable decision of the match came close to the end. After making a run past two players, Archie Brown made his frustration of losing the ball felt. A number of fans were sure they saw two feet go into the tackle. Luckily for Archie the referee must have been blinded by the brilliant sunlight and not spotted it. Archie survived with just a yellow card.
With the final shot of the game Handsworth came agonisingly close to scoring. With Jody Barford beaten, the player only had his own teammate to get the ball past. With a stroke of sheer luck the ball struck their offside player on the way into the goal. A smart decision by the eagle-eyed linesman saved Bridlington’s point.
Again, though this match looked like a bore-draw on paper, it was far from it. Some technical prowess from the Handsworth players, along with some great passing football from Bridlington, gave this game a great deal of entertainment for both sets of fans.
A draw was a fair result for both teams. Though at points both teams looked like they were going to snatch a victory, neither could find the luck to find the net.
Bridlington travel to Worksop Town on the 21st in the League Cup. Saturday they also travel away to Harrogate Railway Athletic. The next match at the Hudgell Solicitors Stadium is against 9th place Penistone Church. We will hopefully be back to full coverage by this game, and will hopefully have a more detailed match report for then.
The league table looks like this, following the weekend’s result: