The Seasiders kicked off their FA Cup journey in the Extra Preliminary Round against Harrogate Railway Athletic. Bridlington started the game brightly with last season’s top scorer Jake Day providing a number of opportunities for his team.
It was on the five minute that Town had their first real chance of the game. Michael Thompson, Harrogate’s number eight, was alleged to have fouled a Town player just on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was hit hard against the Harrogate wall and out of danger.
Two-goal hero from the previous game against Garforth, Joe McFadyen, nearly broke the deadlock after his half-volley produced a great save from visiting keeper Jacob Collier.
On the eighth minute a great bit of build-up play lead to a cross toward an unmarked Shaquille McKenzie, whose powerful strike found the back of the net, sending the Seasiders 1-0 up.
The Seasiders continued to pile on the pressure against Harrogate, with the visitors keeping numbers up ready for any counter-attack. It was Nuno Pereira who came to the visitors rescue making a vital clearance from yet another Bridlington free kick.
Town’s ability to make a chance from very little was on show, with a throw in being flicked on from the head of Jake Day (a move we saw a number of times during the game) causing a scramble in the Harrogate box. The clearance was poor, but Nathan Modest’s shot was too low to beat Harrogate’s scrambling keeper.
Joe McFadyen caused problems through the first half for the visitors. He made a great run down the wing, but the resulting cross was well blocked by the Harrogate defence.
Jake Day came close to scoring when, after showing great control of a pass, he shot narrowly over the bar after turning on the spot.
Half Time couldn’t come quick enough for the visitors, who needed time to assess the game and come up with a better strategy; the visitors didn’t manage a single shot on target through the first half.
It didn’t take long for Bridlington to add to Harrogate’s worries. Joe McFadyen added another goal to his season’s tally after a fine ball from Nathan Modest. His half-volley flew past an outstretched Jacob Collier.
Harrogate began to show signs of life and Simon Swales had two shots in quick succession blocked by the Town defence.
Town began to make changes to give some legs a rest in time for Wednesday’s game away to Worksop. Joe McFadyen made way for Tim Taylor, with McFadyen receiving applause for his fantastic performance.
Shaquille McKenzie, encouraged on with several chants of “Shaq Attack”, showed his impressive pace, getting past a number of Harrogate Players, before his pass was blocked, resulting in another corner for Bridlington. The corner was floated into the Harrogate box but the clearance wasn’t great. Nathan Modest, whose performance throughout the game was astounding, got himself onto the score sheet with an excellent goal.
Another two changes were made by the Seasiders, with Shaquille McKenzie being replaced by Danny Buttle, and Lewis Dennison on for James Faulkner.
Danny Buttle was unlucky to not get himself onto the score sheet. His shot was well parried by the Harrogate goalkeeper.
The full-time whistle blew with Town progressing onto the next round after a well-deserved win. The Seasiders are beginning to show signs of a promotion-worthy side and several players are giving Curtis Woodhouse a very welcome team selection headache moving forward.