Bridlington Town welcomed fellow promotion-chasing Yorkshire Amateur to the Hudgell Solicitors Stadium on a blustery March day. Thankfully the heavy rain that persisted through the majority of the morning had subsided in time for the match, and the pitch was in excellent condition for the exciting game ahead.
Jack Griffin brought the game to a start, as Town looked to surprise Ammers with some early pressure, but the visitor’s defence was resolute and proved difficult to beat.
A poor clearance from Griffin gifted Ryan Serrant an opening just inside the edge of the box, but his shot flew wide of the target and out for a goal kick.
Ammers Harrison Blakey needed medical treatment after a clash of head and elbow, which gave Ammers another opportunity to float a free kick into the box. The ball was too high for any player to reach and went out harmlessly for a goal kick.
Town broke the deadlock between two equally matched teams on the 18th minute. Matthew Broadley produced a low cross from the right channel, causing visiting keeper Graham McLachlan off his line to try to deal with it, the keeper hesitated at the last second, and Joe McFadyen smartly knocked the ball wide of the keeper and hammered home from just inside the box.
Fernando Moke nearly managed to lob Town’s Tom Jackson with a smart looping shot, but Jackson caught the ball just before it could cross the line.
Jake Day, on a fine return to the form which saw him the top scorer last season, doubled Town’s lead shortly before the end of the first half. Nathan Modest made a great run, managing to drag the ball through three Ammers defenders, before Day hammered the ball home past the approaching McLachlan.
The second half would prove to be just as thrilling as the first, for both teams.
Ammers’ Blakey made a run through the Town defence but went to ground after what appeared to be a trip from Chris Jenkinson. Referee David Jones didn’t hesitate as he pointed to the spot, furious protest from Town players didn’t change Jones’ mind, and Yorkshire Amateur had a great chance to get right back into the game.
Up stepped Ashley Flynn to take the penalty. A short run and a powerful shot that was destined for the top corner of the goal was terrifically kept out by Tom Jackson, more than earning his Man Of The Match for the game. Flynn charged in for the rebound, but Jackson had beaten him too it, but it was too late for Flynn as he had already committed himself to the challenge, clattering with Jackson and earning himself a yellow card for the late tackle.
Yorkshire Amateur began to pile on the pressure but it was Town that would finish the scoring on a blustery Saturday afternoon.
A fantastic weighted pass from recently signed Mark Hutchinson fooled the tiring Ammers defence, and found Modest in acres of space at the other side of the pitch. Modest ran into the box with the ball before slotting his shot into the bottom right corner past the oncoming McLachlan giving Town a 3-0 lead over their promotion rivals.
Bridlington Town left the game with three important points and a clean sheet, but Yorkshire Amateur were great opponents and quite possibly deserved more from the game. If it wasn’t for some terrific saves from Tom Jackson, who was named Man of the Match by the match sponsors, they could have left with at least one point.
After the midweek Semi-Final of the East Riding Senior Cup against Westella & Willerby, which will be played at the Roy West Centre, Town will be on their travels for the remainder of the month and will return to Queensgate on the 6th of April to face Eccleshill United.