A long and eventful season in the NCEL Premier Division came to an end as Bridlington Town finished in style. The heavy rain didn’t stop the bumper attendance of 286 enjoying a fast paced and thrilling game of football.
The game started quite slowly, as both teams tried to get used to the conditions on the pitch. Jack Bulless made his presence felt to Maltby Main’s Clark Greaves, with a thunderous sliding tackle stopping what looked like a clear run through on goal.
The first real attempt of the game was by the Seasiders, with Fraser Papprill heading narrowly over from a smart cross by Matthew Broadley.
It took almost half an hour for the deadlock to finally be broken, but when it did the floodgates truly opened. Lewis Dennison sent a smart cross into the box, into the perfect spot for Jake Day, who’s fluffed shot managed to catch the Maltby keeper off guard, somehow ending in the back of the net, not that Day will mind in the slightest.
Four short minutes passed before Joe McFadyen got his first of the game. Broadley, who has been the architect of many goals this season, played a smart corner to the back post, Day flicked the ball back into the area and McFadyen turned, firing home, putting Town 2-0 up.
Huge credit has to be given to the Maltby team, the two goal deficit didn’t phase them, and it showed when, almost straight from the kick off, they launched an attack on the Town end. Ross Duggan positioned himself well for the attack and was rewarded with a fine pass and produced a great finish past the beaten Tom Jackson.
Not willing to give up the two goal advantage it took Town just two minutes to return to its safety. Joe McFadyen turned from goalscorer to producer as he teed up Jake Day who slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
With only five minutes left on the clock, Maltby again found themselves a way back into the game. 3-1 down, but unwilling to accept defeat, their pacey attack down the wing was rewarded after a great cross from Ross Duggan, finding Steven Hopewell in space, who gave Jackson no chance in the Town goal.
Five goals in eleven short minutes rounded up a thrilling half, with Town narrowly ahead before the break.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with both teams looking to settle into the game. Jake Day nearly completed his hattrick early on in the half after managing to turn the Maltby defence, but his shot was well blocked by James Pollard in the visitor’s goal.
Jack Bulless released the inner Harry Maguire in him not long after, making a mazy run from Town’s box, passing three Maltby players, and finding himself in a great position inside the visitor’s box. Unfortunately for Town, Bulless managed to slip and end up on the floor with just the keeper to beat.
A corner in the Maltby end caused mayhem in the box as the ball pinged around, with legs flying, trying desperately to make contact with the ball. The small flurry ended with one of the Maltby players managing to clear the ball well out of the box.
Joe McFadyen again made his presence known to the Maltby keeper. His shot looked destined to hit the back of the net, but James Pollard somehow managed to make contact with the shot, sending it narrowly wide of the goal.
A rare goal from Benn Lewis put the Seasider’s back into their two goal safety thanks to another assist by Matthew Broadley.
Maltby really didn’t want to accept defeat, as less than ten minutes later they found their way back into the game. Steven Hopewell was the architect of his second goal of the game, passing several Town players before managing to turn his shot around Jackson in the Town goal, bringing the game back to 4-3.
Joe McFadyen, not satisfied with being Town’s top scorer quite possibly scored the best goal of the season in the final 10 minutes of the game. Spotting the Maltby keeper well off his line, McFadyen sent a volley from at least 25 yards flying into the back of the net.
With the clock ticking down and Town with a 5-3 advantage, the game looked to be over. Joe McFadyen again found himself in a great position with the ball. His shot from 20 yards took a cruel deflection from the Maltby captain, Joseph Austin, and found its way past Pollard, completing his hattrick and cementing his place as the top scorer.
Full Time 6-3
Bridlington Town finished the season in emphatic style with a 6-3 win. Full credit has to be given to Maltby, who not only provided great competition, and never gave up, but also for the two coaches of fans they brought to the game. It was an entertaining end to the 2018-2019 NCEL Premier Division season with Town sealing third position.