A wet and blustery day in Bridlington produced a true game of two halves, as well as some confounding officiating, but also produced a fantastic hattrick.
The wind caused all kinds of problems for both teams throughout the game, with passes going astray through the first quarter as both teams tried to adjust to the elements, with the Seasiders opting for short and low passes against their head wind, while the visitors opted to play the ball long wherever possible.
Town were reduced to ten on the 28th minute. After placing the ball to take a free kick, Thackley’s Simon Poole kicked the ball twice, but on the third time he moved it as captain Andy Norfolk was making his run to kick the ball and was on the receiving end of his attempt. Referee Conor Ledgeway made no hesitation in reaching for the red card from his pocket, giving Town even more of a challenge for the remaining hour.
The home side’s troubles were doubled just five minutes later as Thackley capitalised on the extra man advantage. Ben Green-Brooksbank switched the ball over to James Rothel, who played a neat one-two with Owen Murphy, and Rothel made no mistake in slotting the ball past keeper James Hitchcock and giving the visitors the lead.
Half-time arrived with no further real chances on goal, but the second half would be much more hectic.
Danny Earl produced the first decent effort for Bridlington Town, after squeezing between three Thackley defenders, but his shot wasn’t strong enough to beat Luke Wilson, who was alert to the danger. This wouldn’t be the last time Earl gave the defenders a headache, however.
Town plugged away at the visitors, who were playing with more men behind the ball with the goal and player advantage of their hosts, but on the 68th minute their efforts were rewarded.
Substitute Will Annan managed to pressure goalscorer Rothel into losing possession, which Earl picked up, and ran toward the Thackley defence, turning Kris Hargreaves and Seb Sacroni, before slotting the ball neatly into the bottom left corner through the legs of Ryan Basi and past the outstretched Wilson’s hand.
With the home side fired up Thackley had to withstand a long period of pressure, which was rewarded with another well taken goal from Danny Earl. This time a neat switch from Leon Dawson landed at the feet of Earl, who controlled the ball well, turned his marker, and on the turn managed to slot the ball, again, into the bottom left corner of the goal, giving the Seasiders a well earned lead going into the final ten minutes.
The visitors’ woes were increased on the 85th minute as Earl made a powerful run down the wing chasing a well placed long ball, but was taken out by Seb Scaroni on the edge of the box as he looked to be one on one with the keeper. The referee had no choice but to award him his second yellow of the game and give Scaroni a head start in the showers.
As though two goals weren’t enough, Earl earned his hattrick after Benn Lewis overpowered Lewis Waddington 30 yards out, Earl took the ball and quite literally ran with it, turning Rothel, and sending the ball for the third time into the bottom left corner of the goal, curling it around Ryan Basi, and a frustrated Luke Wilson in the Thackley goal.
Town looked worthy winners after a fantastic game of two halves, and will be looking forward to the challenge of promotion-touted Yorkshire Amateur on Tuesday night (7:45pm kick-off, Queensgate, Bridlington).
Watch The Match Online
You can watch the match in its entirety on Youtube: