You could say that the Bootiful Game’s Award of the Manager and Team of the Month is acquiring something of a ‘curse’ status – but if it is, then Brett Agnew and his battling, fourth-placed Bridlington Town team did everything to shake off any bad vibes from the Kendall Trophy before going down – just – to Toolstation NCEL Premier Division leaders, Yorkshire Amateur by 4-3 after an absolutely terrific game at the Southerns Stadium last evening. It was a breathless encounter from which both Management teams took lots of positives, writes Colin Muncie.
The crowd of 77 in Leeds had already got their money’s worth by the interval, with the scores level at 2-2. The Seasiders were two up after 34 minutes, thanks to goals from talisman Jake Day (15 minutes and a 34thminute penalty); but Ammers own marquee striker, Ash Flynn got the home side back into the contest after 35 minutes, and Fernando Moke levelled just before half time. Into the second period, and Jack Bulless put the visitors back in front after 55 minutes, only for Ash Flynn to complete his hat-trick on 71 and 83 minutes, and in doing so clinch three points for Ammers, who extend their lead at the top – temporarily at least – to six points over Penistone Church, who have played two games less.
Neil was delighted to overcome difficult opposition, especially after a slow start by his own side. “I’m very proud of our lads again tonight,“ he admitted to TBG. “After going 2-0 down after 20 minutes it wasn’t the ideal start with us giving the ball away in the wrong area – and a penalty. Flynny and Ferds got us back level going into the break. We hit the woodwork twice in the first half and a couple of great saves from their ‘keeper stopped us from an interval lead.”
Neil was again disappointed by Ammers start to the second period. “The second half got underway – and a gift of a goal for Brid restored their lead. Character, desire and belief – along with some cracking football – got the lads the win, with Flynny completing his hat trick. With the system they play, Bridlington get bodies forward, so we knew we could catch them – which is what happened throughout the game. We created plenty of chances and I thought we thoroughly deserved the win.”
Neil was obviously pleased to get past dangerous opponents. “Bridlington are a very big side and a team in form, so this win was massive tonight,” he admitted. “We wish them all the best – and we move on to Saturday taking the positives forward and leaving the negatives firmly behind.”
After his side’s excellent recent run of form, Bridlington Manager, Brett Agnew was frustrated, but keen to reflect on what his side did well and to get on to the next game. “Tonight, I thought we let three points slip away,” he suggested. “We stopped them from really getting into their groove, but the goals we gave away were sloppy and came from individual errors. Fair play to Yorkshire Amateur who were ruthless and took their chances – and the three points.”
As you’ll have noted, Brett is always philosophical about a setback. “It’s a long, old season where if we play like that – more often than not, we will win – so I’m not overly fussed to be honest,” he admitted. “I’ve already forgotten about it. We move onto training on Thursday, then the Cup on Saturday (an East Riding Senior Cup tie with Sculcoates Amateurs) where we need to bounce back.”
“You learn more from a defeat than a win – and that’s where it counts.”
Main photograph by Pete Murden.