A goal, from Richard Collier, 16 minutes in was enough to see Hemsworth Miners Welfare move up to third in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division after their 1-0 win over fifth-placed Bridlington Town watched by a crowd of 134 at the Distant Futures Stadium yesterday – and, reflecting on the outcome, Wells Manager Wayne Benn felt that his ten-man side thoroughly merited the victory, writes Colin Muncie.
“I’m thrilled with my players today,” Wayne told TBG, “because of an awful decision by the officials we have had to play 70 mins with 10 men against a very good side – and we have thoroughly deserved the win and a big three points. The character we have shown, the effort we have put in and the togetherness of the team has got us through today; but actually Jordan (Greaves) in goal has had very little to do and that’s testament to the players in front of him. We haven’t just sat back and defended either; you could argue that we have had the better chances to increase our lead, but I’m just very proud of the players tonight and the shift they have all put in.”
“Brett (Agnew, Seasiders Manager) as always was gracious after the game as was (Brid Chairman) Pete Smurthwaite, but you don’t expect anything else really,” Wayne acknowledged.
“They had a fair shout for a penalty in the second-half but I think our endeavour earned us that bit of good fortune. We have beaten a good side today but the battle continues, as we have other tough games coming up and ground to make up on Penistone. We certainly aren’t discounting any team in the top six so it should be an exciting end to the season.”
“All I know is, that if my players give me that effort in every remaining game then we will have a great chance of finishing second – and potentially finishing the season in a cup final.”
Across the half-way line, Bridlington Manager Brett Agnew was philosophical. “Today was exactly what I expected when going away to Hemsworth,” he admitted. “A very tough, well fought game with touches of class and some stubborn defending from both sides. If I’m honest they just nipped the game with a couple clear-cut chances from their very good front three. We huffed – but never puffed – really and were just short all game. Them going down to ten men made it a bit more difficult for us as they sat in a bit – and fair play to them they defended really well and got some vital blocks in.”
“We had a stone wall penalty waved away,” Brett pointed out, “but that’s, by the by, as they haven’t been going for or against us all season; so I’m not going to sit here and take anything away from Wayne and his players victory by sounding like I’m crying for things.”
“We are going through our bad patch at the wrong time in the season which isn’t ideal,” Brett added, “but that’s happened to every team this season so it’s just a case of trying to play our way out of it next Saturday at home.”