NCEL: Knaresborough Town shock Bridlington to reach semis

Knaresborough Town's Colin Heath
Knaresborough Town's Colin Heath
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Bridlington Town 0-1 Knaresborough Town

Deflated, depleted and defeated - Bridlington Town were victims of a cup upset in Monday evening.

Division One Knaresborough sensed it was a good time to play the Seasiders, and they took full advantage. Colin Heath’s 28th minute strike sent them into the semi-finals, but they could have easily added to their tally.

Another red card and another serious injury added to the home side’s misery.

Knaresborough created the majority of chances, the first arriving from an early corner, which was sent deep to the back post and Blaine Hobson fired across but no-one could find the crucial touch to send it into the net.

When Chris Jenkinson allowed a pass from Hobson to creep under his feet, Heath blasted past keeper Paul Fraser but was denied by the inside of the post.

All Town could muster in reply was a long-range shot from Tom Fleming and a tame header from Craig Hogg which dropped into Weston Muray’s arms.

Midway through the first half, Brid’s Rikki Paylor felt the full force of a 50/50 tackle in midfield and had to be carried off with a nasty ankle injury.

As the hosts tried to regroup, Heath curled a shot from the edge of the box past Fraser and into the bottom corner to put the underdogs ahead.

The goalscorer then tangled with Fleming and both men were shown a yellow card. That meant the Bridlington skipper was on a tightrope for the rest of the night, and his all-action style meant it was almost inevitable he wouldn’t last the full 90 minutes.

Into the second half, midfielders Ash Allanson and Matthew Tait were off target for Town, but the visitors looked the more dangerous, and Jenkinson made a crucial header as two yellow shirts waited to connect with a dangerous cross.

Fraser made a smart save, shovelling a shot round the post from the impressive George Eustance, having seen it late, before Heath missed a golden opportunity to give the visitors breathing space. Eustance’s cross was palmed out by Fraser, but Heath volleyed over the bar from eight yards.

After a flurry of bookings, Daniel Wright stung Fraser’s hands from distance and then Brid’s job was made even harder when Fleming was dismissed. Referee Richard West had already given him a final warning, but a tackle near the away team’s dugout was the final straw and he picked up a second yellow card with nine minutes left.

Knaresborough wasted a chance to wrap the game up when they were three-on-two after a poor kick from Fraser, but they delayed too long and Wayne Aziz got back to dispossess Hobson.

In injury time, Fraser excelled again. With his team pushing forward in search of an equaliser, the visitors broke but Fraser produced an excellent save to push sub Fraser Lancaster’s effort on to the post and then beat away the rebound from Hobson.

But none of the misses were to prove costly and Knaresborough progressed, while Bridlington were left to wonder how they will turn out 11 players for Wednesday’s game against high-flying Basford United, their third match in five days.

Meanwhile, Harrogate Railway earned back-to-back league wins for the first time since New Year’s Day on Monday night.

Billy Miller’s Reds beat Burscough 1-0 in Evo Stik First Division North thanks to Nathan Cartman’s goal.

Railway are without a match this weekend before welcoming table topping Curzon Ashton to Station View on Monday evening.