Knaresborough Town lose ground in title race after home loss to Bridlington
Knaresborough Town lost ground in the NCEL Premier Division title race when they lost out 2-1 to Bridlington Town.
Victory would have left Paul Stansfield's men just four points off top spot with a game in hand over leaders Yorkshire Amateur, but they conceded twice in quick succession before half-time and failed to recover.
Saturday's fixture was Boro's first in the league at Manse Lane for 42 days, and despite a decent turnout of 267, they were unable to extend their recent winning streak into a fifth match.
Bridlington had a strong wind at their backs in the first half and, after a scrappy start, the visitors took the lead in the 33rd minute.
Chris Adams controlled a cross from the left and fired into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area.
Things got worse for Boro just six minutes later as Andrew Norfolk scored direct from a free-kick on the edge of the home box.
The hosts desperately needed to register the next goal of the game, but nearly went three down in the 47th minute when only a great Jack Rushworth save prevented Jake Day's header from finding the back of the net.
As the second period progressed, Boro began to put the Seasiders under some real pressure with boss Stansfield making all three of his allotted substitutions by the 65th minute in a bid to alter the course of the contest.
One of those substitutes, striker Steve Bromley, was just wide with a header from a Brad Walker centre, while Luke Stewart nodded too close to Bridlington keeper Tom Jackson as the home side began to threaten.
They did manage to pull one back in the 77th minute when Gregg Anderson volleyed a near-post corner past Jackson to make it 2-1.
All the momentum was now with Knaresborough as they searched for an equaliser and Bridlington responded by slowing the game down as much as the referee would allow.
Ben Parkes saw a well-hit strike saved by Jackson, before the final chance of the afternoon arrived in the third of five added minutes.
A great ball from Rob Worrall found Bromley free in the area, however his header was kept out by Jackson.
Defeat means that Boro remain third in the table ahead of Saturday's crunch clash with second-placed Penistone Church.