Football: Tadcaster Albion 1-0 Bridlington Town

Tadcaster Albion became the first side to stop Bridlington Town scoring in the league this season as they battled to a 1-0 victory against the title chasing Seasiders.

The win marked a fourth victory in a row for Paul Marshall’s men as they halted Bridlington’s NCEL Premier title hopes.

Both sides cancelled each other out for large parts of the first half as the players adapted to a surface battered by rainfall.

Bridlington forced Albion goalkeeper Leon Wrigglesworth into two fine saves in a first half of little chances.

But after the break the Brewers grasped a stranglehold on proceedings. And it fell to former Town winger Stuart Rice to grab the three points.

The substitute latched onto a Callum Ward pass before prodding the ball past the advancing Brid goalkeeper Mark Wilberforce.

As the Albion supporters entered the 2inspire Stadium gates there was only one question on their lips, ‘Is the game on?’.

To their surprise, the answer was ‘yes’ after referee Mark Griffiths passed the pitch as playable, despite patches of water sprinkled across it.

Marshall made two changes to the side that struck late to deny Maltby Main last Saturday, bringing in Josh Barrett and George Bissett for Chris Youlden and Joel Dickson.

After their 9-2 victory over Lincoln Moorlands Railway last week, it was no surprise Bridlington started with attacking intent.

And within four minutes they had the ball in the back of the net, only for their celebrations to be muted by the assistant referee’s flag.

Craig Hogg poked in but he was stood in an offside position as the floated cross came across the area.

Albion’s intention to play the ball on the floor caused problems for the Bridlington defence but lacked a cutting edge for most of the first half.

Josh Barrett worked hard down the right-hand side but his cross evaded everyone in the area. Scott McGrory, who has now kept a clean sheet in all five of his matches, then burst forward from right-back but Kyle Hawthorne’s shot squirmed wide.

Town responded with more neat one touch passing in the Albion half but Josh Greening’s rifled shot was well tipped over by Wrigglesworth on 15 minutes.

Another neat interchange found Town striker Scott Phillips in space. His first touch brought the ball onto his right-foot but a whipped shot was again too close to Wrigglesworth.

The game continued to ebb and flow between the sides and both manager’s would have been satisfied going into the break at 0-0.

Albion started the stronger after the break as their midfield grappled with an ever depreciating surface.

And it was the home side who created the first chance of the half when Ward found space inside the Town box. But the striker’s effort lacked power as Bridlington keeper Mark Wilberforce saved low to his right.

Rice was introduced on 59 minutes and he made an instant impression, his second touch saw him shoot well wide from 25 yards.

But it was in the 70th minute when Rice made his vital contribution on the game. After receiving a pass from Ward, he drove into the area and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Two minutes later, the Brewers could have doubled their lead but Steven Jeff drove a low shot straight at Wilberforce’s legs.

The title chasers came back fighting but Albion’s rearguard stood firm.

Centre defensive pairing Matthew Sparkes and Jason Mycoe both performing heroics to halt Bridlington’s attacks.

Town did waste a good opportunity with five minutes to go, substitute Billy Logan firing a low shot wide, but Marshall’s men deserved their victory.

And the manager was so impressed, he paid out on his challenge to keep a clean sheet by buying his whole squad drinks at the bar after the game.

Elsewhere, Harrogate Town fell to a 3-1 defeat at Blue Square Bet North leaders Chester FC in front of an attendance of 815 at the CNG Stadium.

Goals from Nathan Jarman, Tony Gray and a Dwayne Samuels own goal wrapped up the points for the away side before Dominic Knowles scored a consolation for Simon Weaver’s men.

Harrogate Railway pulled off another superb victory after beating top of the table Skelmersdale on Tuesday as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Garforth Town.

Alex Hallam grabbed the winner for Railway in the second half after his teammate Jesus had equalised eight minutes before half time.