Report and pictures by Gavin Collingwood
The Seasiders welcomed Beverley Town to Queensgate, and with it a few familiar faces. Bridlington favourite Mike Thompson joined Town for the 20/21 season after a successful year coaching at the Seasiders, and has since built a title-winning squad.
Town started the livelier of the two sides, with Andy Norfolk playing Danny Earl in at the right edge of the box, but his cross fizzed in front of the goal with nobody there to make the final touch.
Beverley’s first chance of a game in which they grew into came from Charlie Dunkley, but his powerful shot was straight at James Hitchcock, who made a simple save.
The Seasiders drew first blood on the 21st minute, with Danny Earl dancing through the Town defence and slotting his shot into the back of the net, leaving keeper Adam Nicholson no chance.
A long period of heavy pressure from the home side, with Norfolk being the architect of many of Town’s attacks, but Nicholson continued to give his manager reasons to make him his first choice for the coming season.
Beverley found a way back into the game shortly before the end of the first half, with Adam Bows gifted a fine pass into the area, and his resulting shot was too much for Hitchcock.
The Seasiders returned from the break with a new sense of purpose, which resulted in another long period of heavy pressure. Harold Monkman performed well down the right flank and his pinged crosses begged to be hit into the back of the net, but Town were playing without several regular forwards.
Beverley’s first of many second half chances came from a deep swinging corner, which Kurt Bedford headed narrowly over the Town crossbar, giving the defence a loud wakeup call.
Will Annan gave Town their first real scare of the half with a curling shot which looked destined for the top right corner, but Town’s keeper produced another great save.
Earl looked for his second of the game with a powerful low shot toward the Town goal, but his shot was blocked by his teammate, Tom Waudby, who redeemed himself instantly by turning on the spot and firing home from just outside the six yard box.
Norfolk again took control of play playing the ball wide to Waudby, who beat his man to the ball, and sent a curling cross in front of the face of the goal, which Annan gratefully placed into the visitor’s goal, extending Town’s lead to 3-1.
Hitchcock collided with a Town player who looked to be through on goal, though not with any malice, and gave Beverley a lifeline with a free kick in a dangerous position. Former Seasider Danny Norton stepped up to the mark and managed to trick the Town wall into jumping to block his free kick, instead slotting the ball underneath the feat of the leaping defence, leaving Hitchcock rooted as the ball hit the bottom left corner.
The late rally was not enough for Beverley, however, and Bridlington Town left the game as worthy victors. Mike Thompson will be pleased with how well his side performed against a team a number of leagues above, and will definitely be looking to bring his side into the NCEL in the near future.
Bridlington Town: James Hitchcock, Harold Monkman, Leon Dawson, Pete Davidson ©, Nathan Hotte, Benn Lewis, Tom Waudby, Andy Norfolk, Ben Leeson, Will Annan, Danny Earl
Subs: Cam Connelly, Tom Heberston, Declan Parker, Kieran Jordan
Beverley Town: Adam Nicholson, Dean Larvin, Tom Kerrins, Kurtis Bedford, Zac Oakshott, Mike Oconnell, Charlie Dunkerley, Will Waudby, Adam Bowes, Danny Norton, Josh Eccles
Subs: Dan Finch, Finn Pullford, Matty Stafford, Luke Scaife