Bridlington Town 5 Garforth 0
The Miners suffered a third straight defeat as a controversial tenth-minute red card for Stephen Weatherill paved the way to a routine win for the hosts.
Raul Fletcher and Helmo Silva went straight into the first eleven, replacing the unavailable Aiden Kearsley and Niah Payne. Aodhan Brownlee replaced an injured Luke Kitson at left-back whilst captain James Beaston dropped into centre-back, partnering Matthew Robertshaw. Sanchez Payne and Calum Ward were also given starts.
The first good chance of the game came to Sanchez Payne on 4 mins, who's shot from the edge of the box was just wide. Town's makeshift eleven had made a good start and were already improved on the lacklustre defeat to Bottesford seven days before. However, any hopes of bringing points back across the Yorkshire Wolds were virtually ended just ten minutes in by an appalling decision by referee Aaron Bannister. A Bridlington break saw goalkeeper Stephen Weatherill come out of his area to deny Joel Sutton, and in doing so the ball struck his hand. Despite his hands being by his sides, the referee adjudged this to be a deliberate handball and sent him from the field. Aodhan Brownlee became the third outfield player this season to don the goalkeeper's gloves and jersey, and Town faced the no-small task of seeing out the remaining 80 mins with ten men.
The resulting free-kick from Jake Day went wide, but Chris Jenkinson came closer shortly after with a header from another free-kick going narrowly beyond the far post. Town heads hadn't go down however and their spirit and work-rate can only be applauded. Sean Hunter had a curling strike claimed by ex-Garforth keeper Jody Barford after a good run inside. On 19 mins Day had an effort blocked after a cross was headed down to him, then Jenkinson was in on the chances again; heading wide from Sutton's corner. Down the other end, Payne had another go from the edge of the area with a shot gathered by Barford. Our best chance of the game arrived on 29 mins when Matthew Savage's 20-yard drive was parried by Barford, the ball agonisingly going behind an awaiting Mark Simpson.
The Seasiders put themselves in front however on 30 mins when a loose ball from Day's blocked effort found Danny Buttle on the left who shot low across Brownlee and in off the post. Seven minutes later it was 2-0 when the ball was played to James Faulkner who sidefooted low into the net. Town did at least manage to keep the score down before the break; Brownlee denying Day's low shot, before Rikki Paylor fired over the bar from the edge of the box.
Brownlee had injured his hand whilst in goal and for the second half returned to full-back. Payne replaced him between the sticks, his upper body strength as an amateur boxer arguably giving him more of a fighting chance (sorry). His gloves will have barely warmed up when he made an excellent save to divert wide Sutton's top corner bound strike one minute in. The same opponent should've made it three shortly after when he blazed over the bar at close range from Day's cross. The third goal did arrive on 53 mins though when Day was played in by Buttle to steer beyond Payne into the net.
A tireless Helmo Silva provided one of our few chances of the half on 62 mins when set up by Calum Ward, his effort just off-target. Substitute Tim Taylor curled a shot over the bar when let in by an unfortunate slip by Fletcher, but it was 4-0 on 67 mins when fellow sub Gary Bradshaw's header at the far post from Buttle's delivery found it's way into the net through Payne's legs.
After a good foray inside Brownlee saw a shot saved by Barford on 70 mins, but after this point The Miners understandably tired, and it was a matter of how many the home side would score. Moments later a Town defender blocked an effort from Taylor, the ball falling to Day who shot past the far post. Day completed the scoring with his second of the game three minutes from time when he rose highest to head in off the bar Sutton's corner.
A difficult afternoon for the injury-ravaged Miners who afterwards in the clubhouse were forced to watch referee Bannister celebrate his horse coming in at the Grand National. The games aren't getting any easier in a hectic week ahead, starting with second-place Pontefract Collieries on Tuesday (kick-off 7:45pm).