Bridlington Town 1-2 Garforth Town
Garforth Town reached the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2012 with a dramatic 2-1 win over Bridlington Town (report by Samuel Bannister)
(photo - Albert Ibrahimi is mobbed by his team mates after netting a last minute winner)
Albert Ibrahimi scored a last gasp winner to send Garforth through to the next round, after Curtly Martin-Wyatt had put the Miners ahead in the first half.
Garforth’s first chance of the afternoon came from Billy Lumsden, who carried the ball forward towards the box. His left-footed shot from the edge of the area went wide.
At the other end, Bridlington’s Shaquille McKenzie shot over from the edge of the box. Two minutes later, there was a huge chance for the Seasiders, as the ball came to their number 7 on the right-hand side of the box. His effort was deflected wide as he shot across goal.
Garforth took the lead on 19 minutes after Martin-Wyatt won and converted a penalty. The striker was brought down in the box before stepping up to sidefoot the ball into the bottom left corner.
Garforth had some very bright spells in the first half as they looked to build on their lead. Niah Payne saw a left-footed shot saved by the goalkeeper after cutting inside at the end of a good spell of possession down the right wing.
Shortly after, Garforth keeper Toby Wells was called into action, making a smart save to deny Bridlington’s number 7, who half-volleyed from just outside the box. Wells next had to save from Bridlington’s number 5, who received the ball after play had broken down from a corner and shot at goal.
Town continued to put their bodies on the line to protect their lead, with Chris Howard making a vital block to deny an attacker from close range. On the counter attack, Martin-Wyatt beat a defender with pace and skill down the right wing, before overhitting his cross.
Martin-Wyatt had another chance to double the advantage, but his header from Niah Payne’s cross was saved by the keeper. Moments later, the striker once again worked an opportunity, holding off his marker in the box before turning and shooting wide.
Garforth had put in a very solid first half performance and went in at the break with a deserved 1-0 lead. Bridlington made a double substitution at half time.
The second half didn’t start in an ideal manner, however, as Bridlington won a penalty after Sean Keyes was adjudged to have handled the ball. McKenzie took the spot kick and placed it down the middle with a fair amount of power to put the home side back on level terms.
Bridlington then picked up a pair of bookings in quick succession, and another foul came as Devonte Morton was tripped as he ran towards goal. However, the referee played advantage, and Morton shot over.
Bridlington’s goalscorer McKenzie then showed some trickery down the right wing, but his shot across goal went wide.
Garforth went on the attack again as Albert Ibrahimi beat his man on the left wing, running towards goal. However, the keeper smothered it before he had chance to cross.
In the final ten minutes, the home side had a couple of chances, but Wells was alert to everything, thwarting a forward’s dribble into the box and expertly saving a header.
As the game entered stoppage time and thoughts of a replay loomed, Garforth rewrote the script again. First, Lumsden diverted the ball away from a Bridlington attacker with a vital header, without which the Seasiders attacker would’ve had a clear attempt on goal. Morton went on a counter attack, but was deemed to have fouled a Bridlington defender.
Then, one minute into injury time, Ibrahimi sent the travelling support wild with the dramatic winning goal. Substitute Joe Colley, making his third Garforth appearance after being called up from the Development Team, picked out the attacker with a perfectly placed pass. Ibrahimi beat his man on the left wing, patiently waiting for the best moment to shoot, before sending the ball flying into the top corner. The entire Garforth squad and dugout rushed over to celebrate with him, knowing they were just two minutes away from the next round.
Town had to concentrate for the final few minutes, but they deservedly held on to set up a First Qualifying Round tie in two weeks’ time. It’s the first time Garforth have won two games in the FA Cup in ten years. The team will now excitedly await Wednesday’s draw to see who they will face in the next round, which sees Evo-Stik Premier League sides join the competition.