By Lewis Scott
A two-minute Brett Agnew brace saw Bridlington Town come from behind to beat Hall Road Rangers 2-1 in their opening game of the season at Haworth Park.
An off-the-ball offence between Josh Batty and Andy Norfolk saw the Rangers star striker sent off after 13 minutes, making the afternoon a whole lot harder for Dave Ricardo’s side. Chris Spinks out Hall Road ahead shortly after the restart, but two goals by Agnew either side of the hour mark won it for Town.
Former North Ferriby defender Louis Bruce made his competitive debut for the club, as did Jack Griffin who joined the club after a spell playing in the USA.
On a lively afternoon, it was Rangers who had the real first chance, with a low Chris Spinks cross finding its way across the face of goal, but nobody in blue and white could find their way to the ball to tap it home.
Batty’s sending off came after an elbow to the face of Brid captain Andy Norfolk, which made the contest a whole lot harder for the hosts.
A fantastic save from Phil Dobson low to his right kept the scores level on the 20 minute mark, Bridlington’s best effort of the half.
Rangers had a penalty appeal for handball turned down shortly after the break, but just two minutes later, Chris Spinks fired them ahead. A powerful effort was parried by Town keeper James Hitchcock, but he simply didn’t do enough to keep the ball out of the net with the ball eventually finding it’s way over the line.
But Hall Road’s lead would only last a matter of minutes, with a strong strike by Brett Agnew firing Brid level at the other end.
The goal gave the well-supported visitors momentum and they began to turn the screw. Their pressure paid off as Agnew bagged his second just two minutes later.
The match was in danger of boiling over, and the feisty affair was reflected in Ranger’s manager Dave Ricardo being sent away from the technical area with 15 minutes left to play, leaving assistants Billy Gill and Andrew Watts in charge.
A rocket of a shot by Jack Griffin travelled wide with only minutes left, and that was Ranger’s best chance of levelling the scores in the closing stages.
Hall Road: Phil Dobson, Louis Bruce, Jack Binns (Red, 13), Sam Belcher, Jack Griffin, James Piercy, Josh Batty, Connor Harman, Gareth Owen, Chris Spinks (1), Tom Bennett.
Subs: Matty Crane (Owen, 64), James Whittingham (Harman, 51), Harry Fox, Kent Bannister, Josh Tennant.
Bridlington Town: James Hitchcock, Ethan Nelson, Benn Lewis, Tim Taylor, Fraizer Papprill, Jacob Norburn, Andy Norfolk, Jamie Forrester, Brett Agnew (2), Jake Day, Joel Suttom.
Subs: Alex Knaggs, Jamie Richardson, Chris Adams, Louis Rafter, Reece Mester.