SCARBOROUGH Athletic’s season may be closing with Rudy Funk’s men slipping just off the NCEL Premier championship pace, but on Saturday a band of Scarborough lads were still battling to be in the running for top spot.
Mitch Cook’s Bridlington Town, containing 11 players who either live in Scarborough or have links to Boro and Scarborough FC, met in a thrilling battle with fellow title hopefuls Retford United at Queensgate.
For the neutral this delicately poised encounter was a true footballing treat, but for those involved with the battle it no doubt resulted in fingernails being bitten right down to the quick.
As it turned out fans and players of both sides must now play a waiting game, as the thrilling 2-2 draw on the day kept the interest going right down to the final game.
Brid have finished their fixtures on 84 points, while Retford, who lie just two points behind, have a game to play at home to Thackley tomorrow night.
It could have been so different though if Brid’s attackers had laced up their finishing boots at half-time.
They did take the lead through a Craig Hogg header, but slack defending allowed Carl Snowden to level on the half-hour.
A breakaway strike from Karl Slack moved Retford ahead just after the hour, before Brid began to lay seige to the away goal.
With the Retford defence creaking like a rusty gate, sub Billy Logan did pull one back in added time.
A number of goal-line melees ensued in the dying embers, but none were converted, leaving the game all tied up.
The final whistle was met by different reactions from the two benches, with Retford celebrating and Brid looking heavily downbeat.
Home boss Mitch Cook, who had frustration etched all over his face, said: “The obvious feeling is disappointment. You need a bit of luck to try and win a game, we didn’t have any.
“One team went out to win it and the other came here for a point, which was what Retford got. They set themselves up defensively, we had to break them down and we didn’t do it enough times.
“When you go all out to win a game you leave spaces at, which was something they took advantage of twice.”
Cook won’t be donning Thackley colours tomorrow night, as he is already resigned to having to settle for second place.
“It is something we can’t do anything about now, but in my head I know what the result will be,” he added.
“It has been a good season, but when it ends in disappointment you look back on what could have been.
“We lost a lot of games that we shouldn’t have, which is very frustrating.
“Things are all up in the air now though, we have to wait until after Retford’s final game.
“If they win the league we don’t know whether they will go up, if we win it we will definitely go up.”