BRIGHOUSE TOWN completed their 2021-22 Pitching-In NPL East Division season with a home 3-1 defeat to fourth-placed Stockton Town, thus ending their nine match unbeaten run.
They had gone into the game minus three of their most experienced players in skipper Tom Haigh, Corey Gregory and James Hurtley who were all carrying injuries.
Stockton, supported by over 100 dressed in St George fancy dress in the 505 crowd, had plenty to play for if Cleethorpes Town had slipped up at Hebburn Town, but they won 4-0 and, as a result, Stockton went to the Lincolnshire coast on Tuesday night for their play-off tie.
Town have finished in seventh place, two positions off the play-offs and tied on 54 points-goal tallys the difference- with sixth-placed Dunston and eighth-placed Worksop Town.
A Nathan Mulligan penalty for a foul committed in the box by Sam Reed set the Teesiders on their way after 30 minutes. Two minutes into the second half, Stockton increased their lead when Kevin Hayes put Mikey Roberts through and his sliced shot fell into the path of Nathan Steel to make it 2-0.
Victory was virtually assured for the visitors after 64 minutes when Mulligan put a ball over the top of the Town defence for Hayes to finish past Brett Souter.
Moments later Brighouse’s leading goalscorer Laurence Sorhaindo pulled a goal back after the ball was handled in the box and despite substitutions the home side just could not get another goal to set up a grandstand finish. Stockton’s Roberts hit the crossbar minutes from time.
Vill Powell’s charges are now in training for the West Riding County Senior Cup final with East Division champions Liversedge on Friday week, May 6 (7.45) when a 1,000 plus crowd is expected at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium.
Haigh and Hurtley are expected to be fit, but Gregory, injured at Liversedge on East Monday, is doubtful following his badly sprained ankle.
Leeds-based Yorkshire Amateur, who have Halifax-based and former Town player Nathan Cartman as their assistant player-manager-coach, have been relegated owing to their ground not meeting grading standards. At the moment they join Pickering Town and Frickley Athletic.
Town have already agreed a home pre-season friendly with Huddersfield Town for Saturday, July 2 (3.0)
Stockton Town will now play Marske on Saturday in the East Division play-off final following Tuesday night’s semi-finals.
Stockton beat Cleethorpes 2-1 and Marske defeat Shildon in extra time 2-1.