It’s a trip to Dunston FC for Bridlington Town this afternoon, as they look to start their league campaign in a positive manner.
The game comes after Bridlington Town commenced their competitive season in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, also travelling north on that occasion to take on Bishop Auckland.
Despite playing their football a league below the Seasiders, the Northern League side were dominant and came out 3-0 winners to progress to the Preliminary Round, where they will host Seaham Red Star after their 1-0 victory over Pickering Town.
Adrian Costello handed debuts to Bishop Burton duo Adam Stockhill and Finlay Southcoat, as well as former Hull City Academy striker Glen Sani.
Alex Markham also featured for the first time competitively in a Bridlington Town shirt, replacing Stockhill who was forced off with an ankle injury.
Stockhill’s injury may cause Costello a selection problem for the Dunston game, as returning signing Jack Walters missed the Bishop Auckland game with a hamstring injury that has been bothering him throughout pre-season. Consequently, Bridlington Town may be forced to play without a natural left-back on Saturday.
Midfield enforcer Pete Davidson has also struggled with a similar injury to Walters. He also missed the Bishop Auckland fixture, despite Costello saying before the game that he hoped he would be fit enough to play.
The injury list doesn’t end there, as Andy Norfolk was also forced to make way against Bishop Auckland. He was a doubt before the game with a calf strain, with his afternoon ending after just 11 minutes.
On a more positive note, talisman Lewis Dennison should be available for the Dunston fixture, the striker having missed last week’s game due to holiday. Cameron Cunningham, however, continues to serve his suspension.
As for Saturday’s hosts, it will be their first competitive game of 2023/24. They welcomed Workington AFC last Saturday to conclude their pre-season calendar, due to having a bye into the FA Cup Preliminary Round.
It’s been back-to-back sixth placed finishes for Dunston FC, that being just one place outside of the playoffs. That is despite them picking up six more points in 2022/23 (60) than 2021/22 (54). They will no doubt be hoping to go one step further this campaign and break into the top 5.
During that time, Dunston and Bridlington Town have enjoyed some entertaining affairs, with the Seasiders picking up a couple of wins, a couple of losses and a draw in the five times they’ve played the Fed in the past two seasons.
They faced each other three times last campaign, having been drawn against each other in the FA Cup Preliminary Round. That ended in a 3-0 victory to Dunston FC at the Hudgell Solicitor Stadium.
The league fixture at Queensgate also saw Dunston FC win, though by a narrower 2-1 victory – Tom Algar was the Bridlington Town scorer with his only goal for the club so far.
At the UTS stadium back in November, Joe Norton came off the bench to net his first goal for this club – a crucial last-minute equaliser to make it 1-1 and earn his side a point.