Football / Non-League Notebook: Richardson revels in glory: Bridlington inspired by a Wearside wizard

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SUCCESS is no stranger this season to Bridlington Town, who have reached next month's FA Vase final and can also boast a 13-point lead at the top of the HFS Loans League First Division. The man guiding the fortunes of the East Riding side is Colin Richardson, a sewing machine mechanic from Wearside who found himself in charge of a bankrupt club last summer.

The experienced Richardson is a proven winner in North-east football. He won the Vase with Whickham in 1991, he has also managed Spennymoor and Whitby and spent several successful years with Newcastle Blue Star. Last season he was in charge at North Shields, who won the Northern Counties East League by a margin of 24 points. The Tyneside team went into liquidation in the close-season, however, and Richardson moved to Bridlington in September.

He brought seven players with him from North Shields to complete a formidable squad at Queensgate. The goalkeeper, Ian Taylor, and full-back Steve Brentano are survivors from the 'Brid' side which went to Wembley for the 1990 Vase final, while Paul Bottomley, Ian Noteman and Alan Roberts all played for Guiseley when they were beaten by Wimborne in last year's final. Roberts is due to complete a hat-trick of Wembley appearances - he also played for Guiseley in the 1991 final.

Bridlington lost the 1990 final to Yeading in a replay at Elland Road, so they will be keen to make amends on 8 May against Tiverton Town. Richardson had a scout on duty in Devon when 'Tivvy' beat Chard 9-1 in a Great Mills League game on Wednesday, but he will not be too worried about the opposition's strengths.

'Tiverton are a good side, but I doubt they've played anybody of our standard,' Richardson said. 'We shouldn't be in the Vase - teams from the HFS and the Beazer Homes League should be in the Trophy. But's that's up to the FA - all we can do is go out and win whatever cup we're in.'

Bridlington's seemingly inevitable promotion to the Premier Division will ensure their participation in the Trophy next term. Last weekend they beat their nearest rivals, Sammy McIlroy's Ashton United, 6-2 on Saturday and the following afternoon they strolled to a 4-0 win over Radcliffe Borough. 'We've never felt that anybody was good enough to stay with us,' a weary but satisfied Richardson said on Sunday, 'and I've no doubts that these players will do well at a higher level next season.'