Brooklyn were missing Karl Richardson, Steven Clay, Andrew Philips, Chris Hudson and Sean Walker, while the in-form Chris Seager departed injured in the first half, but they put their vast squad to good use, and a fine all-round team display earned them the points to keep them in touch with the top two.
Malton & Norton, meanwhile, can take heart from a battling performance and never-say-die attitude.
The game started brightly with the home side beginning to dominate as the half wore on.
M&N’s Jamie Tymon pulled off an outstanding save from Andrew Metcalfe’s free-kick – with his side then breaking the deadlock against the run of play.
Good counter attacking football saw Curtis Drummond switch the play to the right, from where an inch-perfect square ball across the face of goal found youngster Brett Crowe, who slotted home.
Brooklyn never seemed phased by this setback and continued to mount pressure, the away side coping admirably with a barrage of corners. Seager’s exit did not help the hosts but they finally equalised as Jonny Dunning’s fine ball saw Mikey Brown drive to the by-line and pull the ball back for strike partner David Thompson to drill home.
Brooklyn went ahead straight after half-time.
An immaculate ball by Metcalfe with the outside of his foot found Brown, whose unstoppable strike with his weaker foot flew into the far corner.
More fine football followed and Brown doubled his tally with another neat finish after being released by Thompson.
Brooklyn’s defence of Mathew Webster, Richard Webster, Kristian Wilkinson and Max Fraser looked comfortable but Malton & Norton gave themselves a glimmer of hope after a dead ball fell kindly to Drummond, who drilled it through the crowded penalty box and past goalkeeper Andrew Slaughter.
With M&N now chasing a late equaliser, holes in their defence soon opened up, with Thompson taking advantage with another tidy finish.
There was still time for more drama as Slaughter brought down Simon Reeves in the area, resulting in a yellow card and a penalty.
Reeves’ well-struck spot-kick was heading for the corner but was somehow kept out as Slaughter maintained a tremendous penalty-saving record.
Mikey Brown and Max Fraser were the men of the match for Brooklyn, who now have a free week before facing crucial games against the likes of fellow promotion hopefuls Tadcaster Magnets and Osbaldwick.
Stamford Bridge lost 4-0 at home to Bishop Wilton to slip down division three. Tom Knowles (2) Darren Woodhead and Jason Nattrass scored.
Kirkbymoorside made it 12 wins out of 12 in division four – but they were pushed all the way by a resolute Moor Lane side.
Kirkby took the lead early on only for David Dawson to level.
The visitors regained the lead just before the break and a goalkeeping error led to a third goal.
Andrew Kenyon reduced the deficit before Kirkby scored their fourth.
Gavin Harford made it 4-3 and Moor Lane missed a golden chance to equalise before Kirkbymoorside hit their fifth from the penalty spot.
Kirkby’s scorers were Nicholas Thorlow, Chris Hodgson, Sarjo Cham, Rhys Piercy and Jeremy Underwood, while Rob Hague starred.
Promotion chances bolstered
A GREAT all-round team performance saw Brooklyn reserves beat St Clement’s second string 3-1 to bolster their promotion hopes in reserve ‘C’.
Brooklyn are now in with a great chance of the title if they win their games in hand.
Tom Campbell, Matty Bean and Steven Boyd missed chances for Brooklyn in the first half, while, at the other end, Josh Raines made a great fingertip save.
Brooklyn opened the scoring in the first minute of the second half as Rob Goforth played an excellent ball down the line for Tom Everitt, who crossed low into the danger area, with Campbell side-footing home after his first effort had rebounded off the crossbar.
The second goal soon followed as Bean ran clear and lobbed the ’keeper.
St Clement’s pushed forward but Brooklyn’s back four of Goforth, Ad Gray, Danny Foxton and Christian Ardisonne held out well.
The game was then put out of sight when Bean took advantage of a defensive slip, slotting the ball past the oncoming ’keeper.
The visitors pulled a goal back from a corner – amid claims of handball – but it mattered little. Everitt and Goforth were Brooklyn’s men of the match.
In reserve ‘B’, Malton & Norton reserves lost 3-1 at home to Pocklington Town reserves, despite Jake Taylor’s delightful lob of the Pock ’keeper.