Boro bag fine draw at Harrogate

Adam Bolder celebrates his goal
Adam Bolder celebrates his goal

Scarborough Athletic took a positive step closer to the new campaign with a solid 2-2 draw at Harrogate Town.

Boasting a much heftier budget and with eyes on the prize of the top table in non-league football, many would have thought that Harrogate would cruise to victory.

Benny Igiehon lets fly

Benny Igiehon lets fly

But, despite it being just a week before the Conference North gets underway, Boro did more than live with their North Yorkshire rivals - they matched them.

In fact, they twice took the lead, as former Harrogate man Adam Bolder drove Boro 1-0 up, and then at the beginning of the second half, Benny Igiehon restored their tight advantage.

Steve Kittrick's men may have been hanging on a touch at the end, but in truth, a draw was the fair result.

Boss Kittrick threw in former Grays, Southend and Dagenham man Duran Reynolds in the heart of the defence, pairing up with the returning Dean Lisles.

The pair marshaled superbly during their time together on the pitch, creating a partnership that may well be a challenge to beat this season.

There was still some room for Warren Burrell and Joe Leesley to squeeze free in the early moments, but Boro keeper Jordan Porter stood firm.

There was also threat in Boro's attack, as Carl Stewart and Callum Robinson flanked Benny Igiehon, with the creative powers of Adam Bolder tucked in behind.

It was Adam Bolder who gave Boro the lead with 15 minutes on the clock and he owed a lot to his brother Chris, who cut down and left and delivered beautifully.

Adam Bolder kept his cool and lashed home beyond Peter Crook.

Former Brid Town striker Chib Chilaka was introduced for Harrogate soon after this, due to an injury to Dominic Knowles, and he had a swift impact.

This followed another injury blow for Boro, as Paul Robson limped off with a jarred knee.

While Boro were trying to reshuffle, Chilaka found some space in the box and poked into Porter's top corner, giving the keeper no chance.

Right on half-time, Stewart picked up an injury and was replaced by Ellis Humble.

Boro quickly shook off that blow and they retook the lead before many fans had returned to their seats.

It was that man Igiehon who leapt to meet a cross and the big striker powered his effort past the fingers of Crook.

Harrogate made a number of changes to their line-up and the alterations Town manager and former Scarborough FC defender Simon Weaver worked a treat.

Leesley's shot was well saved by Porter, before the Boro stopper tipped a swirling cross from the left onto the bar.

Porter could do nothing with 15 minutes left on the clock, as sub Simon Ainge met a set-piece from the right and he nodded it into the corner of the net.

The game began to open up after this goal, and Boro could well have levelled minutes later.

Adam Bolder teased a ball over the top, but Igiehon failed to convert under pressure from Crook.

Harrogate had two good chances to nick the win right on full-time.

Joe Colbeck strode clear on the right, but his dinked his effort wide of the target. Then Joel Purkiss was denied by a one-handed Porter save after being played in by JP Pitman.

Porter's save capped a fine all-round performance for himself and completed an encouraging display from Kittrick's new-look side.