SCARBOROUGH Athletic will need a second game to move forward in the FA Cup, after succumbing to a late penalty and finishing the game against Barton Town with nine men.
Boro’s Matt Draper and Frank Belt were given their marching orders in the second half, the latter after conceding a penalty as the last man – former Seadog Rob Northen equalising to take the tie to a replay.
But Boro more than deserved a win and a trip to Tadcaster in the first qualifying round, after a strong performance which limited their North Lincolnshire visitors to only a few efforts at goal.
Manager Rudy Funk stuck with the majority of the team which had lost two league games in a row the previous week – the only change being cup-tied Jimmy Ghaichem replaced on the left-wing by Paddy Miller, with Dave Kemp slotting in at left-back.
Boro were on top from kick-off, stringing quality passing moves together which lead to Miller stinging the hands of former Boro keeper Dave Bramley.
Ryan Blott was next to try his luck from 20 yards, but the ball flew too high. Miller almost scored when heading Ant Lynam’s defelcted shot just wide.
But despite 10 minutes of dominance, Boro found themselves behind.
Former Selby man Liam Davis floated over a corner, and winger Simon Spencer rose highest to head his side in front.
Boro continued to press, without managing to force Bramley into much action, but did equalise with a stunning goal.
Blott was the architect, driving over a fantastic cross to the far post, which Miller dived to power past Bramley.
With confidence lifted, Boro began to force the issue. Tony Hackworth brought the best out of Bramley, who had to rush from his line toblocked the Boro skipper’s shot.
But on 40 minutes the Seadogs did go ahead.
Blott again assisted, his key pass to Joe Naylor after a flowing move ended with Naylor’s on-target drive hitting Ash Dexter and spinning over the top of Bramley into the net.
At half-time, Boro swapped right-back Denny Ingram for Frank Belt – his first appearance of the season after a six-match ban.
The attacking momentum continued, as Boro came forward at every opportunity.
Blott, keen to score one himself after two assists, tested Bramley after turning inside Dexter. Lynam then crossed after beating two defenders, but Naylor couldn’t quote finish off.
Boro were clearly in the ascendancy, but by 70 minutes they were down to ten men.
Centre-back Matt Draper, booked just five minutes earlier, was fouled by Davis, and as the players got to their feet Draper appeared to kick-out at the midfielder.
After a conversation with the linesman, referee Geoff Liddle dismissed Draper for two bookable offences. It wouldn’t be the Durham official’s last action of the game.
Boro, although at a disadvantage numerically, still surged forward at every chance and held Barton defensively.
Blott was unlucky not to find the net when his snap shot bobbled just wide with Bramley static.
As the clock ticked down Boro were just five minutes away from the win, but former Queensgate favourite Northen would be their undoing.
Having been on the pitch for 30 minutes, replacing fellow former Boro player Rich Medcalf, Northen had hardly had a sniff until he was played through the middle on 85 minutes.
About to strike on goal, he was brought down by Belt inside the area, and as the last man the referee had no option but to reduce Boro to nine men and send Belt for an early bath.
Northen only just squeezed the penalty past Ed Eley, who had had nothing to do all day but, like his teammates, will have to try again tomorrow evening to progress in the competition.