THERE is a feeling among supporters of Scarborough Athletic FC that this could very well be their year, and Saturday’s victory in the FA Cup against Hallam only strengthens that confidence.
Boro struck four goals without reply against their Sheffield-based opponents, but the scoreline could have been much higher; visiting keeper Lewis Naylor was the saviour for his wide-open defence on a number of occasions.
With Boro’s strikers in top form, it would have taken the strongest of defensive line-ups to stop them scoring. All three front men – Ryan Blott, Ant Lynam and Curtis Bernard – scored their first goals of the season and in truth, each of them could have had a hat-trick.
But it was the so-far prolific Tony Hackworth who set the win in motion for the home side, superbly volleying home Paddy Miller’s corner-kick after just four minutes for his fourth goal in three starts.
Hallam could have equalised when they had a small spell of possesion, but Matt Thompson shot over and Leigh Warriner headed over the bar from close range from one of just three Hallam corners during the game.
With Boro’s side at full strength after the midweek league cup defeat at Bottesford, Hallam didn’t get much of a look in after the first 15 minutes.
Boro had Matt Draper back in central defence, with Scott Phillips, Miller, Hackworth and Bernard also returned to the line-up.
Blott doubled Boro’s advantage on 25 minutes. He controlled Miller’s free-kick with expert precision, before swivelling in his next motion and powering a shot past Naylor.
Lynam then attempted an impossible effort from close to the touchline, hitting a post from a very tight angle; Phllips followed up to forced Naylor into another save.
Boro’s Joe Naylor had the final effort of the first half, Hackworth’s corner being flicked goalward by the midfielder, only for the ball to be cleared from the line by Rob Adgie.
In the second half Boro surged forward looking for more goals to make the tie safe. Supporters in the healthy crowd of 452 may have been remembering the fact Boro were 4-0 up against Hallam last season only to draw 4-4.
But that was a different team, under a different manager, and this season’s Boro side has a defensive strength which will be a key factor in how successful their season can be.
Saturday’s game was all about the strikers however, and as the half wore on and the Hallam goalkeeper earned his corn time after time, it was inevitable Boro would score again.
But, despite wave after wave of attack, Boro didn’t put the ball in the hit again until injury time.
Sub Brent Leister’s shot was followed up by Bernard for his goal, and Lynam rounded off the win with a thumping shot just before the final whistle.