THE dismal memories of Scarborough Athletic’s past three games were washed away by a supreme attacking display at Long Eaton.
Boro shrugged off the challenging conditions and their opponents in confident fashion to haul themselves back into the title race.
It was the new striking parnership of Ryan Blott and Adam Lee that made the difference on the day, as they linked up superbly to net two goals each.
Midfield general Nick McNamara held things together in the centre of the park, while Tony Hackworth and his fellow defenders helped Boro to keep their first clean-sheet since early November.
It was Hackworth, featuring further up the field, who gave Boro the perfect start after seven minutes of the encounter.
He netted his seventh of the season in spectacular style, smashing home a volley from the edge of the box when a corner was cleared away.
By this point Athletic were well on top, with some glorious passing moves forcing Long Eaton firmly onto the back foot.
Returning goalkeeper Kevin Martin was finally involved in the action with 15 minutes on the clock, as a long ball found striker Shaun Rickford in the box.
Rickford, who bagged a hat-trick at Queensgate earlier this season, wasn’t as sharp this time around though as his volley was neatly saved.
Martin made another top stop minutes later when Will Mellors-Blair wriggled free in the box. The veteran keeper got down well to keep out the winger’s low shot.
Rudy Funk’s men recaptured the initiative after this though, as Bill Law burst through a challenge and saw his drive saved.
New signing Lee went one better in first-half injury-time.
He latched onto a lofted Paddy Miller ball, jigged past the keeper and rolled home.
It is always said that a goal either side of the interval is the perfect time to score. Lee matched his goal prior to the break with another neat finish seconds after the restart.
Great link-up play between Blott and Lee freed the latter in on goal to score in the bottom corner.
The game fizzled out after this, as the gusting wind and bobbly pitch made any attractive play a little difficult.
The arrival of the lively Matt Plummer on the right wing did bring some quality back into the play.
The fourth goal came from the other side though after 77 minutes, as Paddy Miller crossed brilliantly and Blott nodded down and into the net.
Blott wrapped up the scoring two minutes later, with Plummer’s whipped delivery being chested down and smashed home.
Miller almost added a sixth in the final few minutes, but he bent just wide of the target.