Scarborough Athletic and Lancaster City may have ground out the dullest of goalless draws on Saturday, but the point still keeps Boro’s play-off hopes alive.
The ball just didn’t roll for Boro on the day and that was encapsulated in the final minutes when sub Ryan Blott was denied by a fortunate save after he was presented with a golden chance to seal the Evo-Stik North win.
On the positive side of things, Boro defended manfully to maintain their clean-sheet and they looked lively in attack, but only in the final quaarter of the home fixture.
Bosses Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot introduced new loanee Caine Winfarrah on the left side, he replaced the spritely Cameron Murray, who dropped to the bench.
Winfarrah showed some good touches on his debut, but Boro soon became bogged down in a midfield slog that possibly didn’t suit the Grimsby Town man’s game.
In fact, nobody impressed in a horrible first 45 minutes of football that Boro were lucky to escape from on level terms.
Firstly, Matthew Poole headed wide of the Boro goal from six yards, before a combination of Lancaster’s Tom Kilifin and home defender Danny Wilkinson poked against Joe Cracknell’s post.
Then an error from Steve Ridley allowed Kilifin to pull the trigger from 20 yards, his shot skipping past the post.
The dangerous Poole then struck the foot of the Boro upright after a gaffe on the right of the Boro defence, before Ben Middleton hacked a shot off the line as Boro continued to shake.
The half-time whistle actually came as a treat to the ears of the Boro fans and probably the players.
Words were clearly said at the break and they had a positive effect on the Athletic performance.
Skipper Paul Robson’s cross was plucked off the toes of a number of Boro attackers and then Jimmy Beadle just failed to get his head on Alex Metcalfe’s free-kick into the box.
The Boro bench finally rolled the dice, with Murray and Blott coming on, and this began to pay dividend.
Pete Davidson smashed over the bar after some silky build-up, and then Tom Corner rounded off a melee in the box when he lashed wide from six yards.
Lancaster’s attacking plans had been ditched by this point and it was all hands to the pump at the back.
Davidson struck another sweet shot just over, and then the big chance fell to the educated feet of Blott.
Corner won a battle with keeper Michael Hall and Blott looked set to gobble up the pieces, but his shot struck the heel of the keeper and bounced to safety..
That chance also proved to be the last action of a game that certainly got better with age. The late vintage may have been there, but sadly there wasn’t a taste of victory to go with it.