The New Year got underway with a bang for Scarborough Athletic as they produced some eye-catching fireworks against Brighouse Town.
Boro went from the low of the Boxing Day defeat at Darlington to a huge high and former fierce NCEL Premier rivals Brighouse Town were the victims.
Goals from Gary Bradshaw, Alex Peterson, Jimmy Ghaichem and Jimmy Beadle gave Boro a four-goal cushion that actually flattered the out of sorts visitors.
Despite this, Boro were once again thankful for the efforts of on-loan keeper Joe Cracknell, who as well as making a penalty stop, kept his clean-sheet in confident fashion.
Cracknell was the final line of defence behind a Boro team that contained two changes from the loss at Darlington.
James Bennett and the returning Kieran McCaffrey slotted into the midfield in place of Paul Robson and Ghaichem.
The quick feet of Bennett and the energy of McCaffrey played a huge part in a flying start for Boro.
Peterson, in what might be his last game for the club, thought he’d given Boro the lead just a few seconds in, but his neat finish was ruled out for off-side.
There was more frustration for Boro as Dean Lisles forced the ball home soon after, only for ref Paul Lister to rule it out for a foul on the keeper Jack Cookson.
That was Cookson’s last lifeline as the stopper’s afternoon to forget soon began.
He was nowhere after 22 minutes when Bradshaw stepped up and floated a sweet free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.
Cookson was then involved in a horrible mix-up with two of his defenders, Peterson took full advantage by rolling in off the post.
Former Boro man Bill Law demonstrated some threat for Brighouse, though when he raced in on Cracknell his finishing radar was off.
The hosts were stung by a double blow after this as Matty Plummer couldn’t continue due to sickness and McCaffrey was replaced after picking up a back injury.
That seemed to affect Boro’s mojo as Brighouse finished the period with something of a renaissance.
Cracknell saved superbly from Leon Henry and then Ernest Boafo managed to squirm through the Boro defence, but he fluffed his lines from just eight yards.
There was more concern on the Boro bench soon after the second half began, as Cracknell went down under a late challenge.
The Hull City youngster was soon on his feet though, fortunately for him Brighouse found themselves pinned back and unable to exploit any after-affects.
Beadle crashed a trademark volley just wide of the target and then Lisles was once again foiled by the officials when a flag ruled out another header into the back of the net.
Peterson came so close to bagging a second of the afternoon when he was sent in on Cookson. With the keeper committed, Peterson’s effort struck the post and bounced to safety.
Ghaichem made no mistake minutes later though, the sub bending home with the outside of his foot to make it 3-0 to Boro.
The pace of Brighouse always proved to be a menace, but the defensive solidity of Lisles and Ben Middleton, linked with the ball-handling of Cracknell just about kept them at bay.
Cracknell made a fantastic double-save as Brighouse smelt blood, and Middleton headed another effort off the line.
It was Boro who made the final breakthrough of the day though and it had to come from Beadle, who finally honed in his shooting boots.
The ball fell to the midfielder from a corner and Cookson was given no chance with a rasping drive.
Brighouse almost responded immediately when Bennett was adjudged to have fouled Boafo in the box.
Cracknell pushed away Ryan Hall’s spot-kick and then kept out two further efforts from the Brighouse attacker.
Boro almost added further salt to the Brighouse wounds in the final few minutes, with this final encore being orchestrated by joint-boss Bryan Hughes, who arrived from the bench.
He swung a delightful ball across the face of goal, but Peterson failed to get a toe onto it.
Then Bradshaw almost profitted from more fine attacking play, but his left-footed volley zipped just over.
Just a few days earlier Boro were down and out in Darlington, but they responsed brilliantly and truly battered Brighouse.