As the chilly grip of winter clasped the NCEL, the only clash to escape the freezing weather was Scarborough Athletic’s battle against a tough Tadcaster Albion outfit.
It may not have been the prettiest of encounters for the 380 freezing fans, but their hearts were warmed by the three points that pushed Boro back to the top of the table.
Defender Louis Horne may have been stuck making snowmen in the chill of West Yorkshire, but Boro boss Rudy Funk still forged together a team, which included Jimmy Beadle in Horne’s place in the middle of the defence.
Tommy Adams slotted back in for his first start since the three-match suspension in a berth on the right of the midfield.
Playing into the wind Boro made a lively start, with top-scorer Ryan Blott scooping a shot just wide, but they then seemed to freeze.
Tadcaster peppered the Boro goal in the moments that followed, with Arran Reid’s net leading something of a charmed existance.
Terry Taylor drilled just over the bar, Callum Ward struck the side-netting, then Steve Jeff smashed a volley wide from close range.
Reid then made a point-blank save from former Albion teammate Stuart Rice after a rare slip-up by Matty Plummer.
Another ball was then fizzed in across the box that was met by Scott McGrory, but his shot on the slide once again tested the strength of the side of the net.
Boro pushed themselves onto the front foot though for the final few minutes, with the highlight being a James Bennett shot that swept just wide.
Things looked positive when the teams came back out, but Tadcaster had other ideas.
George Bissett stepped up and crashed a free-kick against Boro’s post, Ward looked odds-on to convert from three yards, but Reid made an amazing diving save to force the ball away.
Beadle didn’t last much longer than this first piece of action, as after a challenge in the first half he was struggling with a dead-leg.
Robbie Hawkes emerged from the bench and Adams slotted into an unaccustomed role at centre-back.
Things seemed to liven up with Hawkes in the mix, while Adams, alongside Plummer, marshalled the defence is magnificent style.
Play continued to switch from end to end though, with Tony Hackworth turning delightfully in the box and stabbing wide. Then at the other end, Reid made an amazing save to deny the raiding McGrory.
With 12 minutes left on the clock, but made the breakthrough that they desperately needed.
Hackworth nodded a ball down into the path of Paddy Miller, the full-back his a scuffed effort first-time and it crept past a stranded Leon Wrigglesworth.
Worrying moments followed, as Tadcaster pushed on a quest to restore parity. They looked a threat from the sidelines, but in truth all they created were ambitious shots from distance.
In contrast, Boro had that killer instinct, and that was shown with just seconds left on the clock.
Hackworth found some space out on the right and delivered into the box. After a bounce or two, a combination of Blott and Bennett forced the ball home with the former taking full credit.
The victory was enough to move Boro two points clear at the top of the pile, leaving the rest of the chasing pack playing catch-up.