Boro charge into next round

PICTURE BY DAVE KETTLEWELL
PICTURE BY DAVE KETTLEWELL
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Scarborough Athletic booked their place in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup for only the second time on Saturday when they brushed visiting Ashington aside.

Boro were just too strong for their tepid Northern League opponents and the 4-1 scoreline could have been added to had Funk’s men not eased off after the break.

They had done more than enough though and their efforts will result in a trip to Team Northumbria in a fortnight’s time.

Boro started the tie in the best way possible - firmly on the front foot.

Gary Bradshaw blazed an early drive into the car-park and James Bennett showed more attacking intent when he whipped a ball just to the right of the Ashington goal.

The lead was snatched just 10 minutes into the game, though the goal came from an unlikely source.

Bradshaw cut in from the left of the penalty area and tested visiting keeper Karl Dryden. He fluffed his lines by failing to hold the effort and Matty Plummer took full advantage by drilling home.

Ashington had very little in an attack that was led by the immobile former Newcastle United man Marc Walton. Much of their threat came from wide-man Andrew Johnson, whose pace gave Boro a little to think about.

One of Johnson’s bursts allowed him a free run on Jason White’s goal. The attacker made the wrong decision though, opting to curl the ball into the top corner where White’s reliable gloves plucked the ball from the air.

Boro soon stretched their lead in route one fashion. A long ball was sprayed through from the back. Bradshaw judged it perfectly, nipping past the defender and keeper Dryden and rolling home.

Almost immediately afterwards Johnson found a little more space in the Boro half and curled in a wicked drive that smacked against White’s bar and fortunately bounced to safety.

Boro were a little more clinical though when their opportunities arrived. Blott stroked the ball just inches wide after a glorious turn, before the hosts added their third just before the break.

A neat move freed up Chris Bolder in the box and the midfielder dinked into the path of Tyler Collishaw whose header edged past Dryden’s flailing arms.

Boro started the second half in impressive style and soon made it four, though it was mainly down to the generosity of referee Dean Chapman.

Bennett smashed his volley into a crowd of players, which surprisingly led to the man in black pointing at the spot.

After the protests were waved away, Bradshaw showed his usual compose and sent the keeper the wrong way.

Boro made a change or two after this, taking off Paul Foot, Bennett and Bradshaw and introducing Nathan Cook, Josh Greening and last year’s player of the year Pete Davidson.

Greening could have scored with his first touch as he was free on the far post when Blott elected to shoot rather than square the ball.

Rather than pushing on and going goal crazy after this point, Boro opted to to sit back and this drew on the Northern League outfit.

Aided by the injection of a bit of pace, Ashington showed a little flair and pulled one back when Johnson finished neatly at the far post.

Glen Taylor then struck Boro’s sidenetting and a string of chances followed, fortunately for Boro none were taken and the fingernails were saved another hammering.