Boro crumble to Romulus

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Scarborough Athletic’s frustrating start to life in the Evo-Stik continued on Saturday as they were comfortably beaten 4-2 on the road at Romulus.

Boro looked disjointed from the word go, as the players seemed to struggle with the 4-3-3 formation.

Gary Bradshaw was isolated in the centre-forward position, the midfield struggled to get on the ball and a lack of pace at the back was exploited at will by the swift Romulus attack.

This issue was shown up in the very first minute when the lively Marcus Brown outstripped the Boro defence, though his shot was eased to safety by the foot of keeper Jason White.

Rudy Funk’s men showed some attacking threat when Sam Denton rose well in the box and planted his header a Toblerone’s width from the top of the bar.

Boro were soon punished for their lackadaisical approach though, falling behind 15 minutes into the encounter.

Tyler Collishaw needlessly gave the ball away on the right, Tyron Amory collected and whipped a cross to the back post and Luke Keen powered home.

Collishaw could have made up for this error when he worked two good chances for himself, but instead of picking out the back of the net he twice passed the ball straight to the keeper.

Boro seemed to finally be shaking off the shackles of the long journey as the half progressed, with Denton seeing another towering header saved by keeper Matthew Coton.

The young custodian could do nothing two minutes before the break when James Bennett wriggled free in the box. The tricky midfielder fired in a hopeful shot and Bradshaw converted from close range.

The half-time parity was probably a fair assessment, though Romulus always looked to have the potential to stick in a goal or two - something they would fulfil in the new period.

Boro started the second half well and they looked to have a fair shout for a penalty just a couple of minutes in when Collishaw’s darting run was ended by a clumsy challenge.

Instead of pointing at the spot the ref awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the area, and when a delicate finish was required, Denton just drilled his strike straight at the wall.

Romulus responded well, grabbing the lead just seconds later.

Boro lost all their cohesion at the back, allowing Liam Francis the chance to shoot at goal. A mix-up followed and Brown nipped in to score.

Boss Funk opted to shuffle his pack, pulling Ryan Blott from his unaccustomed berth on the left wing and Bennett from the centre of the park, with Pete Davidson and Josh Greening arriving and bringing some new attacking zest with them.

The tempo was soon upped as Bradshaw smashed a volley just wide and Greening was denied by the legs of the keeper.

Gaps began to appear though as Boro pushed on and Romulus took advantage with 20 minutes left.

The Boro defence completely vanished as Amory and Brown broke free and the latter had the freedom of the area when crashing home his second.

Monsoon-like conditions followed and Boro’s hopes were dampened further when the floodgates began to creak open.

Keeper White was at fault for the fourth and final goal, though he wasn’t helped by his AWOL back-line.

White raced from his net, but he was comfortably outpaced by Brown, who invited the finishing touch of Amory in acres of space.

The Boro management team had their last roll of the dice with 10 to go, withdrawing Denton for Steve Ridley and moving Paul Foot into a more attacking position.

This provoked something of a late charge, resulting in Foot heading home Boro’s second from a corner. Unfortuntaley though Boro were always going to be miles away from their rampant rivals.

In truth, Romulus hadn’t been fantastic on their own 3G pitch, but on this occasion they hadn’t needed to be.