Scarborough Athletic’s form, confidence and Evo-Stik North status continued to slide on Saturday after a tepid 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Mossley.
Mossley offered little but desire and fight, two traits Boro clearly lacked after the usual sting of falling a goal behind.
The hosts were also without a voice on the park following skipper Nathan Peat’s pre-match broken toe that continued to keep an overworked physiotherapy busy.
Peat’s absence wasn’t noted in the early stages, as Boro took to the front foot, with the striking three of Gary Bradshaw, Tom Corner and Ryan Blott causing all the problems.
This period of pressure yielded little or nothing apart from an Alex Metcalfe shot that was comfortably saved by keeper Liam Flynn.
The contrast was stark, as Mossley were afforded the single opportunity when the ball broke to Michael Fish in the box, and he smartly despatched it into the net to give his side the lead.
Home joint-boss Paul Foot was evidently furious from his perch on the bench, telling his troops to liven up when the ball thudded against the underside of Rob Zand’s bar and fortunately bounced to safety.
Clearly the warning signs were there when Zand juggled another effort just past the post.
Sadly they were not heeded, and some cringeworthy defending saw the ball fall to the feet of striker Dave Short, who didn’t need a second invitation to make it 2-0.
Boro maybe should have made immediate inroads into this lead, but again the attacking confidence or killer touch was lacking.
Blott was sent through on the keeper, he showed good footwork to round the stopper, but then the ball bobbled away and Flynn scooped it off his toe.
Boro’s fans looked to have something to cheer right on half time when the endeavor of Bradshaw allowed Corner to tap home, but a linesman’s flag soon cut short any joy.
Corner was back in the action at the beginning of the new half, forging an opportunity on his own, but the door was soon slammed shut by a good defensive block.
Blott should have done better minutes later when he raced free on the right of the area, his low shot was sliced past the upright.
Things were rejigged from the bench, as Blott was withdrawn for Alex Peterson and Lewis Ferguson arrived for his debut in place of Metcalfe.
Neither switch paid dividend though, despite Peterson having a low shot held by the keeper.
Bradshaw also whipped in a free-kick just over the bar, but frustratingly for the hosts, that was all the had to offer as things petered out in dismal fashion.