Scarborough Athletic’s FA Trophy adventure came to an abrupt halt as they were on the receiving end of six of the best from AFC Telford United.
Behind from as early as the 11th minute, Boro never really threatened to get back into the game and in the end their hosts’ extra quality shone through.
Rudy Funk’s charges did not, however, play anywhere near as badly as the scoreline might suggest and although there was a clear gulf in class between the sides it was not apparent during the opening exchanges.
It took the visitors a while to find their feet and the Lillywhites enjoyed plenty of possession early on but seemed content to spent their afternoon pumping an endless succession of long balls into Jason White’s penalty area.
Boro did not look unduly concerned by this ploy until with 10 minutes gone home keeper Ryan Young launched a free-kick from inside the centre circle into the Boro box.
Athletic failed to clear their lines and as the ball bounced in the area there was a coming together which ended up with a Telford man on the deck and referee Mr Ellis pointing for what looked to be the softest of penalties.
Left-winger Sean Clancy stepped up to calmly send Jason White one way and the ball the other and the home side had an early lead.
With Boro employing a 4-5-1 formation they struggled to generate much forward momentum, with Gary Bradshaw at times isolated in the final third.
As a result, the hosts saw plenty of the ball and spent most of the next 30 minutes booting it deep into Boro territory to no avail.
Just as it seemed that the Seadogs were slowly starting to come out of their collective shell, a five-minute period of sustained pressure resulted in a second goal for the Bucks.
A couple of long throw-ins initially caused chaos, with Mike Grogan ballooning an effort from just three yards out before a weak punch from White almost resulted in disaster.
White was beaten again in the 44th minute and this time the ball did end up in the back of his net when Grogan nodded in Clancy’s inviting cross from the left at the back post.
If Boro were to get back into the game they needed to begin the second half on the front foot, yet barely a minute had elapsed following the re-start when White was at full-stretch to tip a Sean Cooke strike over the bar.
From the resulting corner from the left, Grogan forced home his second of the afternoon following a scramble in the six-yard box.
It looked very much like there was no way back for the visitors at this point and any lingering doubts to this effect were extinguished in the 55th minute when striker Adam Farrell let fly with an unstoppable 20-yard effort from the right-hand side of the box.
His shot left White grasping at thin air as it rocketed into the net via the underside of the cross bar.
Within four minutes, all three of the Telford goalscorers had been withdrawn and the hosts began to ease off the gas.
Despite the game being well and truly up, Boro continued to try and play and some good work from Bryan Hughes down the right afforded half-time substitute Ryan Blott a shooting opportunity 25 yards out.
His effort was deflected comfortably wide of Young’s post, but for the first time in the game the home stopper did at least have an effort somewhere near his goal to worry about.
There was no shortage of chances at the other end, substitute Mike Phenix bursting through and rattling a post.
Young was then forced into his first testing action of the contest when he was required to block Matt Plummer’s powerful header after Ryan Williams’ corner found the Boro right-back unmarked at the back stick.
The action switched back to the other end and Charlie Barnett saw a powerful drive thud off the bar and onto the back of a wrong-footed White before bouncing away for a corner.
With just a couple of minutes remaining, Telford did take the score to 5-0 when defender Simon Grand netted a scruffy goal after another horrible mess ensued in the Athletic area following a set piece.
Worse was to come, and a minute later Tony Gray got in behind the Boro rearguard before being felled by a desperate lunge from Andy Milne.
Mr Ellis pointed to the penalty-spot for a second time before sending Milne on his way with a straight red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity.Gray despatched the resulting spot-kick with aplomb and thankfully for Boro the next significant blast on the referee’s whistle signalled full-time and the end of a torrid afternoon in Shropshire.
There is certainly no disgrace in being well-beaten by a side two divisions higher, and despite the heavy nature of the defeat, Boro should not be too disheartened.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this performance was that Athletic didn’t really do themselves justice, they are a much better side than this display demonstrated.
That Telford found themselves 3-0 up in just 47 minutes without really having to over-extend themselves will also no doubt leave manager Funk disappointed.
Pete Davidson was the pick of the Athletic players, producing one or two neat moments in an energetic display, while Blott’s introduction from the bench resulted in Boro posing more of a threat going forward.
With the visit of Pickering Town to Queensgate on Tuesday night to look forward to, the Seadogs do not have to wait long for a chance to bounce back from this defeat.