Boro move within touching distance of the title

Scarborough Athletic placed one hand on the NCEL Premier championship trophy on Saturday afternoon when they did a professional job on title rivals Brighouse Town.

Rudy Funk’s men now need four points from their final two fixtures to seal their ultimate goal - the NCEL silverware and more importantly a place in the Evo-Stik League next term.

The game billed as the big title decider lived up to its name, though it became clear that Boro deserve their ranking at the head of the pile as they were comfortably the better team.

Brighouse showed flashes of pace, power and organisation, but Boro exuded quality and the desire that all champions need.

The stage was set at kick off, with over 1,000 supporters flooding into the ground and creating a truely frenetic atmosphere.

Boro had a late blow as Tommy Adams pulled out with a heel injury, but Beadle slotted neatly in the centre of midfield, with Louis Horne claiming the left-back berth.

As expected, both sides took time to test the other out and no hefty blows were landed in the opening exchanges.

Brighouse looked sharp in attack, with their width and fleet of foot giving the Boro back-line enough to think about.

But Boro began to press as a unit and this created opportunities to exploit the home defence.

The enigmatic Pete Davidson created the first real chink when he showed a turn of pace to wriggle free, though his deflected shot was saved by Tom Taylor.

Boro and their fans continued to up their game and Beadle managed to work some space, but he sliced the effort off target.

Beadle’s midfield partner Bryan Hughes soon began to wave his magic wand over the game, a perfect example being a glorious ball to Tony Hackworth, though Taylor was once again poised to make the save.

Paddy Miller’s shot was then hacked to safety and panic looked to be etched across the faces of the Brighouse defenders.

That wasn’t the case further up the park though, as the home attackers were finding their shooting range, Ryan Hall looping his strike just over Arran Reid’s bar.

Luke Gibson then forged a shot on target that looked destined for the top corner, but Reid stretched out a palm and superbly deflected it away from goal.

Brighouse were then dealt a huge blow as skipper Nick Jagger limped off, leaving a yawning gap at the heart of their defence.

Boro almost exploited this immediately, but two scrambles were cleared from underneath the home bar.

Their was little to show in the rest of the half and the sides retreated to the changing rooms with no score on the board.

This could have been altered seconds into the new period when sub Joe Mitchell lifted a sweet volley just over.

Boro were still creating though, Beadle saw a shot hooked off the line after Blott had waltzed around the keeper, the rebound fell to Hackworth but he drove over.

There was always going to be goals in the game and it was another moment of Blott brilliance that opened the door for Boro.

The striker collected a deep corner at the far post, chested the ball down and crashed a first-time shot into the back of the Brighouse net.

Reid was forced into an immediate save at the other end, before Horne was ushered off with injury to be replaced by James Bennett.

With the pitch breaking up, Brighouse’s manner turned into one of desperation, while Boro started to stroke the ball around with confidence.

Hughes was at the centre of much of this, casting a calming spell on his teammates.

The former Hull City man still had a few tricks up his sleeve as well, and with time running out he played the ball of the game to pick out a rampant Beadle. The midfielder controlled beautifully before despatching number two past the Brighouse keeper.

There was little retort from the already beaten hosts and Boro cruised to the final whistle in style.

The ref’s last toot then sparked marvellous scenes, with the impressive travelling support joining Boro in their celebrations.

With two games remaining there is still a job to do, but this step looks to be a massive one in the quest for NCEL glory.

Check out our video to watch the celebrations at the final whistle