Boro slip to defeat at leaders

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Scarborough Athletic’s fleeting promotion hopes were finally diminished on Saturday when they slipped to a 3-0 defeat at leaders Halesowen.

The West Midlands side were just too good on the day, showing the quality required to see off Rudy Funk’s men.

Boro started the game without defenders Steve Ridley and Andy Milne, though Paul Foot and Liam Shepherd slotted in neatly as their replacements.

Grant Ryan also dropped to the bench, being replaced by fellow attacker Ryan Blott, who had shaken off his hamstring strain.

Funk’s men were hit by losing the experienced Bryan Hughes in the 15th minute of the game, but that had only followed on from the earlier blow of conceding a ninth minute goal.

Foot misjudged the bounce of a ball and Ben Haseley neatly finished his 30th of the season.

Things took another dive when Hughes was caught by a nasty tackle from Curtis Tilt, bizarrely the referee gave the free-kick against the Boro man, who was forced to limp gingerly off and be replaced by Ryan.

Despite this, Boro matched the leaders for the remainder of the half in front of the hefty crowd of 601, but they failed to really test keeper Matt Sargeant.

Jordan Thewlis went the closest after a mazy run from the half-way line, but his vicious drive flew over the bar and into the crowd.

Boro’s chances of picking up anything from their long trip departed just minutes into the second half.

Matty Plummer failed to control the ball and then bundled Iyseden Christie over in the box. The experienced striker brushed himself down to score Halesowen’s second.

Boro withdrew Blott and Foot as the second half minutes ticked on, with Jack Barlow and Mike Atkinson stepping into the fray.

Halesowen soon began to show why they currently hold top spot in the table in the closing stages, slowing solidity at the back and causing problems in attack.

Boro did create the odd chance though, Beadle going close and Gary Bradshaw floating a free-kick just wide of the target.

Beadle also had an effort deflected just past the post with the keeper floundering.

The final goal came at the other end though, with Haseley outpacing the Boro defence and dinking over Jason White to make it three.

Neil MacKenzie almost added to the lead seconds later, but his stinging effort was saved by White.

Boro’s players cut frustrated figures by this point, as they had been comfortably swept aside by a commanding Halesowen outfit.