Boro snatch dramatic derby win

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Scarborough Athletic came battling back from behind to clinch a dramatic 2-1 home success against derby rivals Pickering Town.

Things looked bleak at a wind-swept and rain-drenched Queensgate heading into the second half, but Boro’s grit and determination shone through.

Their comeback was capped by a superb Tony Hackworth strike and the hosts could well have added a few more in the closing minutes.

Despite this being an attractive fixture, it was a day for the hardcore fan, as a freezing wind blew across the ground drenching all and sundry.

New signing, former Premier League man Bryan Hughes, would probably have picked a warmer afternoon to make his debut in the middle of the park when replacing Jimmy Beadle, who had been laid low with a virus.

Matt Plummer slotted in at centre-half, as Louis Horne was away completing his UEFA B badge. Plummer and his fellow defenders were tested in the opening few minutes, though the only meaningful attempt Pickering could muster was a Lewis Taylor drive that sailed over the bar.

Things opened up nicely for Hughes at the other end and he would have marked his debut with a goal, but for a fine save from David Bramley.

It was never going to be a day that produced too much attractive play, yet the slippery conditions summonded up some wayward challenging. A great example of this was Dean Readman’s lunging tackle on Ryan Blott, which was rewarded by an immediate yellow card.

Boro began to creep their way into the game, with Bennett going close and Davidson drilling in a cross that Blott forced just past the post.

There was still plenty of threat from Pickering though, as Joe Danby looped a header over the bar and Steve Baxter dragged a shot right across the face of goal.

Boro looked the most likely to score, with Robbie Hawkes going closest, smashing a wicked shot from distance towards the top corner, but Bramley clawed his superbly away.

It was Pickering who made that all-important break through. The lively Taylor springing the off-side trap and Danby polished off at the far post.

The warmth of the changing room and the bar called when the referee’s whistle blew, though there was little to coax the supporters back out when the match restarted.

Baxter found a bit of space for Pickering on the edge of the box, but his attempted lob sailed onto the car-park.

Then there was a coming together after a late Tom Reid challenge on Pete Davidson, with both players being booked for their trouble.

Things livened up just before the hour, with Boro forcing a succession of corners. One developed into an unattractive scramble in the box, but Plummer kept his head and smashed home the leveller into the roof of the net.

The styles of the teams became a huge contrast after this, with Boro keeping much of the possession, but the Pikes still had the threat on the counter, led by the bustle in attack of Liam Salt and Baxter.

James Bennett bent a delightful effort in after a darting run on the right, but it beat the post by inches. Then Blott’s header didn’t have enough dip to finish under the bar.

The winning goal was always on the cards though, and it arrived in a fashion that deserved the decisive title. Miller’s corner bounced through a crowded box and Hackworth took aim and finished sweetly with a glorious volley.

Despite the continued danger of Pickering, Boro could have added to their tally, as Blott rounded Bramley but hit the sidenetting. Then Hackworth was denied by the back of the Pickering keeper’s leg when he tried to nutmeg him.

The points were in the bag though, and Boro were given an extra boost at the final whistle, with the news that rivals Bridlington Town had gone down to a 1-0 defeat on the road at Tadcaster, throwing another curve ball into the title race.

Catch our video of Rudy Funk’s after-match interview