Scarborough Athletic’s FA Cup adventure came to an end on Saturday as they lost 1-0 at Curzon Ashton in the second qualifying round.
Athletic did themselves proud on the outskirts of Manchester, but they just couldn’t find the equalising goal to keep them in the hat.
Boro started in confident fashion, with Ryan Blott, Gary Bradshaw feeding off the lively midfield.
Blott had a header held at the second attempt and then Ryan Williams was denied by Hakan Burton’s smart save.
Residing at the top of the division above, Curzon were always going to be a threat.
Striker Matty Warburton put the ball in the net with the Tameside club’s first real attack, but the goal was flagged off-side.
Boro keeper Jason White then turned it on between the sticks, making a string of tremendous saves to keep Boro in touch.
Ryan Brooke must have been wondering what more he had to do when White pulled off three great stops, the best being a stretched hand that tipped the striker’s lob onto the bar.
White continued to earn his corn with a stop from Warburton’s stinging drive.
The Boro keeper could do nothing six minutes before the break when Sam Walker was allowed a little too much room 30 yards from goal.
The midfielder bent a brilliant effort past White and into the bottom corner of the net.
Boro showed that they were still capable, finishing the half in dominant fashion.
They had a decent penalty shout when Jimmy Beadle pulled the trigger in the box. The ball smashed against a Curzon hand, but referee Luke Watson wasn’t moved.
Boro then created their chance of the half when Blott’s ball was headed back across goal by Chris Bolder. Bradshaw met this knod-down, but keeper Burton somehow scooped it out of the bottom corner.
Rudy Funk’s men continued this charge after the break, but Curzon stood strong at the back.
White lost none of his focus during this period, as he made another remarkable save in pushing away Niall Cummins’ shot from eight yards.
Boro’s tails were still up though and they had a great chance to level on the hour.
Bradshaw danced free on the left and he teased a ball into the box. Chris Bolder met it on the volley, but his effort sailed over the bar.
Burton then made a superb stop to force away Blott’s volley. Blott then managed to block Matty Plummer’s header on the line from the resulting corner.
Striker Blott was then unlucky not to convert at the far post when Bradshaw volleyed across goal.
Seconds later Blott outmuscled Cummins on the left and burst into the box. He rolled the ball into the path of Beadle, but his low shot found the body of Burton.
White kept Boro in the hunt when he turned over Matty Kay’s lob as the clock ticked towards added time.
Funk’s side camped out in the home box during the final minutes, but they just couldn’t cut through a creaking Curzon.
Their cause wasn’t helped right on full-time by the dismissal of sub Jordan Thewlis for an apparent elbow on Chris Rowney.