Scarborough Athletic’s fairytale beginning to the Evo-Stik season took another grim turn at Queensgate on Saturday.
Promotion rivals Warrington went west with a 1-0 win and a three-point haul after another frustrating afternoon for Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot’s hosts.
Had points been awarded for controlling the game then Boro would have romped to victory, but sadly one defensive slip and Chris Gahgan’s finished ensured that Warrington’s impressive run continued and Athletic’s disappointing dip persisted.
Boro looked useful until the final third of the field when the nosebleed seemed to kick in and the froze.
The incisive passes that cut Harrogate to pieces less than a month ago have vanished, being replaced by anxiety in and around the box.
That was the case from the very beginning, as some of Boro’s approach play was a treat to watch, but their endeavor produced no clear-cut chances.
Warrington meanwhile, buoyed by a run of form that has pushed them in among the leaders, played with a freedom that flowed from back to front.
Boro’s only chance in the opening stages saw full-back Paul Robson cut in front the right and rifle in a shot that was tipped over by Karl Wills.
In stark contrast, when Warrington created an opportunity, they scored.
Boro failed to clear their lines on the right, Steven Gillespie’s angled shot hit the foot of the post and Gahgan tapped home.
The home side’s rashness in front of goal continued after this, as Nathan Peat chested down a corner and crashed the ball into the car-park.
Then Alex Peterson found a small amount of space, but his shot fizzed past the angle of post and bar.
The energy of Gary Bradshaw threatened when the second half came roaring out of the blocks, but after a sharp burst down the right, he drilled into the side-netting.
Warrington were forced onto the back foot as the second half began to gather pace, with Pete Davidson et al passing the ball at will across the middle of the park.
The Merseyside outfit soaked up all the pressure though, digging deep in a Spartan-like rearguard that kept Boro at bay.
Top-scorer Tom Corner was thrown on, along with the returning Ryan Blott and young defender Tommy Cooney, who replaced the struggling Peat.
This added a little more bite to Boro, with Dom Rowe looping a volley over and Corner seeing two headers saved.
Boro still lacked that all-important breakthrough though, a trait that has deserted them for just a little bit too long now.