Boro undone by dismal defending

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Scarborough Athletic’s woeful dip in form continued on Saturday when they were humbled 4-2 at home by Warrington Town.

Joint-managers Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot asked for a response after last week’s dismal defeat at Ossett Albion, but sadly there wasn’t one.

Boro were once again well off the pace, especially at the back, and Warrington punished them at will.

Despite this defeat, Athletic remain in the play-off places, though they will have to shake off this malaise if they are to remain there.

The changes were rung after the Ossett loss. Paul Robson returned to right-back, while Kieran McCaffrey and Alex Metcalfe slotted into the midfield. New boy Tom Corner was on the bench.

Things didn’t look too great from the very beginning as the glut of errors crept in early on.

Ben Middleton’s bobbling back-pass only just reached keeper Joe Cracknell, his clearance smashed against striker Ben Wharton and the ball sailed inches over the Boro bar.

Warrington’s plight was made so much easier by the fact that Boro just seemed unable to defend.

This was hugely apparent when Warrington took the lead after 17 minutes.

Boro failed to clear their lines and Wharton was given the time and the space to bend brilliantly beyond Cracknell.

Soon after this it was the left side of the Boro defence that vanished allowing Chris Gahgan to dance through and roll home number two.

As bad as Boro looked at the back, at least they carried some clout going forward.

Defender Dean Lisles found his comfort zone in the Warrington penalty area and he was unlucky not to trim the lead with a delightful flick that was tipped up and over the bar by Karl Wills.

There was some more brilliance just before the break when Ryan Blott pounced to make it 2-1.

Gary Bradshaw dinked the ball over the Warrington defence and Blott lobbed Wills with a first-time shot to give Boro some hope.

There was some bad news for Boro at the interval as Jimmy Beadle was withdrawn with a suspected broken toe, Pete Davidson came on as his replacement.

As bright as things may have looked when Blott’s goal went in, the ineptitude of Boro’s defending once again darkened a chilly afternoon and Warrington took control Gahgan-style.

The striker must have been stunned when the Boro back-line twice gave him the ball in the area and he made no mistake to the fury of the home bench.

Boro gift of the three points was completed just after the hour. Cracknell was given another horrible back-pass, which bounced up over his foot and Nathan Burke gleefully nipped in to score.

It could have been 5-1 seconds later when the cumbersome Boro centre of defence was easily outpaced by Wharton, but Robson put it in to make an excellent saving tackle.

Boro threw on debut boy Corner with 20 minutes left, a move that gave them a hefty attacking boost.

He was involved in the build-up when Bradshaw was crudely hacked down in the box. Bradshaw brushed himself down and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 4-2.

Had Corner’s goal radar been turned on in the closing stages then Boro could well have snatched a point.

He was sent clean through on goal, but his side-footed effort was saved by Wills.

Then the big striker rose well at the far post, but he headed Bradshaw’s cross just wide.

There was still time for Boro to show more buffoonery at the back. Burke was allowed another clear run on goal, but his shot struck the foot of the post and bounced away.

The damage had already been done by this point though, leaving Boro licking their wounds and staring worryingly at the table as their form crumbles around them.