Scarborough Town 4
Town kicked off the new season in a new league but with another outstanding result as they overpowered Howden with a four-star second-half performance.
The game kicked off in bright sunshine with Town playing up a slight slope. Jamie Bradshaw was the first to catch the eye, beating four men but dragging his shot wide of the post.
Howden’s lively Craig Gorman shot straight at Town’s keeper Jamie Sanderson, and the same striker glanced his header wide after rising to meet a corner from the left.
Some trickery from Martyn Ferrey opened up an opening for Kris Tate whose powerful drive was tipped over the bar by home keeper Chris Neal.
Bradshaw was proving quite a handful for the Howden markers and was singled out for some harsh tackles and illegal blocks, but the home side created an opportunity when Danny Best hit a 25-yard free-kick which Sanderson saved competently.
Town began to pile on the pressure, with a Ferrey shot grazing the bar and a diving header from Ryan Jackson just off target. Kris Tate burst through but was denied by a splendid last-ditch tackle, Sean Exley’s curling effort was punched away by Neal, and Barry Gill looked to have headed home a corner but full-back Matt Benson was well-positioned to kick the ball off the line.
When Town finally netted, the team were disappointed to see the linesman’s flag raised for an offside decision.
Town piled men upfield and forced a scramble in the Howden area, but a goalbound shot was inadvertently blocked on the line by a Town player, the ball ending up in the net but again the decision was offside.
As the action switched to the other end, Howden’s Liam Bell headed narrowly wide, but Town hit back with a strong run from Neil Fryirs and a shot which went just wide. Exley lifted the ball over a defender and seemed to be flattened in the home penalty area, but the referee saw no offence, and in the other area Sanderson had to act quickly to grab the ball from the feet of a marauding attacker.
Town finally went ahead after two minutes of the second half, Bradshaw creating an opportunity to hit the ball sweetly into the bottom corner.
Within five minutes Town had doubled their lead when Baz Gill netted from close-range after Jackson’s initial shot was blocked.
The visiting team seemed to relax but were punished immediately when Coult went outside his marker and hit a superb cross-shot to reduce the arrears.
Fryirs and Exley were narrowly off target with powerful efforts, but Sanderson produced a great save when a Howden breakaway allowed Matt Whittaker a sight of goal. Tate broke clear at the other end but delayed his shot, then set up Ferrey whose effort was blocked.
Sub Carl Hepples anticipated the bounce of a long clearance to take the ball past an onrushing Neal but failed to guide the ball into the open net from 30 yards out.
Town secured the points after 80 minutes when a Bradshaw cross reached sub Chris Nelson at the far post who scored with an excellently-directed header to make the score 3-1.
Fittingly, it was Bradshaw who administered the coup de grace by hitting the ball low and hard into the net for a great solo goal on 85 minutes.
Town: Sanderson, Nock, Pickles (Briggs 77), Gill, Darling, Ferrey, Jackson (Nelson 71), Tate, Exley, Fryirs (Hepples 62), Bradshaw.