A second-half hat-trick from Gary Bradshaw fired Scarborough Athletic to a 3-0 home success over Carlton Town in the Evo-Stik South.
Boro scored three times in just over half an hour when the sides met in Nottinghamshire back in October, but this time around the trio of Athletic goals arrived in a period spanning only nine minutes, and all were dispatched by top-scorer Bradshaw.
A 3-0 win, or indeed a Boro victory by any margin, looked highly unlikely for over an hour of what was for the most part an uninspiring contest.
Rudy Funk’s side began sluggishly and Carlton edged the opening 15 minutes.
Jason White reacted superbly to tip an Alex Troke effort from close range over the bar before diving low to his left to turn away a deflected Joe Brothwell strike.
Boro offered almost nothing going forward in the first period, too often resorting to aimless long balls and struggling to maintain possession.
Carlton began to threaten on the counter attack as the half wore on and from one such raid, Steve Ridley was left with two visiting attackers bearing down on him.
Athletic’s left-back saved the day however, brilliantly intercepting Brothwell’s attempted pass to the unmarked Ruben Wiggins-Thomas.
The rebound fell kindly for Daniel Elliott on the edge of the box, but his effort was deflected over White’s bar for a corner.
There were no goals before the break and it didn’t look likely that any would arrive after the resumption either, as the second half began to unfold in similarly disjointed fashion to the first.
Boro skipper Paul Foot made a number of timely interventions to ensure that his side remained on terms before the game suddenly came to life in the 67th minute.
Pete Davidson picked the ball up in midfield, accelerated past a couple of opponents and burst through a gap in the Carlton rearguard.
His progress was ended abruptly as he was scythed down by visiting skipper Martin Ball for as blatant a penalty as you are ever likely to see.
Bradshaw coolly sent Jonathan Viscosi the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick and Boro had the lead.
Falling behind stung Carlton into action and they managed to work a couple of shooting opportunities before having what looked a fairly strong penalty appeal of their own waved away by referee Mr Murphy with 72 minutes on the clock.
A number of the visiting players were the still remonstrating with Mr Murphy as the ball was hacked clear towards Ryan Blott down the Boro right.
Blott hooked the ball cross field into the path of substitute Liam Shepherd who sent Bradshaw clean through on Viscosi‘s goal.
Having killed the ball with his first touch, Bradshaw’s initial effort was well stopped by the Carlton gloveman, but the former North Ferriby striker made no mistake second time around.
Four minutes later, the game was over as a contest as Bradshaw raced onto a Blott header and confidently smashed the ball over Viscosi and into the roof of the net.
Blott then combined nicely with Davidson to afford the latter a sight of goal but he could only drag his shot wide of the target.
It mattered not, as the points were already well and truly in the bag by this point and Boro’s play-off push was firmly back on track.