Clarkson nets late winner for Boro

Boro news
Boro news

An 89th-minute strike from Lewis Clarkson fired Scarborough Athletic to their first ever Evo-Stik League win in a pulsating encounter with Eastwood Town at Queensgate.

Clarkson’s late effort sealed a 2-1 victory for Rudy Funk’s men after the Seadogs had treated a bumper 437-strong crowd to a fluid footballing display.

There was little incident in a goalless first half during which Boro enjoyed plenty of possession without ever really managing to forge a clear opening against a well-organised and resolute visiting outfit.

Despite being missing from Saturday’s draw at Kidsgrove, the returning Ryan Blott and Peter Davidson looked on top form from the off, with the former combining well with strike partners Tony Hackworth and Gary Bradshaw throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Eastwood seemed content to sit on the edge of their own penalty and soak up the Boro pressure and their plan seemed to be working as the sides headed into half-time with Badgers goalkeeper Alex Malong having barely had a save to make.

Less than 60 seconds after the resumption, Malong was finally forced into serious action when Hackworth got on the end of a ball over the top and burst into the visitors’ box.

The ex-Leeds United man’s first effort was too close to Malong but he could only push the ball back out into Hackworth’s path before denying him for a second time with an even better reflex stop.

Five minutes later the game burst into life when Eastwood’s left-back Paul Riley conceded a penalty following a wreckless lunge on Blott.

Bradshaw stepped up to calmly send Malong the wrong way to register his first ever competitive goal in a Boro shirt.

The hosts won the ball back straight from the kick-off and it was almost 2-0 when Bradshaw struck the inside of the post after linking up impressively with Hackworth.

A moment of madness then saw Riley commit another crude foul to earn himself his second booking in five minutes and an early bath.

Boro hit the inside of the same post shortly after Riley’s dismissal through a combination of Hackworth and Andy Milne before the 10 men netted an unlikely equaliser in the 59th minute.

Rich Whyman, who put in an impressive shift in the heart of the Eastwood midfield, rose highest at the back post following a corner from the right wing and his header was diverted home via the woodwork by Kieran Wells.

Eastwood actually looked more of a threat after they went down to 10 men and the 20 minutes following their equaliser was probably the most evenly contested period of the game.

Hackworth and Davidson were replaced by Clarkson and James Bennett respectively and Clarkson was straight into the action as he broke clear and took the ball around Malong, only to be forced too wide to muster an angle to shoot at the vacant goalmouth.

Clarkson did manage to pick out Chris Bolder with a low cross into the box but his shot was blocked by the impressive Whyman.

Two minutes later Clarkson had the ball in the back of Malong’s net after a Bradshaw knock down but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.

The action switched to the other end and the hosts were indebted to keeper Jason White for a stunning save at his near post from former Scarborough FC ace Tris Whitman’s 77th-minute piledriver.

As Boro tired it looked as if the game was heading for a draw until some neat footwork on the edge of the Eastwood area by Bradshaw created a shooting opportunity for substitute Clarkson and his low effort squirmed past Malong and into the net.

Overall, Boro were good value for the three points as they played some great passing football and created plenty of good scoring opportunities in the second period.

Bradshaw was the Seadogs’ man of the match after scoring one and creating another, while goalkeeper White and industrious left-back Steve Ridley also caught the eye.

Boro: White, Plummer, Ridley, Milne, Denton, Davidson (Bennett 67), Bolder, Hughes (c), Blott (Greening 75), Bradshaw, Hackworth (Clarkson 67). Subs not used: Cook, Collishaw.

Booked: Blott, Clarkson.

Eastwood: Malong, Burton, Riley, Hurren (c), Newton (Simmons 5, Shaw 60), Craven, Whyman, Robinson, Wells, Whitman, Seaton (Gowing 46). Sub not used: Peel.

Booked: Riley

Sent off: Riley

Attendance: 437.