Scarborough Town suffered their first defeat of the season as Hornsea Town maintained their hundred-per-cent record in the HPL Premier Division.
Town boss Shaun Rennison was forced into a number of changes and also made other amendments to his starting line-up, bringing in two 16-year-olds in midfielder Shane Holt and goalkeeper Stephen Hill.
Baz Gill returned to the side after injury, but there was only a spot on the bench for regulars Ricky Nock, Anthony Pickles and Neil Fryirs.
Jamie Patterson wore the captain’s armband in recognition of his one hundredth competitive game for Town.
Town were grateful to full-back Josh Hakings for good work early on, and the first chance of the game fell to Town’s Gary Thomas who broke through but hit his shot just too high. Then a corner from Jamie Bradshaw found its way across goal to Hakings whose header went wide. Hesitancy in the Town defence allowed Hornsea’s Ryan Silvestri a run on goal but the visitors were reprieved when the striker’s shot thudded against the post. Steve Ward then got on to the end of a long Hornsea cross but directed his header straight at Hill in the Town goal.
Persistence from Town’s Josh Clayton set up a chance for Holt whose effort was deflected wide for a corner.
The referee awarded Town a penalty on 18 minutes but after an intervention from his assistant - who pointed out that after the foul, the ball had fallen to a Town player in an offside position - awarded Hornsea a free kick instead. A long diagonal ball was then headed back across goal by Clayton for Holt to direct narrowly wide with a diving header, then Bradshaw set himself up for a 25-yarder but his powerful low shot was well held by Gary Davis in the Hornsea goal.
Defensive pairing Baz Gill and Sam Smart were pushed to their limits by the mobile and quick-thinking Hornsea forwards, but it was a long cross which set up the home side’s first goal after 33 minutes, Hill coming out for the ball but outjumped by Ward whose header found the net. At the other end Davis rushed from his area and partially cleared the ball, with Bradshaw trying to find the unguarded goal from 40 yards but just off target.
At the start of the second half a Ben Luntley effort was blocked unintentionally by a defender’s arm, then his opposite number Silvestri cut in and blasted a fierce effort narrowly over the bar. The two number nines carved out further chances for their teams, then Town had a free kick from 25 yards which thundered over the bar from the boot of Patterson.
The next goal was always going to be crucial, and it turned out to be a great effort from Hornsea’s Danny Bunch who beat two men at speed before blasting the ball into the net from the edge of the penalty box. Town kept pressing forward and Clayton headed over following a precise cross from Luntley, but the skilful home forwards were growing in confidence and excellent close control from Chris Adams deserved better than the wildly-hit shot from Tony Randle. Hill came out well to deny Bunch, but on 73 minutes Hornsea sewed the game up when the visitors failed to cut out a curling cross from the right and Ward tapped in from close range.
Ricky Nock made a number of marauding raids down the right, and Smart went upfield for a corner but saw his goalbound shot deflected away, however Town were beginning to look a little dispirited and could have conceded a fourth if Hill had not made a good one-handed save from Bunch. The result was a fair reflection of the game over the full ninety minutes, with Town putting in plenty of effort but unable to find their usual spark.
Town: Hill, Manson, Gill, Smart, Hakings, Clayton, Patterson, G Thomas, Holt (Pickles 80), Luntley, Bradshaw (Nock 58).