One lapse of concentration was the only thing that separated the two sides as Scarborough Athletic lost out to Northern League Spennymoor Town in Saturday’s FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie at a warm Brewery Field.
There were three changes to the team that had beaten Thackley in midweek, keeper Steve Wilson made his debut in place of Kevin Martin, Joel Ramm and Tony Hackworth came in for Robbie Hawkes and Paddy Miller respectively.
The home side made the first chance with a dangerous cross from the right that was brilliantly headed away by Andy Milne, Boro’s first opportunity was a scuffed effort from Ollie Ryan after some good build up play down the left.
Boro should have taken the lead after 11 minutes, as a corner was only cleared to James Bennett on the edge of the area, he played in an instant cross back across goal to the unmarked Matty Plummer who headed wide when it looked easier to score.
Back came Spennymoor and Michael Rae broke free, but in his eagerness to net he was pulled up for a foul on Wilson, then a shot from former Scarborough FC man Keith Graydon sailed well over.
Boro were playing some neat football especially in midfield with Hackworth and Peter Davison prominent, unfortunately the killer final ball was missing from their play
The home side took the lead with what turned out to be the winning goal after 37 minutes, Gareth Clayton conceded a corner, from the in-swinging kick centre back Michael Laws was left totally unmarked and he headed emphatically past Wilson.
James Bennett almost hit straight back for Boro when he let fly from the edge of the area, he was denied by the head of Laws this time clearing his lines.
The second half started with Spennymoor in the ascendancy, first when tricky winger Wayne Phillips beat three players down the left before eventually running out of room, then the pace of Steven Richardson took him clear but he was easily dispossessed by the impressive Andy Milne.
Boro had a lucky break when a poor clearance by Davison fell to Graydon just outside the box, his well-struck shot cannoned off the foot of the post with Wilson well beaten, then Andrew Stephenson fired over from three yards out after a cross from Kallum Griffiths.
Boro’s best chance of the half came when Hackworth played a neat through ball to Ryan Blott, but his effort was rushed and well off target.
Boro were now getting desperate for a leveller and they brought on Miller, Bill Law and Matt Draper too flood the midfield, this meant they were leaving gaps at the back, and twice in as many minutes Richardson broke the offside trap, but didn’t have the composure to make Boro pay.
Firstly he decided to cross instead of shooting and it was cleared by Plummer, then he was clean through with only Wilson to beat, but the keeper showed his experience and made a terrific block.
Boro created two half chances before the end, Davison was just wide with a 25-yard drive after a neat one two with Miller, then Law dragged his shot across goal that hit Ryan on the shins, unfortunately keeper Robert Dean easily gathered.
The last chance fell to the home side when a whipped cross by Craig Ruddy just evaded Richardson.
A great advert for non league football and despite the defeat Boro can take great heart from their performance against one of the top sides on the non-league circuit.