SCARBOROUGH Athletic had to recover from a shaky opening few minutes to seal three potentially precious points against a dangerous Brighouse Town side.
Rudy Funk reverted to a 4-4-2 formation, with Ryan Blott and Curtis Bernard partnered together up front in the absence of Adam Lee, and Boro seemed more dangerous going forward, with their front two linking up well on numerous occasions.
But the home side almost made the worst possible start to the game when lively Brighouse front man Tom Matthews was afforded far too much time and space to drive into the Boro box, only for his strike to be saved by Kevin Martin.
Boro were again on the back foot as the impressive Brighouse poured forward again, a Shane Hamilton strike bouncing back of the underside of the bar with Martin well beaten, before Luke Gibson’s attempted bicycle-kick went harmlessly wide.
Boro were, however, soon into their stride and skipper Tony Hackworth’s drive went just wide, before vociferous claims for a handball in the Brighouse area were waved away, with Blott striking over the bar in the aftermath.
Boro were dominating possession, but Martin was called into action again when he was forced into a smart stop to thwart an Antony Haigh header.
Boro had a glorious opportunity to go into the interval a goal to the good, but after Bernard had expertly chested on a Paddy Miller free-kick, Bill Law stabbed his shot wide when well placed.
Boro were straight back on the front foot in the second half, determined to secure the win that would keep them ahead of Brighouse in the NCEL Premier Division table.
Blott fired just wide from long range and Matt Draper headed over.
But Brighouse were still dangerous on the counter-attack, with striker Matthews a constant threat and winger Hamilton causing the odd problem.
Midfielder Sam Ackroyd almost gave Brighouse the lead, but his rasping drive flew back off the post and away to safety.
It was Boro who finally managed to break the deadlock after 64 minutes though, man of the match Jimmy Ghaichem picking up the ball from a precise Bernard knockdown to run on and place past Brighouse keeper Ben Ineson.
Blott was starting to enjoy more time and space, dropping deep to collect the ball, and after he turned past his marker onto his left foot, his drive just eluded the crossbar.
Boro were almost made to pay for a petulant foul out wide by Daz Winters when the resulting free-kick was headed goalwards and forced Martin into another smart stop low to his left.
But on 84 minutes Boro doubled their lead and secured the three points.
Substitute Chris Hewitt was brought down in the box and replacement referee Andrew Brown pointed to the spot.
Blott made no mistake from the penalty spot to seal a 2-0 win.
Boro will want to carry their good form into Saturday’s clash at home to Thackley.