JIMMY Ghaichem’s last-gasp wondergoal sent Scarborough Athletic to the heady heights of top spot in the NCEL Premier last night.
The winger let fly in the 85th minute with a scorching effort that settled a battling 2-1 victory for Rudy Funk’s men against promotion rivals Tadcaster Albion.
Boro showed plenty of character on the night. Not only due to the fact that each of the players learned about the departure of top-scorer Curtis Bernard, but also because they gritted their teeth and fought back from falling a goal behind early in the second half.
For a lesser team it could have been a night to forget, but Boro’s spirit allowed them the chance to enjoy match-winning celebrations that were worthy of winning the division.
It was by no means a great game, with chances being few and far between.
Winger Bill Law had the first clear opportunity when his shot was saved by former Boro stopper Arran Reid.
Boro’s current keeper Kevin Martin hada shaky moment when he spilled a far-post header, but he more than made up for this error when making a fine point-blank save from Carl Stewart.
In the freezing Bridlington air, the first half failed to catch light as a spectacle, with the remaining exchanges containing few highlights.
Joe Naylor did send a fizzing strike at goal, but Reid was equal to it, and Ryan Blott, in a more familiar poaching role, curled just over after Bill Law’s ball.
The second half also crept out of the blocks, but Tadcaster did find their feet in the 49th minute.
Boro fell asleep on the left and the ball was squeezed through to Danny Gray, who poked into the top corner of Martin’s net.
Without the pace and battering style of Bernard, Boro did look to be in a bit of trouble as the creative flair seemed to dry up.
That was until three minutes after the hour, when the new striking duo came to life.
Windass nodded down a Law centre and Blott reacted quickest, steering the ball neatly under a stranded Reid.
Tadcaster seemed to settle for a point after this, shutting up shop at the back and making things hard for Boro.
Blott did hoist a shot over from Windass’ cross, but there was still time for Ghaichem’s gem.
The little winger collected 30 yards from goal, dipped a shoulder and curled gloriously into the stanchion.
Boro still had a edgy moment or two as they were forced to pull on the tin hats in the final minutes.
But with bodies on the line and everything thrown at the ball, they survived to book the three points to move them above landlords Bridlington Town into the division’s top spot.