Rampant Boro brush aside Brighouse

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Scarborough Athletic made it three wins in a row as they demolished former NCEL rivals Brighouse Town 4-0 at their St Giles Road home.

A first-half double from defender Ben Middleton laid the foundations for a complete away performance in which the Seadogs created chances at will and defended resolutely to register their first clean sheet of the season.

Middleton got Boro off to a dream start when, with just eight minutes played, he rose at the near post to nod home Ryan Williams’ left-wing corner.

In truth, there had been little to separate the teams prior to the goal, but going ahead saw Athletic seize the initiative.

That said, Jason White was pressed into action by Daniel Naidole and Ernest Boafo shot wide before Middleton managed to squeeze himself between two defenders to divert Gary Bradshaw’s free-kick from the right flank past Jacob Giles for 2-0 in the 20th minute.

The hosts began to come into the game more as the half wore on and White had to be off his line quickly to deny Tom Mathews with his legs and then did well to cling on to a firmly-struck free-kick from Naidole soon afterwards.

Town looked to be working up something of a head of steam and so the timing of Boro’s third goal just before the interval could not have been better.

Steve Burton’s interception near the half-way line landed at the feet of Bradshaw on the edge of the Brighouse area and Boro’s number 10 showed great awareness to slip the onrushing James Bennett through on goal.

Starting for the first time this season, Bennett showed no signs of rustiness, taking the pass in his stride and calmly slotting past Giles.

Just as the first half had before it, the second period began in even fashion.

Ryan Hall forced White into a smart stop at his near post as the home side searched for a way back into the match.

Boro’s keeper then almost gifted Boafo an open goal as he came to meet a loose ball just outside his area and took a heavy touch, but the Brighouse striker couldn’t capitalise and minutes later it was 4-0.

White launched the ball upfield, Bradshaw flicked it on and Ryan Blott skinned his marker with a lovely piece of skill before picking out the bottom corner with the outside of his boot.

Boro saw out the remaining 25 minutes of the game in comfortable fashion, continuing to work openings at ease and a volley from Jordan Thewlis almost capped a fine team move with what would have been a wonder goal.

Having won their previous two matches courtesy of their attacking firepower, Boro were as good at the back as they were going forward in the West Yorkshire rain.

His two goals aside, this was Ben Middleton’s best performance in an Athletic shirt and alongside him Steve Burton looked equally assured.

All four of the Seadogs’ midfielders shone, but the returning Pete Davidson deserves a special mention for an all-action performance that saw him boss proceedings in the middle of the park from first minute to last.

Up front, Gary Bradshaw sparkled with three assists, while Ryan Blott scored a goal of the highest order and looked back to his very best, particularly in the second half where he produced some fabulous touches.

If they can continue to replicate this level of performance throughout the season then there will no doubt be plenty more victories for the Boro faithful to celebrate during their maiden Evo-Stik Division One North adventure.