Scarborough Athletic’s young reserves took starring roles in Tuesday evening’s 3-1 Doodson Sports Trophy success at Ossett Albion.
Darren Clough bagged two late winning goals to seal the points, though he wasn’t alone in impressing boss Rudy Funk on a chilly West Yorkshire evening.
Fellow Humber Premier players Niall Gibb also caught the eye at centre-back, while Joe Hart and Dom Richardson battled away in their midfield berths.
The reserve quartet were brought in alongside new full-backs Mike Atkinson and Liam Shepherd to boost numbers due to a number of worrying injuries at the club.
With a number of players either on the treatment table or limping around the Ossett ground, Boro’s hand was forced.
Though it turned out to be a good move as the recruits linked up nicely with the current first-team crop to secure the success.
The glory of Clough’s two late strikes was a long way away when the game kicked off, as the first shot on goal didn’t arrive until the 28th minute when Ben Jones drove just wide of Jason White’s post.
Boro were almost handed a goal minutes later when Wes Milnes got too much on his header, it sailed over keeper Ashley Connor, but bounced wide of the post.
The visitors were given another gift with 10 minutes of the half remaining when Andrew McManus handled unchallenged in his own area.
Ryan Blott stepped up, but his penalty smacked against the bar.
That sparked some long-awaited action, as Ossett’s next attack gave them the lead. The dangerous Jones met a delivery from the left and flicked his header past White.
Within a minute Boro were level. Clough’s header fell into the path of Blott, who decisively nodded it into the net.
White made a smart save just seconds into the new half, but Boro soon began to grow in confidence.
Blott had a shot saved just before his withdrawal for Tom Davie, the replacement almost making his mark, but his angled shot rolled across the goal.
Ryan Williams came on to add some quality on the right, his contribution in the final moments proved to be vital.
At the other end Gibb was in the wars, his battle with the Ossett attack left him nursing a bloodied forehead.
He still managed to produce a saving tackle to keep out sub Marc Thompson, who was cantering through in White’s goal.
Boro looked the more composed side though. Clough darted onto a Davie cross, but his header was saved, then Davie was denied once again by Connor.
With the six minutes of injury-time ticking away and penalties looming,two lightning attacks wrapped up Boro’s win.
Clough firstly pounced on a low Williams cross to make it 2-1. Then, seconds later, Clough smashed his second into the top corner after another Williams ball.
That double blow killed off Ossett as a threat and sent the youthful Boro line-up marching through into the next round of the comeptition.