Scarborough Town went down 5-0 at Humber Premier League champions Reckitt, but they matched the hosts for long spells in this game.
Town gave as good as they got in most respects, but were totally out of luck and were on the wrong end of some crucial decisions by the match officials. However Reckitts showed they are undoubtedly a top team as they extended their impressive 14-game unbeaten run.
Reckitts began the game with enthusiasm and were one ahead before Town had settled down. A long punt forward came down to the unmarked Steve Heslop who volleyed in before the Town defenders could wake up to the danger.
At the other end Jamie Bradshaw broke away but his final pass was just too far in front of Ben Luntley. The latter then threatened to go clear but was pulled back by a defender who was grateful not to go into the referee’s notebook.
A run and cross by Bradshaw led to a half-clearance which allowed Sean Exley a long-range effort which was off target, then Exley’s astute pass sent Luntley down the wing to pull the ball back for the advancing Exley to hit sweetly from 25 yards but the ball flew directly at Reckitts keeper Tom Nicholson.
Danny Collins showed great determination to win a header which set up a chance for Neil Thomas who slammed the ball narrowly wide of the post, then at the other end Collins made a timely interception but was harshly judged to have raised his foot too high. The free-kick was swung in and headed back across goal for Gaz Barstow to finish neatly for Reckitts’ second goal.
If Town already thought they were unfortunate to be behind, things became worse after 42 minutes. Town cleared the ball and pushed upfield, leaving three Reckitts players in offside positions.
As Reckitts lumped the ball back into the Town half, the three Reckitts players declined to go for the ball until Rob Kamis changed his mind and collected the ball before chipping it nonchalantly over Matty Scott into the Town net and then looking amazed to see the linesman had not raised his flag.
Town began the second period with an impressive move of ten passes culminating in Thomas hitting the ball just too high from 20 yards out. Luntley then put Bradshaw away and the Town wingman looked to be brought down by John Leonard, however the referee failed to award a penalty.
A Luntley header set up a chance for newly-introduced substitute Ricky Greening to volley the ball just over the bar, then a long throw from Exley caused problems for Reckitts and although Greening was on the ground he managed to prod the ball goalwards from five yards but only into the hands of a grateful Nicholson.
A mazy run from Bradshaw set up Luntley to cut in and unleash a low shot which beat the keeper but was cleared off the goalline by a covering defender.
On 79 minutes Reckitts launched an attack down the right wing and the cross hit a defender’s arm, which the referee deemed worthy of a penalty-kick, Botham netted from the 12-yard spot. Town continued to push forward but were now leaving gaps at the back, and it took some great work from Ricky Nock to deny the home side a shooting chance. Back at the other end Luntley went down the line and fed Exley whose powerful effort was pushed to safety by Nicholson.
Town could scarcely believe the 4-0 scoreline, but that wasn’t the end of it.
In injury-time a swift attack down the right gave Sean Blagdon the chance to tap in from five yards out to make it five.
Town were denied even the consolation of a single goal when Thomas hit a shot narrowly over the bar after good work from Bradshaw.
Town: Scott, Manson (Holt 60), Nock, Clayton, Barnes, Bradshaw, N Thomas, A Thomas (Greening 55), Luntley, Collins (Wardell 55), Exley.