Boro crumble at Pickering

Scarborough Athletic's pre-season preparations were given a hefty jolt on Tuesday night when they were exposed by an organised Pickering Town side.

Despite plying their trade a division below Boro, Pickering controlled much of the fixture and clearly warranted the 3-1 victory they departed with.

Boro's Michael Coulson holds off Pickering's Sam Denton

Boro's Michael Coulson holds off Pickering's Sam Denton

Boro were left licking wounds that included defensive frailties and also a lack of cohesion going forward.

Fortunately though, there were no points up for grabs on the night and there is still time for boss Steve Kittrick and his coaching staff to put things right before the opener against Hyde United on August 12.

Boro made the more positive start to the game and possibly should have been ahead in the early stages.

Former Pike Billy Logan sliced through the home defence with just five minutes on the clock, but his shot skidded into the side-netting.

Then the trickery of Craig Nelthorpe caused the hosts more issues, but Boro failed to strike the blows that mattered.

The wideman cut the ball back neatly into the path of Logan, but he missed his kick and then Dan Thirkell sliced his shot wide of the target.

At the other end, Pickering were beginning to ease their way into the game, and ex-Boro man Ryan Blott had an excellent opportunity to shatter the deadlock with a gaping goal in front of him, but somehow keeper Tommy Taylor guessed right and pushed his shot away.

It was another Pickering attacker in the shape of Russ Parker who was starting to cause most of the problems though with his pace and darting runs.

He burst onto a pass from midfield as the minutes ticked on, drew the keeper and smashed home to give the hosts a one-goal advantage.

Parker almost added to this cushion right on half-time, but his drilled effort slipped just wide of the target.

Pickering continued to test Boro after the half-time oranges, with Blott guiding an effort inches wide at the near post.

But It was Blott's former Scarborough FC teammate Michael Coulson who showed his poaching abilities on the hour to haul Boro back on level terms.

Coulson flung himself head-long at a ball into the area and diverted it past the wall of blue and into the bottom corner of the net.

Boss Kittrick opted for change after this boost, with the remainder of the game being littered by substitutions for both sides.

The Pikes adapted to this the better and one of their new faces Cameron Mulhearn nipped in to score restore their lead with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Mulhearn rose between two Boro defenders and planted a header past the flailing arms of Taylor.

It was to get worse for the visitors in the final few minutes, with another ex-Scarborough FC favourite Ged Dalton adding to their woe.

Dalton skipped gleefully into the box and then bent beautifully home to wrap up what had been an evening to remember for Pickering and one to forget for Boro.