Brooksby strike hands Boro opening-day win
Scarborough Athletic kicked off their Evo-Stik Premier season with a 1-0 win at Hednesford Town.
Athletic certainly didn't have it all their own way, but they emerged from the long journey and the stiff test with a fine three-point haul.
Boro boss Steve Kittrick opted to hand the captain's armband for the fixture, while there were also competitive debuts for Ross Killock, Josh Lacey, Leon Scott, Wayne Brooksby and Will Annan.
Playing in front of a hefty turn-out of travelling fans, Boro looked the part immediately, causing issues with patches of expansive play.
Hednesford were no slouches in attack though, the lanky Dan Cockerline and wideman Matt Dodd both looking exceedingly lively when they broke.
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It was all about route one when Boro took the lead in the 13th minute though. Keeper Tommy Taylor acted quickly to launch a through ball, Wayne Brooksby settled himself and beat Josef Bursik in accomplished fashion.
Things almost got better for Boro straight away, when Michael Coulson drifted inside and looked to have picked out the top corner, only for his effort to be palmed away by Bursik.
Hednesford's cause was dealt a huge blow soon after this, as Brooksby was hacked horribly to the floor by Reece King, and after a melee in the middle of the park the referee reached for his red card.
A string of Boro half-chances followed before the interval, with James Cadman and Burgess both having drives held by the keeper. Michael Coulson managed to nip his way in ahead of Bursik, but the ball rolled away to safety and the opportunity was gone.
The new half got away to a disjointed start, with Hednesford having the better of the exchanges.
Coulson saw his deflected effort comfortably gathered by Bursik, while at the other end, things were less relaxed.
The hosts had a good two-minute spell after the ball was given away by the Boro midfield, but it came to nothing.
Then, after Taylor had spilled a corner in his own penalty area, Hednesford had a number of shots at the Boro goal, but fortunately for Kittrick's men, they were all shanked or skewed.
Boro had to feed on scraps after this, with Hednesford controlling much of the possession and the visitors breaking on the counter.
This approach almost worked with 10 minutes to go, as James Walshaw's downward header from a Coulson set-piece settled on the line, but it was smashed away by a wall of home defenders.
Walshaw had another great opening after Coulson had picked him out unmarked in the box, but he tested the strength of the stand behind the goal, rather than the net.
A few concerning moments made up the dying embers of the clash, but Boro held out and kicked things off with a hard-earned three points.