Valentine maintains Boro's FA Cup romance

Boro report
Boro report

A solitary Nathan Valentine goal was enough to send Scarborough Athletic marching through to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Valentine arrowed a drive past Workington keeper Aaran Taylor at the beginning of the second half for a fourth goal of the season, sealing the 1-0 win.

The strike also opened a purse of £3,000 and could land Steve Kittrick's men a plumb tie in the next round of the competition.

By that point the cup clash should have been dead and buried, but in the end Boro were very lucky to edge their way past a Workington side from the division above.

After the early battering, Workington lifted themselves from the canvas and almost landed the blow that could have booked a replay on Tuesday night in Cumbria.

That looked so unlikely in the first half as Boro carved the visitors apart with ease.

After an early scare when Reds winger Conor Tinnion headed home from a clearly offside position, Boro pinned their opponents back in their own third.

Billy Logan should have made it 1-0 after six minutes when Max Wright cut the ball into his path, but the striker grazed the top of the bar from six yards.

On-loan wideman Wright was giving Workington full-back Jamie Mellen an afternoon to forget as he continually streaked past him on the right of the home attack.

In fact though, Boro looked a threat from all over, as top-scorer Valentine hooked over, then midfielder Luke Dean saw his 30-yard drive superbly tipped over.

Michael Coulson scuffed wide after some neat trickery, then after being sent clear by a raking Matty Turnbull ball, Wright found himself sandwiched between defender and keeper, but his efforts were not appreciated by referee Derric Wade.

Workington showed that they were capable of attacking after this, but attempts from Scott Allison and Tinnion found the safe palms of Boro stopper Tommy Taylor.

Another great chance fell to Boro just before the break when Logan picked out Coulson in the box. The striker took his time though and a wall of Workington men had arrived when he finally pulled the trigger.

Boro fans could have been forgiven for thinking that this wasn't going to be their afternoon, but just a minute into the second half, Boro struck the killer blow.

Logan held off his man superbly and allowed Valentine to gallop in on goal. Faced by the advancing Taylor, Valentine kept his cool and stroked the ball past him and into the back of the net.

Workington rolled the dice after this, throwing on striker Jack Ryan, who immediately became a clear and present danger.

He almost sneaked onto a ball in the box, but luckily for Boro, Taylor raced from the line and took it from his toe.

Boro remained the dominant force though, Wright causing endless issues, while on the other side, Dave Merris cut in cleverly and released a stinging drive that was pushed away by the Workington custodian.

The hosts brought on striker Emile Sinclair with 24 minutes remaining, though his afternoon looked over soon after when he went down in a heap.

The former Nottingham Forest man recovered and gave Workington something else to think about in the closing stages.

Having absorbed all this pressure, Workington came within a whisker of levelling up.

Allison's header from a corner thundered against the bar, bounced down and was somehow cleared. With goal-line technology absent from the Flamingo Land Stadium, it was up to the match officials to judge, they said a collective no and Boro survived.

Sinclair then had two great chances to ease the pressure valve on the final moments.

The big striker outmuscled the whole Workington defence and lifted over Taylor, but the ball struck the post and bounced into the keeper's arms.

He then brought the ball down delightfully on the edge of the visitors' six-yard box, but his finish didn't match, his effort being stabbed wide.

There was still time for a few more nervy minutes as Workington finished well, but they failed to make the breakthrough and Boro marched on.