Boro finally break winless streak with Radcliffe success

Boro news
Boro news

Scarborough Athletic finally broke their long-standing winless streak on Saturday when they edged out fellow strugglers Radcliffe Borough at Queensgate.

Not only was the 1-0 victory Boro's first league win in almost four months, but it also handed boss Steve Kittrick his first Evo-Stik North success since taking the reins in January.

It was certainly no classic, as both teams fought it out on challenging surface, but a solitary Jamie Forrester strike gave Boro a second-half lead that they valiantly clung to.

Bodies had to be put on the line to protect that advantage in the closing stages as Radcliffe came searching to restore parity, and despite a few worrying moments, Boro managed to achieve this feat.

In what was billed as a must-win fixture for Boro, boss Kittrick threw in Eddie Birch for his first start in the middle of a 4-4-2 line-up, which was spearheaded by Ryan Blott and Niall Flint.

The hosts made a solid enough start to the game, with two early chances falling to Flint, though he didn't manage to divert either on target.

Boro began to turn up the heat as the first-half minutes ticked on. Forrester's cross-cum-shot looped just over, Glenn Matthews rifled over from range and then Blott dragged a strike just wide.

Blott had another shot deflected wide of the target, as the frustration in attack began to grow.

As we have seen so many times this season, it seemed that Boro's domination in matches would not be converted into goals. But with five minutes of the second half played, Kittrick's men made that all-important breaakthrough.

Radcliffe failed to deal with a cross from the left and the ball bounced across the penalty area to the unmarked Forrester. He managed to get his toe onto the ball and poke it beyond Chris Cheetham and into the net.

The goal was met with a mixture of joy and shock from the home fans, as they have only seen Boro register once in the league from open play this year.

Striker Blott was unlucky not to add a second minutes later when he beat Cheetham in a foot race, but his low shot from out wide smacked into the side-netting rather than the open goal.

In a game that should now have been wrapped up, Radcliffe, led by veteran frontman Jody Banim, began to turn on the pressure in the final half-hour.

Banim turned the Boro defence this way and that before beating Nick Draper with a drive, but luckily for Boro it hit the foot of the post and bounced away.

Then Dean Lisles made a superb saving tackle on Sam McMahon, who had been played clean through on Draper.

The Boro keeper was then forced to make a fine one-handed save when Banim let fly from the edge of the box.

Kittrick and Chris Bolder changed the shape in the final minutes, with Tom Corner and Tom McNamee coming on, a move that very nearly paid immediate dividend.

Just seconds after arriving on the park, Corner lifted a drive over the Radcliffe bar and then possibly should have made it 2-0, but Cheetham somehow scrambled the ball off his toe from a yard out.

Radcliffe's frustration boiled over as the game crept into injury-time, as defender James Forbes was given a straight red for lashing out.

But by this point, Boro's game management had clicked in, and they killed off the final seconds in the corners of the field to make sure of the long-awaited victory.