Bailey Gooda fires Scarborough Athletic to NPL Premier play-off win and into National League North

Centre-back Bailey Gooda, one of the few remaining players from the 2018 EvoStik North promotion winning side was the unlikely goalscoring hero as Boro booked their place in National League North next season, with a 2-1 win against Warrington Town in the Play-off final at a packed Flamingo Land Stadium.

By Andy Bloomfield
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 10:17 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd May 2022, 10:39 pm
Boro go 1-0 up as Michael Coulson's shot beats Warrington keeper Dan Atherton from an acute angle

The huge crowd produced a fantastic carnival atmosphere, as both sets of supporters roared their sides on, but the game was a physical and tense affair, and the swirling wind made for difficult playing conditions, writes Steve Adamson.

Warrington centre-forward Josh Amiss clattered into Ash Jackson after just 10 seconds, and when he then fouled Gooda, the burly striker was yellow-carded with just five minutes on the clock.

The visitors also created some early chances, with Jordan Buckley firing past the left-hand post, then he raced through and lifted a shot narrowly over the bar.

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Boro midfielder Ryan Watson on the ball

Skilful midfielder Bohan Dixon passed forward to Amiss, but Gooda got in a timely interception.

Ryan Watson shot wide in Boro's first attack, Michael Coulson had a shot deflected wide, and Will Thornton back-headed a Watson corner inches past the far post.

A Lewis Maloney cross into the box was headed clear by Sean Williams, before Boro took the lead on 16 minutes with a fabulous goal from skipper Coulson, who latched onto a ball from Maloney and raced down the left flank to the bye-line, before cutting inside and, despite the acute angle, fired into the far corner for a brilliant finish.

Luca Colville laid off to Watson, who forced a good diving save out of keeper Dan Atherton, then Kieran Glynn struck a 25-yard shot straight at the keeper, before Warrington had a spell of pressure.

Boro midfielder Simon Heslop in action during the second half

A Williams corner was headed clear by Colville, and Edmond Clarke set up Williams, whose 20-yard shot dipped inches over the bar, then James Harris tried a long-range shot that was easily dealt with by Boro keeper Ryan Whitley.

The visitors drew level on 36 minutes with a well worked goal, as Dixon passed forward to Clarke on the left, and his cross was clinically headed past Whitley by Josh Amiss, and the sides went into the break at 1-1.

Early in the second half a surging run from Buckley was halted by a great tackle from Jackson, and a few minutes later Jackson screwed a shot wide at the other end.

The visitors had the ball in the net when Buckley netted following a through-ball from Amiss, but an offside flag spoiled his celebrations, then the turning point in the match occurred on 53 minutes, when Mitch Duggan fouled Jackson, and the referee brandished a straight red card after consultation with his linesman.

From that moment on it was all Boro, with Warrington forced to defend in numbers.

Coulson laid off to Maloney, who struck a fierce shot, but left-back Matt Regan made a great block, then a Maloney shot was tipped round the post by Warrington keeper Atherton.

Will Jarvis, who had a good game on the left wing, passed to Maloney, who bent the ball past the far post, and a long-throw from Jackson was met by Gooda, whose header was saved, then keeper Atherton raced out to kick clear as Coulson ran onto a pass forward from Gooda.

The busy Warrington keeper also plucked the ball off the head of Coulson following Jackson cross.

A Maloney cross into the box was cleared by Regan, before Boro's winning goal arrived in the 81st minute, when a cross from Colville wasn't dealt with, and Gooda, drove a shot into the bottom corner to send the big crowd into ecstasy.

Five minutes later a Maloney shot was tipped onto the bar by visiting keeper Atherton, then Colville set up Jarvis, whose shot was cleared off the line by Regan, and Colville then fired wide of the left-hand post.

Warrington did mount a couple of late attacks, Williams blazed a 25-yard free kick high over the bar, and Amiss headed against the top of the bar from a last-minute corner, as Boro held on to claim their place in National League North next season.

BORO: Whitley, Weledji, Jackson, Maloney, Thornton, Gooda, Jarvis, Watson (Heslop 54), Coulson (Plant 85), Glynn ( Day 60), Colville

MAN OF THE MATCH: Bailey Gooda.

ATTENDANCE: 2,805