Blott double bags Arnold win

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Scarborough Athletic did a professional job to pick up the three NCEL Premier points at home to Arnold Town.

A Ryan Blott double and one from his strike-partner Tony Hackworth guided Boro clear as they cantered to a 3-1 win.

Things could have developed a little differently on a chilly late-November afternoon, but they showed true resilience to keep their place among the league’s leading few.

Having lost defenders Dave Kemp and Matty Plummer to early knocks, Boro then surrendered their advantage. But they had the attacking craft a guile to make the breakthrough, at a point when the most hardened fans were beginning to doubt.

Boro’s players were probably still pondering Rudy Funk’s inspiring words when Arnold almost grabbed the initiative in the first minute. The pacy Henry Sibenge oustripped the back-line, but he was superbly denied when keeper Steve Wilson pounced.

This would be the pattern of the game, with Boro dominating and Arnold using the pace of Sibenge to hit on the counter.

Things took a worrying turn after this when Plummer suffered a thigh strain and Kemp a hamstring pull, forcing them to be replaced by Denny Imgram and Paddy Miller respectively.

Boro began to up the ante though, Ollie Banks cut in from the right and lofted an effort just past the post, then Pete Davidson tested the side-netting when he jigged his way through a series of tackles.

Arnold had a threat up their sleeve though. Ingram had to make a vital interception to take the ball off the toe of Lewis Jackson when the frontman was just pulling the trigger.

Having showed one side of his game, Ingram was heavily involved at the other end when Boro made the breakthrough with 36 minutes played.

His delightful switch of play picked out James Bennett, whose first touch and pull back to Blott were delightful, leaving the striker with an empty net to prod into.

A team’s most dangerous time comes after they have just scored, and Arnold exploited that with a bang.

Just a handful of minutes later, Sibenge was given the chance to stretch his legs and he smashed the ball into the roof of Wilson’s net.

Boro almost hit straight back in ding-dong fashion, with Banks finding space and lashing a shot that clipped the outside of the post.

After the half-time oranges, Boro’s beginning to the second half was very similar.

It was Ricky Law who this time galloped clear, but Wilson saved with his legs.

Boro soon puffed out their chests though and they began to seize the encounter by the scruff of the neck with the focus being on keeping the ball.

Banks crashed a thunderous volley just past the post, Hackworth blazed over, then the big striker did force the ball home, but it was ruled out for a shove in the approach.

Athletic did finally reclaim the lead with 67 minutes on the clock, with a composed finish from Hackworth driving a stake between the teams.

Hackworth collected Miller’s ball from the left with one touch then dinked Arnold keeper Martin Denberry with his second. The stopper got a hand to the ball, but he couldn’t stop it from settling in the corner of the net.

Boro continued to turn the screw, and they made it safe with 10 minutes left on the clock.

A corner from the right somehow squeezeed its way through to Blott, who spun and gleefully drilled home.

Arnold showed some fighting spirit in the final few moments, but Boro shut up shop and held comfortably on to their victory.