Boro back on the goals trail

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Scarborough Athletic leapt back on the goals trail on Saturday when the thrashed Long Eaton United 7-1 at Queensgate.

That impressive result linked with Brighouse’s defeat at the hands of Retford meant that Boro are now five points clear at the head of the NCEL Premier.

It also signalled a return to form for a Boro side, who have been a tad edgy since the enforced wintry break.

Boss Rudy Funk opted to play the same team as the one that picked up the points at Arnold a week earlier, and from the beginning this proved to be the right choice.

After a number of early opportunities, Boro grabbed the lead with 12 minutes on the clock.

Tony Hackworth brilliantly kept the ball in play and fed Jimmy Beadle on the edge of the box. He delivered a low cross to Ryan Blott, who made no mistake from five yards.

It didn’t take long for Blott to return the favour, as he bent a ball in to Beadle in a similar position and the midfielder smashed home.

Boro looked to be rampant, but they were given a shock when the visitors pulled a goal back after 23 minutes.

A corner was delivered into the box and Matt Jarvis stroked home a weak shot after a scramble.

Athletic were dealt another blow when defender Louis Horne limped off on his home debut to be replaced by James Bennett.

Things would have got even worse but for the heroics of keeper Arran Reid, as the former Pickering man made two outstanding saves from Shaun Rickford and Elliot King.

Boro refound their feet right on the stroke of half-time, and their third goal came as something of a gift.

Blott whipped a cross into the box and Mark Littlewood stood to head powerfully into his own goal.

Boro could have forced a huge cushion between the sides in the early stages of the second half, but they failed to convert a string of good chances.

Each of these opportunities fell to striker Blott, but he either missed the target or was denied by keeper Scott Miles.

Boss Funk altered things by introducing Robbie Hawkes for Pete Davidson, and the lively winger made an immediate impact.

Bennett found some space and scuffed a shot across the box, Hawkes took full advantage by rolling in from a tight angle.

Hackworth was withdrawn for the diminutive David Brown, and the sub also burst onto the field with great effect.

He almost set up Beadle for his second, but the midfielder couldn’t get onto his low cross.

Brown was then denied by a goal-line clearance, before he did manage to score his goal.

Blott sent the striker away on goal and he kept his cool to make it 5-1.

A moment of brilliance from Blott made it six, as he collected Reid’s long kick with one touch and then slotted home with his second.

Beadle then wrapped up the afternoon’s goalscoring when he crashed home a Bennett centre.

After a few shaky outings, this performance showed that Boro were back to their best, which bodes well with just a handful of fixtures remaining.