Boro battle back to beat Pikes in cup clash
Scarborough Athletic came from behind to beat a resilient Pickering side 2-1 and make it through to the semi-finals of the North Riding Senior Cup.
After going a goal down to an Eddy Birch header, Boro roared back into the contest at the start of the second half to score two quick fire goals and turn the game in favour of the home side.
There was only one change to the Boro starting eleven that put seven past Kendal, as Bailey Gooda missed out with flu and Danny Stimpson made his return.
With Pickering players Matty Turnbull, Joe Danby, Birch and Billy Logan having a point to prove against their former side, it was the visitors who started the brighter as George Eustace fired in a low shot that was hurriedly cleared behind by the Boro defence despite the efforts of Birch to turn the ball in from a narrow angle.
The returning Billy Logan was given the perfect chance to remind the home fans of his talent with a tempting free-kick from 25 yards, but after the striker had slammed the initial free-kick into the Boro wall, the rebound was looped through for Tommy Taylor to gather.
Boro were struggling to get to grips with the breezy conditions in front of a massive midweek crowd of 1,082, with the hosts looking most dangerous through Michael Coulson as he rattled the side netting with a fierce drive.
The most useful outlet for Scarborough was through midfielder James Cadman carrying the ball from deep, trying to catch the visitors on the counter.
Pickering were not overawed though and took the lead just after the half hour mark. A corner drifted into the six yard box for Birch to run in and bundle the ball home from close-range and raise talk of an upset.
Clear cut opportunities were few and far between, with Coulson latching onto a Tom White ball to crash in a low effort from outside the box that forced a good low save from Andrew to divert the ball away.
With Scarborough struggling to get into the game at half-time, a few pointers from manager Steve Kittrick saw a complete turnaround when the two sides emerged for the second half.
Within a minute of the restart Boro were level as Stimpson rose highest from a Coulson corner to head firmly in. This gave the home side a lift and with the wind behind them chances began to flow.
A second goal quickly followed as a lapse at the back was punished in clinical fashion.
After Andrew had bowled the ball out from the back, Max Wright nipped in to win the ball and glide up to the edge of the area.
With work still to do, the young winger only had one thought on his mind as he hit a sweet drive beyond the dive of Andrew to give Boro the lead.
Boro had Pickering on the ropes and could have gone further ahead as Cadman struck the crossbar with a driven effort after good build up play by Coulson.
Charlie Andrew was increasingly busy as Coulson took his turn in the limelight, firing at goal from 30 yards to force the keeper to push over the bar.
Jack Johnson then seized on a loose ball to lash a fierce shot on the half volley that again forced Andrew to push behind with the home side eager to add a third goal and make the game safe.
James Walshaw came close late on to give Boro some breathing space after he was fed by Coulson, but his usual finishing deserted the striker as he blasted wide with just the keeper to beat.
There was nearly a late twist as Pickering sent everyone up in search of an equaliser.
Russ Parker had the best chance, diverting a wayward Lewis Taylor shot back towards goal with an instinctive header, that Tommy Taylor was forced to scramble to flick away.
As Walshaw and Danny Gray got tangled up and tensions threatened to boil over late on, the final whistle saw Boro advance past a determined Pickering side to make the semi-finals for the second successive year.