Boro crash to home loss

It was a day to forget for Scarborough Athletic on Saturday as they collapsed at home to Romulus.

Boro were outplayed at Sutton Coldfield earlier this season, but on Saturday they just failed to show against a Romulus team that only had one plan -an ugly long ball into the corners.

The 3-1 defeat was a far cry from performances in recent weeks, as Boro had charged up towards the Evo-Stik South’s play-off positions.

But lacking the influence of Paul Foot at the back, Rudy Funk’s men just didn’t look the part.

Foot’s ban led to Bryan Hughes slotting in at centre-back, while Grimsby Town youngster Sam O’Malley took his place on the bench after joining on loan.

There was a slow beginning to the proceedings, the first chance fell to Boro winger Tom Davie, whose shot was closer to the chip shop over the road than the back of the net.

Gary Bradshaw was much closer when he curled his free-kick from the edge of the box just past the Romulus post.

Bradshaw was involved again soon after when he returned the ball to the charging Chris Bolder, but Bolder failed to control his effort.

The desperate style of Romulus finally created a chance when striker Craig Marshall collected 35 yards from goal, his strike was easily gathered by Jason White.

Having offered little, it was a travesty when Romulus gathered the lead just before the half-hour.

Midfielder Lee Smith managed to bundle a Nathaniel Caines corner through a crowd of bodies and the ball settled in the back of the Boro net.

The fortune of the first was followed by some terrible defending for the second as Hughes was outstripped by Tyron Amory. The winger’s shot struck the post and Marshall crashed the rebound in off the bar.

Boro upped the tempo as the minutes ticked towards the interval and they possibly could have levelled things up had things been more favourable.

Chris Bolder’s header from a corner was miraculously tipped onto the bar by keeper Paul Evans, then, from the resulting set-piece, Ben Middleton’s effort was cleared off the line.

Evans was then beaten on the stroke of half-time, but Bolder’s flicked header sailed just over.

Boro boss Rudy Funk changed his hand at the beginning of the second half when he threw on young striker O’Malley for full-back Liam Shepherd.

Amory swirled a shot beyond White’s post, before Boro began to pin their rivals back with a series of attacks.

Pete Davidson’s shot from the edge of the box shuddered the bar, then the midfielder looked to have been pushed in the box, but referee Ben Ballantyne turned his back.

Boro finally made their pressure pay when O’Malley flicked on a corner and Blott forced home his 200th goal for the club at the far post.

If anyone was going to score again it seemed it would be Boro, but the whole of Queensgate was stunned with 30 seconds remaining, when the home backline evaporated.

With nearly all of their players pushing for the leveller, Boro were caught at the back and Daniel O’Callaghan poked home past an abandoned White.

It was a tough defeat to take. Boro may not have been at their best, but they at least played some football against a side whose passing play was totally non-existent.