Boro disappoint in Ossett
After a lively start, Boro collapsed to a 3-1 defeat that gave the travelling fans little to cheer.
Few players can take any credit from the game, the abject defending easily proving to be the low point of a tepid night’s play.
Despite this, Boro could have grabbed a late lifeline as they trimmed Ossett’s three-goal advantage through Jordan Thewlis’ strike and a last-gasp charge, which was halted by some good saves from keeper Brad Dixon.
Boro’s own stopper Jason White was to thank for his side still being in the game as his brilliance saved any further blushes.
Rudy Funk’s men foraged forwards in the early stages, but they almost fell behind when some out-of-character kamikaze keeping from White forced Paul Foot to clear a 50-yard strike from Ron Bordman over the bar.
Boro’s generosity continued after 15 minutes. They failed to deal with a free-kick into the box and towering defender Lee Conner headed home.
Ossett continued to press and Boro continued to flap. Nathan Curtis smashed a curling drive against the bar and the long throws of Niall Heaton pinned the visitors back.
Town’s bullying tactics also got to a Boro side who received little help from the weak refereeing of Paul Thompson.
Chris Bolder was unlucky not the level when he flicked a Gary Bradshaw corner goalwards, only for Dixon to grasp the ball.
A short Boro resurgence followed, but Jimmy Ghaichem failed to gather a Ryan Williams ball into the box and then Ryan Blott headed over while being manhandled by Conner.
Ossett were almost presented with their second just a few minutes before the interval, but Steve Jeff hammered his penalty against the post after Pete Davidson’s foul on Richard Patterson.
Boosted by this fortune, Foot got too much on Bradshaw’s free-kick into the box and some Blott brilliance freed up Chris Bolder, but Dixon again spread himself well.
With Boro finishing positively, they were soon stung by a hefty blow right on the stroke of half-time.
White failed to collect and instead gave the ball to Bordman, who smashed into the roof of the net.
After that terrible finish to the half, Boro almost started the second period with a bang.
Pete Davidson’s header after just 10 seconds was saved and then Blott smashed an effort just off target.
Much of Boro’s better play was on the ground, though they seemed content to boom it long, mainly finding the head of defender Conner.
Ossett were always a threat though and White was forced to make an amazing double save to stave off the celebrations of Chris Wood and Patterson.
He could do nothing when the Boro defence once again wilted on the hour.
They struggled to deal with a tame ball from the right, which was diverted into the path of Curtis, who poked home from five yards.
Curtis and Heaton went close again, before Boro finally seized some initiative.
Thewlis took advantage of some link-up play between Bradshaw and Jimmy Beadle and he finished well beyond Dixon.
The same player was then denied minutes later, before Pete Davidson went in on goal, but the keeper nipped the ball off his toe.
Boro were a spent force by the time the final whistle blew, capping a terrible evening for boss Funk and his dejected men.