Boro edge out Pickering

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Scarborough Athletic went from the sublime to the ridiculous and then back to the sublime again in their 3-2 friendly win at Pickering Town.

After a sharp start to the proceedings, Boro soon slipped out of gear, before gathering pace once again in the final stages.

Much of this may have been down to the spritely play of NCEL outfit Pickering, who matched Rudy Funk’s men for long periods and could easily have gone on to win the fixture.

Former Scarborough FC school of excellence attacker Joe Danby clearly caught the eye for the Pikes, but only until the arrival of Steve Burton and Paul Robson steadied things up at the back for Boro.

Things were changed throughout the second half for Boro, though on early glimpses of the game these alterations didn’t seem to be required as Boro kicked off with a bang.

After a solid start to the fixture, Gary Bradshaw wriggled free on the left of the box, cut inside and then bent into the far corner of the net.

James Benntt then hit the bar, before Boro doubled their lead through a Sam O’Malley tap in after Ben Middleton’s header was pushed away by keeper Callum Myers.

Boro were not alone in creating opportunities though. Pickering managed many a chance of their own with much of the production coming from Danby.

It was his reaction shot that flew just wide of Jason White’s upright and then lively Sam Calvert had a penalty shout after he hit the deck in the box, but referee Olly O’Brien turned his back.

Calvert then reduced the arrears when he delightfully took a long throughball and smashed into the top corner.

Then, right on the stroke of half time, Pickering levelled things up. Calvert’s low shot was brilliantly blocked on the line, but Danby made no mistake from the rebound.

Assistant-manager Paul Foot was withdrawn at the break with Joe Lamplough coming on, the first change of many.

The flurry in substitutions didn’t seem to help as Pickering upped the tempo.

Danby smashed a rising drive against the bar and the same player then brought a magnificent save out of White.

With the new partnership of Zeph Thomas and Ryan Blott finding their feet in attack, supplied by the endless running of Ryan Williams, Boro finally began to up their game in the closing stages.

Just minutes after Thomas’ header was saved, Blott dinked the ball into the far post and Robson volleyed home.

Boro’s former Pike Jimmy Beadle had a chance to drive a wedge between the teams, but he headed just wide of the target - the final act of a thrilling friendly encounter.