Boro fight back for derby delight
A ridiculous quarter of an hour from Scarborough Athletic almost handed Bridlington Town the bragging rights in the derby friendly at Queensgate on Saturday.
But Boro just about had enough to hit back from three goals down and secure a 4-3 win in monsoon-like conditions.
Former Boro man Lewis Clarkson helped Brid drive a huge cushion between the teams, demonstrating the type of finishing that earned the young striker a move to Bradford City.
But he and fellow frontman Joel Sutton were aided by some Keystone Cop defending by a five-strong Boro back-line.
It took Brid just a couple of minutes to smash the deadlock, as Clarkson was allowed far too much space in the box, his shot looping up off a defender and nestling in Ben Simpson’s net.
If that came as a shock to the Boro fans then they will have been completely stunned by the second just two minutes later.
The whole of Boro’s left side vanished and Clarkson drove the ball brilliantly home from just inside the box.
There was nearly more to follow from a free-flowing Brid, but Sutton was brilliantly denied by Simpson after out-pacing the Boro defence.
A third did arrive though, when a carbon copy break saw Sutton get it right, finishing well past a hugely frustrated Simpson.
Having tweaked a knee injury during this horrible period, Leigh Franks was withdrawn by Boro and Edgehill man Lloyd Henderson came on in his place.
This gave Boro a little more confidence as a unit and they finally began to create some opportunities of their own.
Dominic Rowe was denied by a saving tackle just as he was pulling the trigger, then Tom Corner’s downward header was cleared off the line.
Gary Bradshaw, making his first pre-season start in a few weeks, flashed a free-kick just over the Brid bar, before the striker trimmed back the lead to two, rolling home after a clever ball from Joe Fox.
By the time the interval had come around Boro were right back in it, with Tom Corner hooking home an effort following a corner.
Indeed the game could have been levelled, but keeper Steve Janney managed to hold onto Steve Mallory’s swerving drive from long distance.
The Brid goal certainly led a charmed life in the early stages of the new period, but the hosts also had to thank the great work of Janney.
He made brilliant saves to deny Fox and Bradshaw, then Nathan Peat somehow managed to flick a header wide from six yards.
The threat of Clarkson still loomed large, and he was unlucky not to wrap up his hat-trick when dinking just wide of a stranded Simpson.
With strength in depth on the bench, Boro threw on Ryan Blott, Alex Peterson, Alex Metcalfe and Joel Dixon.
Peterson almost brought Boro level when he went close with a header, but it was another of the new arrivals who made the difference.
Metcalfe’s shot on goal looped up into the air and Blott met it with a sweet volley that gave Janney no chance.
Brid were presented with the chance to retake their lead when the referee pointed at the spot for an offence that went un-noticed by the rest of the ground.
Maybe there was a touch of Karma as Clarkson’s spot-kick was brilliantly held by Simpson.
Buoyed by this, Boro wrapped up their superb fight-back in the dying embers, super-sub Blott rising to flick home a Kieran McCaffrey cross for his second after the afternoon.