Boro freeze in Droylsden loss
Scarborough Athletic froze in the chill of Saturday afternoon, allowing lowly Droylsden a snatch-and-grab 4-2 win at Queensgate.
Gone are the halcyon days that Boro spent at the top of the Evo-Stik North table, just a few months ago.
Now the club has dipped firmly into the doldrums and judging by the body language of many players, it will take a minor miracle to haul them out of this hole.
Only a few demonstrated any true guts in a game when they allowed an average Droylsden team the easiest of victories.
There was no digging deep into the resources, rather than that a sparse home crowd was offered nothing but a complete lack of bottle.
Boro were lacking Erik Bukran in goal and Ryan Qualter at centre-back, due to their loan deals concluding. But in stepped Rob Zand and Harry Holden, who had progressed through from the under-21s.
Joint-boss Paul Foot also handed a debut to Jamie Forrester, who slotted in on the left, ahead of returning full-back Joe Lamplough.
Within just a few minutes of kick-off, the dark, moody skies that hung menacingly above began to match the fierce stare of a hugely frustrated Foot.
Having flitted in and out of the opening stages, Boro soon yielded and allowed Droylsden in for an opener.
With just seven minutes on the clock, nobody picked up Domaine Rouse on the edge of the box and he showed the coolness required to pick out the top corner.
Boro almost hit back when Steve James, in the visiting goal, made a fantastic save to deny the livewire Gary Bradshaw.
But Droylsden should have been two clear when a weak header back to Zand by Nathan Peat was intercepted by Carlos Rouse, but Holden got back to clear off the line.
Ryan Blott has dug Boro out of many a hole down the years, and he showed those qualities with 17 minutes played.
After some great battling from Bradshaw to pluck the ball away from James, Blott collected and he rolled it through a sea of bodies and into the net.
For a short period, Boro began to show a degree of confidence, but once again that spirit was just wafer thin.
In truth, Boro could well have been clear by the break, as chances came and went for Bradshaw, Nathan Peat, Forrester and Steve Mallory, but when Mr Andrew Dunne blew for the interval, the equilibrium was still intact.
Boro created a few more scraps when the second half got underway, before a neat spin and finish in the box by debutant Forrester finally steered them into a position of power.
The hosts should have built on this foundation, but it cracked and collapsed within a matter of minutes.
A glorious ball was sent into Boro’s box and Domaine Rouse’s calm streak in front of goal continued, as he flicked comfortably home.
Boro nearly hit back when James brilliantly denied Forrester, but Boro also got out of jail when Domaine Rouse hit the side-netting after rounding Zand.
It soon began to go wrong though, for Zand and Boro, starting in the 73rd minute.
Lee O’Brien let go with a drive from the edge of the area that looped up and over a weak hand of Zand and into the net.
Then Droylsden cut in from the right and picked out Domaine Rouse, who strode through a static defence and passed the ball beyond Zand.
That was the final true action of an abysmal second half for Boro. And as the snow fell at pace from the Bridlington skies, Athletic’s season continued to take a very unwelcome slide.