Boro freeze in North Riding Cup

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Scarborough Athletic’s North Riding FA Senior Cup adventure came to a close for another season in drab style on Tuesday night.

A strong Boro side froze in the chilly Queensgate air, allowing Northern League visitors Guisborough a 2-1 win and a surprisingly comfortable passage into the next round.

It was a disappointing night right across the park, as the Boro defence was sliced through time and time again, while in attack, there was a lack of any real cohesion.

This was despite Gary Bradshaw returning to the strikeforce, slotting in alongside Danny Gray, who was making his first Boro appearance in almost four years.

Boro also threw out a number of other first-team regulars, while Arran Reid came back into the Boro goal.

Reid may have been expecting a quiet evening, but he was almost tested in the very first few seconds when Guisborough striker Michael Roberts drilled a shot just wide.

The game descended into a scrappy battle after this with opportunities being few and far between.

The next highlight was produced when Bradshaw was freed through on keeper Sam Hodgson. The striker’s lob sailed over, but this was only after Hodgson had clattered Bradshaw, bizarrely though referee Mr Greenwood turned his back.

The next chance produced the opening goal of the tie, with Guisborough grabbing the initiative after a spell of sustained pressure.

Johnson outpaced the Boro defence and lobbed brilliantly home before Reid could react.

Boro could have hit back within minutes, but Ryan Williams’ flighted cross-cum-shot was well tipped over by Hodgson.

The hosts were given some good news just before the break when Guisborough midfielder Lewis Wood was given a straight red for a silly challenge on Bryan Hughess, but unfortunately Boro failed to take advantage.

Boss Rudy Funk was forced into making a change 10 minutes into the second period when Gray limped off with a tight hamstring, loanee Sam O’Malley coming on.

Boro should have gone further behind soon after though when Reid bungled a near-post punch, Paul Ruddam met the ball a foot for the far post, but he failed to force it home.

Guisborough did make Boro pay though, with a fantastic sweeping move that presented them with a second goal.

Peter Bulmer collected a glorious cross-field pass with one touch and then stroked it home with the next.

Another should have followed when Adam Bell streaked through on Reid, but with the goal gaping, he opted to pass and the ball was scrambled away.

It was against the run of play when Boro trimmed the lead back to one, Chris Bolder lobbing delicately home from the edge of the box with just seven minutes left on the clock.

Boro should have gone for the jugular after this, but all they produced was a tame Bradshaw effort that sailed agonisingly over right on the final whistle.

It was definitely a night to forget for Boro, thankfully there were only 90-odd fans to see it.