Scarborough Athletic’s pre-season preparation took a worrying stall on Saturday when they were held by newly-promoted NCEL first division side Hull United.
These are still early days in Boro’s build-up to the campaign, so hopefully this tepid display will act as a wake-up call ahead of the league action, which gets underway in little over a month’s time.
Boro should probably have been dead and buried by the time Hull began to ring the changes to invite Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot’s men back into the friendly.
They had keeper Rory Skelton to thank for this, the youngster making some great saves to stop the hosts from cranking up the heat.
Skelton could do nothing in the early stages of the fixture though, as Brett Agnew shook off the Boro defence and a trace of off-side to stab home the opener.
By the break Boro looked a shadow of the team that crushed Barton, whether they struggled with the length of the grass or the heat of the afternoon, it isn’t quite clear.
What was apparent is the fact that Boro were clinging on by the referee’s whistle, with Skelton making two excellent stops from the lively Jordan Harrison.
There was a slight improvement when the new period got underway, but still the visitors offered little or nothing in attack, despite boasting the riches of Alex Peterson, Tom Corner and Ryan Blott.
It was Skelton, who was still earning his corn, denying Harrison for a third time, much to the striker’s frustration.
Finally Boro emerged from their shell, with their first break seeing Corner hacked down in the box, bafflingly though the referee and linesman both shook their heads.
There was another swift upping of tempo, which resulted in a fine equaliser from Boro.
Joel Dixon whipped a fine ball into the box and Corner rose to head home his fourth of pre-season.
Minutes later Blott cut into the box and smacked a low shot the bounced off the post and to safety.
Alterations were made at a furious pace after this, which dampened down the action and made sure the game finished at a much steadier pace.