Scarborough Athletic held to 2-2 draw at home by NPL Premier play-off rivals FC United of Manchester

Boro match reportBoro match report
Boro match report
The benefits of having a 3G pitch were evident as only three NPL Premier Division games beat the wintry weather, with Scarborough Athletic and FC United serving up a thriller for the bumper crowd at the Flamingo Land Stadium.

Looking to avenge the 6-0 defeat they suffered in the away fixture in September, Boro couldn't have made a worse start, as the visitors went in front after just 86 seconds, when star man Regan Linney sent a low ball across the goalmouth, for Luke Griffith to slam home at the far post, writes Steve Adamson.

Then Linney played a through-ball to Josh Galloway, but Ash Jackson made a great tackle to halt his run.

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Boro's first goal attempt saw Ryan Watson win possession and pass forward to Luca Colville, who skied his shot onto the swimming pool roof.

Bailey Gooda then cleared another ball into the box from Linney, as United remained on top during the opening period.

Boro gradually gained the ascendency, with the quartet of Ryan Watson, Luca Colville, Simon Heslop and Kieran Glynn taking control in midfield.

A Watson cross was hacked clear by Aaron Morris, then Heslop played the ball wide to Jackson, whose cross was headed over by Jake Day.

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Morris fired straight at Boro keeper Ryan Whitley, before Boro drew level on 38 minutes, when a long throw into the area from Jackson, was headed on by Will Thornton and the ball dropped to Day, whose shot struck the outstretched hand of a defender, and skipper Michael Coulson blasted home from the penalty spot.

Shortly before the interval a Watson corner was headed straight at the keeper by Day, then a Glynn shot drifted wide.

Boro went in front in the first minute of the second half, when a shot from Day was blocked, and Coulson passed the rebound to Glynn, who slotted past the keeper.

United fought back, with Thornton deflecting an Adam Dodd free-kick over the bar, then Ewan Bange laid off to Paul Ennis, who smashed a shot against the underside of the crossbar.

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It was a terrific game, with both sides looking to create openings, Colville shot narrowly wide for Boro, and skipper Mike Potts did likewise for FC United.

On 67 minutes Boro came close to increasing their lead, when the superb Simon Heslop sent a ball forward to Watson, who passed to sub Cam Wilson, and his goal-bound strike was brilliantly tipped round the post by United keeper Dan Lavercombe.

Whitley made a good save to foil Linney, with Gooda blocking the follow-up shot as United searched for a leveller, while at the other end, a Jackson cross skimmed off the head of an unmarked Wilson and wide of the far post.

United equalised on 75 minutes with a clinical finish from Linney, who ran into a through-ball from Ali Waddecar and clipped the ball over incoming keeper Whitley and into the bottom left corner.

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Gooda then safely cleared a low cross from Michael Donohue, Morris headed wide from a corner, and Thornton blocked a shot from Griffiths.

Boro also created late chances, with Watson shooting into the side-netting, Jackson firing just wide of the left-hand post, and Watson striking a half-volley straight at the keeper as an excellent game ended all square

BORO: Whitley, Weledji, Jackson, Heslop, Thornton, Gooda, Coulson, Watson, Day (Wilson 60), Glynn, Colville

MAN OF MATCH: Kieran Glynn.


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