Boro hold on for home success
Scarborough Athletic edged their way to a 2-1 victory at home to Skelmersdale on Saturday to stretch their unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik North to eight games.
Having fallen behind in the opening exchanges, Boro showed their nerve to fight back and secure another battling three points.
Boro were without midfielders Luke Dean and James Cadman through injury and suspended attacker Jimmy Beadle as they went into their first game in some time, though Lewis Sugden slotted seamlessly into the middle of the park.
After comfortably controlling the opening minutes, Boro soon found themselves a goal behind.
Referee Elliott Heward took his time before pointing at the spot after what looked to be a rash Dave Merris challenge in the box. Scott Bakkor took full advantage, sending keeper Tommy Taylor the wrong way.
After shaking the lactic acid out of their legs and surviving another scare when Tom Hulme grazed the top of the bar, Boro finally began to come into their own.
There were a number of near misses as the sights were honed, but with 15 minutes on the clock the scores were levelled.
Michael Coulson whipped a wonderful ball into the box, and with James Walshaw for company, Skem defender Josh Wardle flicked a header into his own goal off the post.
Just seconds after the re-start, Max Wright nipped in ahead of a lumbering tackle from keeper Chris Cheetham. But with his run arcing away from goal, the referee only produced a yellow card.
Further chances followed and Boro probably should have converted at least one of them.
Lewis Sugden bent speculatively just over the bar from distance, Coulson had a shot blocked after ghosting free at the far post and Sam Hewitt powered a free header just wide.
Then followed the best of these openings, when Coulson spun neatly to beat the offside trap. Having beaten the keeper to the bouncing ball, he looped a header over the stranded stopper, but his effort finished on the wrong side of the post.
So when Boro finally managed to grab the lead just seconds before the interval, it certainly had been coming.
Max Wright brought a superb save out of keeper Cheetham and from the corner Nathan Valentine spun and smashed the ball past a crowd of away defenders.
After a quiet start to the second half, Boro almost extended their lead further after two moments of magic from Sugden.
He firstly lifted a wonderful shot towards the roof of the Skem net, but Cheetham tipped over.
Then he sent Coulson in on goal. The striker rounded Cheetham, but took the ball too wide. He then elected to feed Walshaw, but his shot scooped over the bar.
The action continued as Boro looked to hold onto their slender advantage, with Skem doing their best to restore equilibrium.
There was concern as Mwiya Malumo raced in on goal. Tommy Taylor flew off his line to deny him, though the rebound fell to Scott Bakkor. He lacked composure and smashed a drive well over the swimming pool.
Both Walshaw and Dave Merris had to clear off their own lines as Skem continued to press forward in the final minutes of the fixture.
There was another huge scare in injury-time, as Bakkor burst through on the Boro goal, but panic set in and he smashed a volley over the bar.
Keeper Taylor ran over to pat him on the head to thank him for the miss and ultimately the three points.