Boro maintain charge with home win

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Scarborough Athletic forced themselves further up the rungs of the Evo-Stik South ladder on Saturday when they fought their way back to clinch a 3-1 home win against Halesowen.

Boro’s opponents were rooted in the top few of the table at the beginning of play, but that mattered little as the hosts cut them down in the second period.

Things were looking ominous at the interval with Boro a goal in arrears, but a fine display of attacking football followed to clinch three more vital points.

Boro still looked to be reeling from their crushing 6-0 defeat at Telford when regular referee Matt McGrath blew his opening whistle.

It wouldn’t have been an injustice if Halesowen had been well clear by the break, with Boro offering little all over the pitch.

Aaron Griffiths shot just wide, Asa Charlton had a deflected strike that sailed just past the post, while former Mansfield man Iyseden Christie was guilty of missing a plethora of opportunities.

The veteran striker was twice freed to charge away from the Boro defence, but on both occasions he lost his footing, fluffing his lines horribly.

Christie finally got it right with a handful of first-half minutes remaining, though it was only following one of many baffling decisions by official Mr McGrath.

Matty Plummer seemed to cleanly win the ball from Christie, but the ref’s outstretched arm pointed at the spot. Christie cleaned himself off and smashed home.

Mr McGrath had a chance to level things out seconds later when Ryan Blott was hauled back inside the Halesowen box, but he opted to award a free-kick rather than a spot-kick.

The resulting set-piece was swept onto the head of Plummer, but he was brilliantly denied by the trailing foot of keeper Matthew Sergeant.

Sergeant’s opposite number Jason White then signed off for the half with a marvellous save to match, keeping out an Avun Jephcott effort with a smart stop.

White followed this up in the opening moments of the second half, pushing a curling Jephcott free-kick onto the goal’s angle and to safety.

A sharp swing in ascendancy followed, with Boro seizing control over the remaining minutes of the fixture .

They were unlucky not to level when Bryan Hughes’ free-kick was hacked off the line by Curtis Tilt, then Gary Bradshaw and Tom Davie then sent efforts just off target.

The stress was beginning to show on the Boro bench and faces in the crowd, but that was soon relieved by a moment of brilliance by Pete Davidson.

The midfielder danced his way into the area, then when his run seemed to be curtailed, he turned and rolled the ball into the bottom corner.

It took just five minutes for Boro to move ahead, with a carbon copy of Hughes’ earlier free-kick bouncing cleverly into the back of the net.

The hosts then wrapped the game up as a contest when Ryan Blott ghosted onto a throughball only to be felled by keeper Sergeant.

Bradshaw converted with ease to stretch the advantage to a comfortable 3-1.

This gave Boro the opportunity to bring on Darren Clough for his Evo-Stik debut in the final few minutes and he was unlucky not to open his account almost immediately.

Blott’s delivery into the box picked out Clough’s run just four yards from goal, but he lifted the ball over the bar rather than poking it home.

Boro were already coasting by this point though, with high-flying Halesowen being firmly brought down to Earth.