Boro run comes to an end

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Scarborough Athletic were sent crashing back down to earth on Saturday when they slipped to a 3-1 home defeat against Loughborough.

After a lengthy run of consecutive victories, Boro’s form took a huge slump against an organised visiting outfit.

Boro had the chances to make it nine wins from nine, but the previously deadly attacking force looked to be off the pace.

The home defence also struggled, vanishing on a number of occasions to hand Loughborough the present of three goals against the run of play.

In truth Boro just weren’t at the races, despite boss Rudy Funk fielded the same team as last time out, leaving many expecting yet another win.

Things looked to be positive as well, as after a very slow start Boro managed to grab the lead.

Tom Davie burst into the box and his run was crudely ended by a rash challenge. The referee pointed at the spot and Gary Bradshaw kept his nerve to stroke the ball home.

There was another good shout for a penalty minutes later when Ryan Blott looked to have been checked in the area, but this time referee Mr Wade was less generous.

Everything seemed to be going according to plan until things suddenly started going wrong for the hosts.

The game was levelled up after 34 minutes when Loughborough’s Nathan Watson was given the time and space to smash a deflected effort past a stranded Jason White.

This sparked some harsh words over the half-time oranges, with boss Funk clearly unhappy with his side’s efforts.

There was little improvement after the break though, in fact, things began to get even worse.

The Boro backline vanished as Loughborough launched a swift counter, which was neatly polished off by a Luke Smithson finish.

Boro had the chances to hit back immediately, firstly with Pete Davidson being denied at point-blank range by keeper Kahile Mann-Kler. Davidson gathered the rebound and he was about to pull the trigger when Luke Blakely hauled him down, resulting in another spot-kick.

The usually cool Bradshaw scuffed his kick straight at the keeper and the ball was scrambled away.

Within seconds Boro found themselves even further behind. They were again caught on the break, this time Kris Nurse poking home past a stunned White.

Boro began a late rally, but it soon became clear that it wasn’t going to be their day.

Blott was denied by the keeper and sub Bryan Hughes bent a free-kick just past the post.

Hughes then had a great opportunity to trim Loughborough’s lead, but he somehow failed to convert Bradshaw’s knockdown from five yards.

Bradshaw himself was then dinked through by Davie, but his sweetly-struck volley sailed wide.

Boro did finally force the ball home when Mann-Kler spilled a corner into the back of the net, but the referee saw a push and ruled it out.

Despite all their pressure the goals just didn’t arrive and Loughborough managed to cling on for an impressive snatch and grab victory.