Boro self-combust in Clitheroe defeat

The law of averages suggests that Scarborough Athletic's winless run of form will come to an end at some point.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 13th February 2016, 8:19 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th February 2016, 8:40 pm
Boro news

You could have been forgiven for thinking that Saturday afternoon's home game against Clitheroe was to spell the termination of this barren spell.

Boro started in blazing fashion after their weather enforced break, but a mid-game capitulation allowed Clitheroe to exit with an overly comfortable 3-1 victory.

It is now over three months since the last-gasp 2-1 defeat of New Mills, and though boss Steve Kittrick's introduction of a number of new players has boosted the situation, that elusive three-point haul is still absent.

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Kittrick threw both Niall Flint and Glenn Matthews in for their debuts, and both looked bright in a positive start.

After some early probing, Flint finally broke when played through by Ryan Blott, but he was beaten to the ball by Clitheroe keeper Ben Woodhead.

Boro then had a pair of great chances as the clock ticked past the half-hour mark.

Flint squeezed through on Woodhead for a second time, but the stopper tipped his low drive just past the post.

Then Blott rose to meet a Paul Robson centre, but his header sailed just wide of the target.

Within seconds of this, things took their usual turn for the worse.

A run of the mill set-piece was played into the box, Boro failed to clear the first ball and Sefton Gonzales headed the second into the back of the net.

If that wasn't bad enough, Boro continued their collapse a minute after the restart.

The home defence parted in front of Ross Dent and the midfielder drilled a low shot into the bottom corner past a stunned Nick Draper.

More salt seemed to have been rubbed into the wound when Matty Bloor limped off just before the break, but right on the stroke of half-time, Boro were given a huge shot in the arm.

A ball was swung into the Clitheroe box from the right and defender Jimmy Heywood got caught in a number of minds when he decided to head neatly into the bottom corner of his own net.

Boro fought for that elusive leveller at the beginning of the new half.

Steve Mallory swung a ball into the box, but it was too strong for Blott. Then Robson's strike from the edge of the box was brilliantly tipped away by Woodhead.

Things began to heat up just after the hour when a scuffle broke out between Mallory and Clitheroe's Louis Mayers. Both were booked in the aftermath, but referee Matt McGrath had to wade his way through what turned into a hefty bout of handbags, that even encouraged a couple of visiting subs from their bench.

This warmed Clitheroe up for the final stages of the game and Boro seemed to sink into their shells.

The visiting team wrapped up the game, but that was mainly through an enormous slice of luck.

Gonzales found some space in the box and smashed an effort that looked to be heading towards the rugby field, but it hit Dean Lisles and darted into the back of the net.

There was the odd opportunity before the referee's final whistle, with the best falling to Boro.

Mallory fizzed a low free-kick just wide of the target, then sub Tom Corner side-footed an effort just past Woodhead's post from the edge of the box.

But having started with a bang, Boro finished with something of a whimper, which frustratingly isn't what is required as the season heads towards what could be a crucial business end.