Boro slip to defeat at Belper

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Scarborough Athletic were brought back down to earth at Belper Town on Wednesday night as they suffered a snatch-and-grab 2-0 Evo-Stik South defeat.

Boro may have had the guile for the job, but they lacked the cutting edge and the ability to change things around when things weren’t going their way.

Rudy Funk opted to use the same team that saw off Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, although Pete Davidson slotted in for the banned Tom Davie.

Boro started well, the recent attacking interplay not taking long to click into place.

Davidson should have scored early on when Chris Bolder and Gary Bradshaw teed him up on the edge of the six-yard box.

With keeper Dave Ratcliffe already fearing the worst, Davidson somehow smashed the ball well over the bar.

Ratcliffe was forced to make a save soon after when a Boro corner from the left ballooned up and required a touch onto the bar.

Two minutes later, disaster struck for the visitors when Simon Harrison danced into the box and was felled by Andy Milne’s lunge.

Keeper Joe Cracknell did well to save Jon Froggatt’s spot-kick, but he stood no chance when Sam Duncum lashed in the rebound.

The lead was almost doubled minutes later when Duncum cut in and let fly, Cracknell fumbling his effort onto the bar.

Boro were dealt another blow when Bolder pulled up, forcing the arrival of Joe Lamplough from the substitutes bench.

Athletic almost bounced back immediately though, Bryan Hughes unleashing a wonderful free-kick that was tipped spectacularly to safety by Ratcliffe.

The half-time whistle was sandwiched between another wicked Hughes strike from distance that once again was well dealt with by the Belper gloveman.

Hughes’ next involvement, a whipped free-kick from the left, was glanced nonchalantly on by Bradshaw, but the ball thudded against the outside of the post.

Belper always looked a threat on the break with the experienced Froggatt orchestrating the pace around him.

With play edging more towards the other end, the ball was hacked clear from under Froggatt’s nose before two brave blocks following a right-wing corner kept Boro in the game.

A change and a plan B had been required for some time to lift a now flat Boro.

They finally introduced Lewis Clarkson and altered to a 4-3-3 formation, gambling on a push for the leveller.

Ryan Blott saw his stinging drive tipped away and then Clarkson twice went close as Boro began to turn the screw.

There was a sting in the tail though as Froggatt’s quick counter fed Glynn Cotton, who swiftly killed Boro’s dying embers with a neat finish.