Boro smash Maltby for six to continue march up the table

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JUST a few weeks ago Rudy Funk’s Scarborough Athletic were being booed off at Tadcaster.

Now things look a whole lot rosier following the latest crushing, which saw Boro smashing Maltby Main for six on Saturday.

Everything clicked as Maltby were washed away by wave after wave of attacking football.

Led forward by the craftsmanship of Ryan Blott and the sheer pace of Curtis Bernard, Boro gave their goal difference a welcome boost and propelled themselves up to fourth in the NCEL Premier table.

The barrage started as early as the second minute, when Bernard nipped in to continue a fine record that has seen him find the net in each of the last four league outings.

Bill Law crossed from the right, the ball was headed on by the raiding Gary Hepples and Bernard pounced to dive beyond Andrew Carney in the home goal.

Bernard looked to have made it two just a couple of minutes later when he netted after a Joe Naylor flick, but the linesman’s flag had other ideas.

By this point, the Maltby defence were being run ragged, with Bernard’s speed proving to be a constant nightmare for the hosts.

The striker broke through again on 10 minutes, but his low shot struck the outside of the post and bounced to safety.

Matters were about to get much worse for Maltby, when frustrated centre-back Gary Middleton went over the top of the ball and caught Boro’s Naylor with a nasty challenge.

Referee Mr Musgrave reached straight for his top pocket and brandished a straight red card.

This did seem to spur Maltby on in the moments that followed, and veteran keeper Kevin Martin had to be at his best to deny the hosts a leveller.

Martin pushed away Ben Langford’s far-post header and then made another fine stop from the resulting corner.

It was only going to be a matter of time before Boro made their extra man count, and just after the half-hour the score was doubled.

Bernard’s header was well saved by Carney, but centre-back Tony Hackworth showed his poaching abilities by smashing home the rebound.

A neat move down the left freed Blott up, he turned smartly and fed Naylor, with the big midfielder steering home into the bottom corner.

There was still time for a scare before the interval, as Martin spilled Charlie Weir’s shot, but he swiftly made amends by pushing away Asa John Ingle’s point-blank rebound.

Boro hadn’t finished their goalscoring charge, but it did take a while for them to restart their quest when the new period got underway.

Hepples was denied by a sprawling Carney at the beginning of the half, but Maltby did finally crack again just beyond the hour.

Sub Chris Hewitt was pulled back by Carney when heading at goal, and Blott stepped up to score from the spot.

Hackworth was unlucky not to double his total for the afternoon when his deflected effort rolled the wrong side of the post with the keeper beaten.

This sparked a fine training-ground corner, which allowed sub Scott Phillips to ping a shot through a crowded area and into the net.

Phillips should have had his second just a minute later when he controlled Blott’s cross just eight yards from goal, but the midfielder’s shot sailed over the bar and out of the ground.

Boro did finish the job with their sixth in the final few minutes.

Another cross from Blott was collected by Bernard. He spun on a sixpence and crashed the ball wide of a stranded keeper.

Bernard should have probably had his hat-trick in the last seconds, but he somehow managed to head wide when clear in the box.