Scarborough Athletic were spared ultimate humiliation on Saturday afternoon by some last-gasp fireworks.
Having turned in easily their worst performance of the season on their home turf against distant basement boys New Mills, Boro finally showed a trace of character in the dying embers to grab a 2-1 victory.
New Mills had lost each of their previous 19 matches this season, but for much of the 90 minutes they looked to be the better team, which said a great deal about Boro’s display.
They looked flat as a side until the late introductions of Alex Metcalfe, Alex Peterson and Ryan Blott, who provided a much-needed spark.
Bosses Bryan Hughes had opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation to begin the fixture, hoping that the attacking strengths of Tom Corner, Gary Bradshaw, Sam Wright and Fernando Moke would fire on all cylinders.
But sadly, they failed to truely test what had previously been the leakiest of defences.
Boro were the first to threaten when Wright fired straight at keeper Oliver Martin, but it was New Mills, who should have grabbed the lead soon after.
Ryan Qualter underhit his back-pass to Erik Bukran, allowing Syrone Allen in on the on-loan Hull keeper. Allen lacked the composure required though and Qualter recovered to hack a weak shot clear.
Corner headed just over the bar, then after a farcical 30-minute spell of football that offered absolutely nothing to the paying fan, Boro almost snatched the lead just before the interval.
After Bradshaw’s shot was tipped past the post for a corner, Nathan Peat rose highest to head the set-piece just over from just six yards.
It looked as though Boro had woken from their slumber when Pete Davidson and Qualter both went close at the start of the second period, but frustratingly they soon slipped back into daydream.
And just before the hour, Peat misjudged a long ball, allowing the pacy Mayuwa Ajayi to burst free and fire home off the upright.
It could easily have been two, as Allen easily cut through a punch-drunk defence and smashed an effort against the foot of the post.
By this point Boro had thrown on their subs, all three of which would have an impact in the final moments.
It was New Mills sub Amgad Mohammed that almost pushed the game beyond Boro’s grasp though when he collected on the edge of the six-yard box, only to be denied by an amazing save from Bukran.
There were glimpses of a potential Boro revival when Wright blazed wide after a dancing run, then Blott drilled over after a sharp turn in the box.
But, with hope almost evaporated in an emptying Queensgate, Boro fired one last volley.
Blott’s delightful ball in from the right allowed Peterson to bundle home an equaliser.
Then, with almost the last kick of the afternoon, Metcalfe set himself on the edge of the box and picked out the bottom corner with a sweet shot to start the celebrations.
The late charge clearly papered over the gaping cracks of a dismal Boro performance, but the destiny of the points is what matters and it was the hosts who departed with all three in the bag.