Boro stay in the hat after home draw

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Many would have thought that Scarborough Athletic would have been buoyed by the midweek success at Brigg Town when they hosted Penrith in Saturday’s FA Cup tie.

That didn’t seem to be the case though, as they struggled mightily when grabbing a 1-1 draw against a hugely mediocre Northern League outfit.

Had Boro been up against a better side then they would now be licking their wounds and focusing on other competitions, but fortunately Penrith came with a game plan that only revolved around taking Rudy Funk’s men back to Cumbria on Wednesday evening.

Funk fielded the same team that proved too strong for Brigg and the signs looked bright as Pete Davidson and Ryan Blott both went close to breaking the deadlock.

It became very clear in the opening exchanges that if the passing Boro turned up then they would canter to victory against their limited opponents - unfortunately the long ball Boro emerged from the changing rooms.

There were glimpses of good football in the first half, but the main emotion to be expressed was that of frustration.

Funk vented this when Boro were pinned back and keeper Jason White managed to gather the ball at the second attempt - the boss flinging his coat furiously to the floor.

Things didn’t get much better for the home bench with 10 minutes of the first half remaining as Penrith took the lead in comical fashion.

Martin Coleman’s shot was spilled by White, the ball struck Matty Plummer and rolled agonisingly into the goal.

Boro were given a lifeline soon after when a strong challenge on the raiding Steve Ridley gave the referee no choice but to point at the penalty spot. Gary Bradshaw stepped forward and in usual style to clinically finished.

Funk had to shuffle his pack just before the interval as centre-back Paul Foot limped off and Sam Denton came on. Boro also opted to introduce Bryan Hughes at half-time with James Bennett retreating to the bench.

Blott had an early chance to move Boro ahead when he drove an angled shot just wide of the target, but the game then descended into something of a dismal slog.

Penrith probably had the better of it, but the Boro faithful did their best to their side into the third qualifying round of the competition.

Coleman bent an effort just past White’s post, though Penrith never truely looked like adding to their tally as they constantly fluffed their lines in the final third.

Sub Tom Davie created Boro’s best chance of the closing stages when his bobbling effort was theatrically dropped by keeper Jonny Jamieson, but the ball was swiftly cleared.

Penrith should have probably wrapped things up after that though, as Coleman scooped his effort over when free in the six-yard box and Ryan Hall planted a free header over White’s bar in the last seconds.

Both teams are now poised to go again in Cumbria on Wednesday - a match that definitely can’t be worse that this affair.