Cartman strike earns win for Scarborough Athletic at Stafford
Striker Nathan Cartman was the match winner for Scarborough Athletic in the 1-0 success at Stafford Rangers, but there were stand-out performances all over the park as Boro turned on the style to earn a fourth away win of the season, to end the recent run of disappointing results.
With Bailey Gooda injured and Will Thornton suspended, Kieran Weledji slotted in at centre-back alongside Dylan Cogill, and the former Whitby Town player gave his best display yet in a Boro shirt, winning headers and tackles all afternoon, while keeper Ryan Whitley followed last week's penalty save and man of the match performance, with another faultless display, dealing confidently with numerous high balls and long throws into his area.
Josh Barrett was superb at right wing-back, Ash Jackson steady and energetic on the left, Lewis Maloney, Kieran Glynn and Ryan Watson bossed the midfield, and James Cadman was excellent on the right wing, while the front duo of Cartman and Jake Day worked hard and gave the home defence plenty of problems.
It was keeper Whitley who set up Boro’s first attack, as he gathered the ball from a corner and sent Glynn racing through the middle, before he passed to Maloney, who skied his shot over the bar.
Luca Navarro shot straight at Whitley, then skipper Alex-Ray Harvey dragged a shot wide of the far post as Stafford enjoyed a good spell.
Cogill laid off for Cadman to side-foot an effort that was easily dealt with by home keeper Luke Pilling, then Stafford created the best opening of the first half from one of several long throws into the area by Tom Tonks.
Jake Charles turned and directed the ball towards goal, and team mate James O’Neill slammed his shot just past the post.
Shortly before the interval Cartman lofted a 30-yard effort over the keeper and narrowly over the bar.
Unlike last week against Mickleover, when Boro faded badly in the second half, this time they took full control after the interval.
Cartman played the ball out to Cadman on the right, and he cut inside before firing a shot that was deflected straight to the keeper, Maloney set up Day who turned and fired at the busy keeper, then Watson struck a powerful shot through a crowd of players, but it was easily saved.
Boro were passing the ball around and looking like a team full of confidence, and the breakthrough arrived in the 70th minute with a fabulous goal.
Cadman turned a defender and flicked a pass to the overlapping Barrett, who raced to the byline and blasted a low ball into the box, for the predatory Cartman to slam home in emphatic style.
Stafford tried to fight back, but Cogill made a terrific block and Whitley palmed away an Ethan Stewart header from the resulting corner, then Joe Cuff struck a shot straight at the in-form Boro keeper.
Boro could have doubled their advantage late on, when Maloney sprayed the ball out wide to the outstanding Cadman, who raced inside towards goal before unselfishly passing to Day, whose shot was smothered by the keeper. Soon after, the final whistle brought huge cheers from the travelling supporters.
BORO: Whitley, Barrett, Jackson, Maloney, Weledji, Cogill, Cadman (Hudson 88), Watson, Cartman, Day, Glynn.
MAN OF THE MATCH: James Cadman.