Clarkson leads Boro charge

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Scarborough Athletic produced the performance they had been threatening on Tuesday night when Rainworth were taken apart at Queensgate.

Striker Lewis Clarkson was the star of the show with his first hat-trick for the club, though his role was to spearhead an incisive team display that guided Boro to a 4-0 win.

Boro opted for a 4-3-3 formation in the first half, with Clarkson, Gary Bradshaw and Ryan Blott up front, Pete Davidson slotting into the middle of the midfield, with the ageless Ryan Williams and Bryan Hughes doing the doggies on either side.

Rainworth’s cause wasn’t helped by a crash on the M62 that delayed their arrival, so when things got undrway 25 minutes late, the visitors still looked bewildered by the whole situation.

Boro took advantage of this, and by the time Rainworth had woken up they were two goals down.

The first came 12 minutes in when Williams delivered a delicious ball into the box, which was gobbled up by Clarkson, who headed comfortably home.

Blott had a good chance to double the lead when he tried to flick home Davidson’s cross, though the striker turned provider soon after when he sent Clarkson scampering through and the youngster rolled into the bottom corner.

The abacus may well have been brought out as the minutes ticked on, though Boro’s sharpness finally began to lose its edge.

Clarkson could have sealed a quick-fire hat-trick on the half-hour when he won a spot-kick after yet another clumsy challenge from full-back Keiran Walker.

The order came for regular penalty-taker Bradshaw to assume his duties and keeper James Martin gathered his weak kick.

By half-time Boro could well have driven a huge gap between them and their rivals, but a string of close misses kept Rainworth hanging on.

Williams smashed the ball just past the post and then Blott drove just over the bar after some delightful trickery.

Just before the break Clarkson was superbly denied by Martin, whose strong hand diverted the frontman’s neat finish to safety.

An alteration followed at the interval, with Hughes being withdrawn due to a tight hamstring, Chris Bolder taking his place.

Clarkson again went close after another clever ball into the box, but the keeper’s knee was enough to deny him the match-ball.

He wasn’t going to be denied though, with a moment of brilliance wrapping up his treble.

Clarkson was played in on the left and after a jinking run he was allowed the space to roll under Martn from a tight angle.

That was the last action of Clarkson’s evening as he made for the bench, the experience of Tony Hackworth taking his place on the park.

Seconds later one of Williams’ perfect first-time balls picked out Bradshaw on the right, a dummy or two allowed some shooting space and the striker curled beautifully into the bottom corner giving Martin no chance.

Meanwhile Rainworth had been plugging away all night with their passing football, though as soon as it moved near to Boro’s penalty area the nosebleed kicked in.

They finally managed to edge their way through Boro’s rearguard, but the finishing was found lacking. Scott Richards headed a great chance wide and then sub Grant Ryan missed a sitter when through on Joe Cracknell.

Hackworth almost made it five in the final few minutes, as one touch beat the whole defence, though Martin made a ridiculous save to push away his drive.

That would have superbly capped a great night for Boro, but there was still plenty to provide the fans with a pleasant journey back up the A165.