NEVER before has the term a game of two halves rung so true.
Boro may have dominated for most of the 90 minutes on a terrible pitch at Selby, but they only looked like scoring for 45 of them.
Curtis Bernard did manage to bag the first of his treble in the opening half of football, but by the interval Selby had grabbed the initiative at 2-1.
Athletic did come charging back after this though, with the striking of Bernard and Windass linking beautifully with the mesmerising wing play of Paddy Miller.
Miller was pushed forward from his full-back role for the game and he was joined on the other flank by Frank Belt, who had failed to grab a starting role for much of the season.
It was Belt who almost gave Boro the perfect start when he collected wide on the right and smashed in a dipping volley that was tipped to safety by Selby keeper Jody Barford.
Bernard showed his sharpness seconds later, as Belt’s driven cross was glanced just wide by the dangerous frontman.
Despite Boro’s solid start, it was Selby who snatched the initiative after just four minutes.
Timid Boro defending allowed the ball to creep in from the right into the path of Craig Heard. He smashed through a crowd, the ball beat Kevin Martin and hit the back of the net.
Boro almost hit back straight away, with the in-form Joe Naylor seeing an effort fly off wide after Daz Winters’ cross.
The visitors did continue to look unsteady at the back, and the pace of Derry Robson was too much for Winters, but Martin came to his rescue with a great save.
Buoyed by this, Boro charged up the other end and manage to grab a leveller, thanks to the craft of Miller and the poaching of Bernard.
Miller ran onto a Windass flick and drilled in a low centre, which Bernard stabbed home.
That looked to have settled the Boro nerves, but they were once again left jangling just before the break.
Sub Fran Pariente cut in from the right past a static defence, he managed to strike the ball under the body of Martin and into the net.
Rudy Funk didn’t look best pleased as he stormed across the pitch at the break and Boro’s revival in the second half may well have been sparked by some angry words.
The second period was all Boro though, with the goalscoring charge being kicked off in the 54th minute when Miller’s cross was neatly rolled home by Bernard.
The striker should then have had his third when he took advantage of a slip, rounded Barford, but shot into the side-netting.
After plenty of Boro huffing an puffing, they did finally grab the lead for the first time with 15 minutes left.
Miller’s delightful corner from the right was turned home by the head of Windass, his first goal for the club.
Boro still hadn’t finished though and sub Billy Law was picked out in the centre of the pitch. A neat turn earned him some room and the striker fired home into the bottom corner.
There was still enough on the clock for Bernard to make up for his miss and make sure he claimed the match-ball.
Naylor found Miller on another left-hand raid. His lofted cross was met at the far post by Bernard and he made no mistake.
Windass almost grabbed his second in the closing stages, but his hooked shot from Miller’s ball sailed just over the bar.
Selby’s awful second half was rounded off when striker Nexhmi Bilalli swung an elbow at Tony Hackworth.
Referee Mr Booker went straight to his pocket and gave the front man the first use of the soap.