Coulson earns Boro victory at Brighouse

Boro report
Boro report

Scarborough Athletic ground out the three points with a 1-0 win at Brighouse Town.

In a scrappy encounter, Steve Kittrick’s side could not fully shake off a determined home side but did enough to earn the victory and continue a good start to the season.

With Jimmy Beadle still unavailable through injury and Matty Turnbull unavailable with the impending birth of his first child, Steve Kittrick brought Dan Stimpson into the centre of the Boro defence for his first league start and gave Jack Johnson a run-out at right-back, with Leon Osborne also included in the starting 11.

Both sides started slowly in steady rain, with Boro the first to threaten through Michael Coulson playing in Jack Johnson down the right.

The initial cross was blocked but came back to the defender to drill in another low ball that Osborne couldn’t turn in on the stretch at the back post.

With the rain quickly turning into a monsoon, the home side quickly responded with Jack Normanton racing clear down the right and firing a ball across that evaded everyone and ran out.

With Boro failing to really test the Brighouse Town keeper Harry Stead in the early stages, they were handed an opportunity on a plate with a free-kick on the edge of the area.

Coulson’s strike flicked off the defensive wall on its way through to take it away from goalkeeper Harry Stead and nestle in the bottom corner.

Brighouse striker Adam Shaw tried to net an immediate equaliser with a header that flashed wide of goal, with Coulson coming close at the other end to adding a second with a drilled effort that was comfortably held by Stead.

Another free-kick in a promising position for Boro was whipped over the Brighouse wall and narrowly over the crossbar by Craig Nelthorpe.

With Boro getting bogged down in the wet weather, Leon Osborne nearly produced a moment of magic as he forced the backpedalling Stead to claw the ball behind for a corner with a lobbed effort.

Both sides were struggling to break down the opposition defence, although a sloppy Brighouse pass was intercepted high up the pitch from Jack Johnson, releasing Ross Daly to launch a long-distance strike initially slipped out the hands of the juggling Stead, but with Osborne lurking the keeper grabbed it at the second attempt.

The visitors continued to pose an aerial threat, with Gabby Johnson arrowing a far post header well wide into the band of home support behind the goal.

As the second half began the rain gave way to bright sunshine, with Steve Kittrick was forced into a change at the break, as Dan Stimpson pulled his hamstring and was replaced by Dan Thirkell.

Tom Taylor was called on shortly after the break to catch a dive to his right and catch a curved shot from Adam Shaw.

With the sun now out, Coulson surged forwards for Boro, taking a couple of defenders with him to lay off for Daly to swing in a cross that Nathan Valentine headed just a yard wide of the target.

As time ticked on Brighouse were peppering the Boro box with a succession of crosses into the box that were well claimed by Taylor under pressure from Gabby Johnson.

The introduction of Emile Sinclair and Billy Logan added a bit more urgency from the visitors to get the ball forward, with a knockdown falling for Valentine to peel off a defender and skew a strike that was bravely blocked.

Sinclair tried to pick up where he left off in midweek with a neat turn followed by a thundering shot that cleared the crossbar.

As Boro looked to stretch the play in the closing stages, some good build up play nearly resulted in a second goal with Sinclair and Coulson combining to free Logan to fire a shot in that was turned behind.

The late introduction of the towering figure of Nat Brown up front gave the visitors back four something different to think about, but this was well managed with Boro getting to the flick ons first to snuff out any danger.

The final whistle brought relief for the travelling fans in a game that certainly didn’t have the drama of previous clashes between the two sides in recent years.

It wasn’t a vintage display from Boro but they got the job done and notched another away win to keep up with the early pacesetters in the Evo-Stik North.