Humber Premier League leaders North Cave continued their impressive winning run with a 2-0 victory against a depleted Scarborough Town side at the McCain Sports Ground.
With a number of key players absent through injury, suspension or holiday, Town boss Shaun Rennison was forced to reshuffle his resources with three teenagers on the substitutes bench.
North Cave began in confident mood, with the lively Chris Short cutting through the home defence to bring a save from Rob Clark at the near post.
Town’s first chance followed a foul on Jamie Patterson when Sean Exley’s quickly-taken free-kick allowed Jamie Bradshaw to hit a shot which was blocked.
North Cave’s Nick Douthwaite then broke from midfield into the Town penalty area but pulled his shot across goal.
The visitors were looking the likelier side at this point, but Town created a good chance when Exley picked up the ball in midfield and sent Ricky Greening away down the right to centre for Bradshaw to volley the ball acrobatically but just off target.
With Town expecting a throw in deep in their own half play was somehow allowed to continue and Jason Crisp shot powerfully but straight at Clark.
North Cave continued to play an attractive brand of passing football, with goalkeeper Mark Cockin organising things from the back and acting as sweeper when required.
However Town were creating chances and Martin Barnes sent Exley away to shoot powerfully but off target.
Then Exley cut inside to set up a shot which was blocked and Barnes cleverly clipped the loose ball goalwards but just over the crossbar.
Good work from Exley then sent Bradshaw through on goal but he was nudged off the ball by the last defender at the decisive moment.
However on the stroke of half-time the visitors went ahead when a cross from the right was clinically tucked away by Craig Gorman.
The second half began with a period of Town pressure, and a scramble in the visitors’ goalmouth ended with a corner which was delivered by Bradshaw and eventually slammed just over the bar by Patterson.
The Town midfielder then won a crucial tackle to allow Exley a 25-yard effort which arrowed over the North Cave crossbar.
On 69 minutes Bradshaw seemed to have broken through the back line but was brought down on the edge of the penalty area. Exley hit the free-kick low and hard but the defensive wall did its job efficiently.
When Patterson was robbed inside his own half, Douthwaite broke away but pulled his shot wide.
It was North Cave who scored the decisive goal on 73 minutes when Craig Cockin dribbled across the edge of the Town area and set up Crisp who netted with confidence.
Jon Manson combined with Ricky Nock and sent a tantalising cross which evaded the keeper but there was no Town player on hand to profit from it.
North Cave’s Matt Whittaker then rampaged forward but hit his shot just wide, and although Town forced a number of corners the visiting defence always got the decisive touch or header.
Another Exley free-kick came back off the defensive wall and Patterson hit the rebound just wide of the post.
In the end Town were edged out by a side which oozed confidence and self-belief and which looks to have a definite chance of ending the Reckitts/Sculcoates dominance of the Premier Division title.
Town: Clark, Nock, Smart, Pickles, Clayton, Manson, Barnes (Forsyth 50), Patterson, Exley, Greening, Bradshaw.