Funk fury at Athletic abomination

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Rudy Funk tore shreds off his players after Tuesday night’s turgid North Riding FA Senior Cup exit at the hands of Redcar Athletic.

The penalty shoot-out heartache masked a tale of a woeful Boro performance that gave the sparse Queensgate crowd of 101 little to cheer.

Funk was apoplectic with rage after marching from a quiet home changing room, with the cheers and joy of Boro’s rivals ringing in his ears.

“I’ve never been ashamed in all my entire career as a manager, but tonight I was humiliated in front of so many hard core fans,” he fumed.

“We put out a decent side and I had the utmost respect for Redcar, but our players didn’t have any respect.

“I was disgusted with their attitudes. the way they played, the way they strolled about.

“I am ashamed to be the Scarborough Athletic manager.

“I have nothing positive to say. From the biggest player to the smallest player, I can’t say one good word about any of them.

“I apologise to our fans and I apologise to Redcar, who came, gave their all and deserved everything they got.

“We have a core of 15 and 16 players and we should be able to make any changes we want. They were unrecognisable.

“To top that off, the arrogance with which we took our penalties certainly wasn’t for me.

“There are players at this club that have played in the Conference and the Evo-Stik Leagues, but their attitudes were just poor.”

Boro went into the game in confident fashion after a smattering of good results, and Funk shuffled his pack against a side lying towards the wrong end of the Wearside League.

He placed Ryan Blott and James Bennett on the bench as cover, while resting Tommy Adams and Pete Davidson from the centre of midfield.

Their exclusions seemed to take away much of the cohesion, and Boro’s neat passing passing game of late seemed to evaporate in the chill air.

They did move away to a promising start, with Ollie Banks fizzing a drive just past the post and Redcar keeper Daniel Lynas getting a hand to a David Brown shot.

But defensively Boro were just off the pace, and this point was proved just before the half-hour when Jamie Lee was given the freedom of the six-yard box to head home a free-kick.

There was no response from Boro, and with time ticking on, boss Funk elected to send out the big guns in Ryan Blott and James Bennett, rather than blooding reserves Eric Hall and Dan Baldry.

But things turned from bad to worse, as after being pinned back, Redcar hit on the counter and Steven Thompson bagged a second.

With groans of frustration eminating from the crowd, Boro finally upped their game, and after a flurry of efforts they hit back.

Blott honed his sights on the Redcar goal and angled a free-kick into the bottom corner to trim the lead back to one.

Then strike-partner Hackworth found his range and he drove home from the edge of the box to level the game up.

Boro probably should have gone on to win it, with Paddy Miller, Blott and Bennett all going close before the referee called time and beckoned the players forward for the dreaded shoot-out.

Misses from Blott and Hackworth gave Redcar the upper hand, but they then threw that away, as successful efforts from Miller and Banks gave Boro hope.

James Bennett only needed to keep his nerve to take the game into sudden death, but he smashed his kick over and the path through to play Guisborough belonged to Redcar.