Headline act Boro suffer Consett nightmare

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Scarborough Athletic switched from the sublime to the ridiculous as they bowed sadly out of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Having hit the heights of top spot in the Evo-Stik North on Monday night, Boro turned from world beaters to no hopers at Northern League outfit Consett.

The early season hype was blown away with an unorganised display, which allowed Consett the easiest of paths through to the first qualifying round.

Bosses Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot rung the changes, some enforced and some to rotate a packed squad.

The main miss looked to be the cup-tied Ryan Qualter at centre-half, as he had forged the strongest of defensive partnerships with Nathan Peat at the heart of the Boro back-line.

In his absence, Boro creaked woefully at the back, and this soon spread throughout the whole team as they all underperformed on Consett’s damp 3G surface.

It took Consett just 15 minutes to take advantage of Boro’s generosity, though they could have been clear by this point had strikers Michael MacKay and Michael Sweet had their shooting boots on.

It should have been Boro who took the lead though when Alex Peterson was sent in on keeper Peter Jeffries, but he stumbled and dinked the ball into the stopper’s grasp.

Play soon switched to the other end and Steve Mallory’s careless back-pass let in MacKay, who beat Chandler Hallwood with ease.

This should have provided an electric shock to the heart of the Boro team, but instead it was Consett who went for the jugular.

Hallwood managed to push away a swerving drive from distance, then Luke Sullivan rose to meet a corner from the right, but he managed to head his effort just over from five yards.

As a monsoon-like storm passed over, Boro struggled to stem the flow of the Consett tide.

But fortunately the lead wasn’t added to before the interval, despite the dangerous MacKay finding pockets of space at will.

The Boro management team went for broke at the break, throwing on Lloyd Henderson for his debut alongside striker Tom Corner and last term’s top scorer Gary Bradshaw. Ryan Blott, Alex Metcalfe and the injury-hit Peat were withdrawn.

Henderson lasted just four minutes of his bow, as he was given a straight red card for holding back Sweet, who had wriggled free on goal.

Things got no better for Boro, as Consett took full control of the proceedings.

Sullivan twice hit the bar as a shell-shocked Boro struggled to work the ball out of their own half.

So it was no great surprise when Consett doubled their tally with five minutes remaining, again thanks to a total gift.

Joe Lamplough got his defensive header all wrong and Sweet nipped in to nestle the ball in the bottom corner.

It didn’t seem that things could get any worse, but they did when Kieran McCaffrey was forced to leave the field with a head injury.

Surprisingly though, Boro created their first clean-cut chance when down to nine men, but Corner lifted that over the bar, and with it went their FA Cup dreams for another campaign.