How Scarborough Athletic earned their place in the NPL Premier Division play-off final

Scarborough Athletic face the biggest game in their brief history on Monday when they play host to Warrington Town in the Northern Premier League Premier Division play-off final.

By Andy Bloomfield
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 10:08 am
Scarborough boss Jonathan Greening and midfielder Ryan Watson celebrate the play-off semi-final win against Matlock on Tuesday night
Scarborough boss Jonathan Greening and midfielder Ryan Watson celebrate the play-off semi-final win against Matlock on Tuesday night

The game, which is all-ticket, kicks off at 3pm, with extra-time and penalties if required, with the winner going into National League North, the division formerly known as Conference North.

Scarborough Athletic are managed by former Manchester United, West Brom, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough midfielder Jonathan Greening, who is Scarborough born and bred.

Greening, 43, took over last May and this is his first managerial job in senior football.

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The season started well for Boro as they went five games unbeaten, including a 2-0 home win against Warrington, but then a succession of injuries saw them suffer a dip in form including four successive home losses, and they looked more in danger of being dragged into a relegation battle than a fight for a play-off spot.

The 5-1 loss at Buxton on December 7 2021 proved to be the turning point for Boro though, as they then proceeded to lose only two games for the rest of the season, the 1-0 loss at South Shields on New Year's Day and the 2-1 loss at Nantwich Town on April 2.

Luca Colville, who joined Boro from Scottish side Morton last October, is the club's top scorer with 12 goals this season, with Bridlington-based Jake Day second on eight goals and skipper Michael Coulson, who used to play for Scarborough FC as a youngster before going on to play in the Football League with Barnsley, Grimsby Town and York City, has seven goals in a season which has seen him miss long spells through injury.

The fine run in 2022 saw Boro finish the season in third place in the league table to earn them a home play-off semi-final against Matlock Town.

The players celebrate the second goal in the 2-1 win against Matlock Town

Athletic won the semi-final 2-0 on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Colville and left-back Ashley Jackson and was played in front of a record crowd of 2,676 at the Flamingo Land Stadium.

Boro also have the chance to win the North Riding FA Senior Cup on Wednesday night when they face Guisborough Town in the North Riding FA Senior Cup final at York City's York's LNER Community Stadium, 7.30pm kick-off.

Scarborough Athletic FC was formed on June 25 2007 following the winding-up of Scarborough Football Club.

The Seadogs spent their first 10 season sharing grounds with Bridlington Town at their Queensgate base, finally moving back to town in a new stadium, the Flamingo Land Stadium, in July 2017.

The Boro fans celebrate the play-off semi-final win against Matlock on Tuesday night

Boro's opening game was a friendly against Sheffield United in front of an almost sell-out crowd of 2,038 supporters, the Blades winning 4-1.