Jacob's crackers help Boro avoid Goole scare
Jacob Hazel was at the double as Boro kicked off 2017 with a 2-0 home victory against Goole.
After a frustrating opening 45 minutes, Boro turned it on after the break, putting the visitors to the sword.
The three points gathered kept Boro in the hunt as they now lie fourth in the Evo-Stik North.
Steve Kittrick's men began the year at a steady pace against a Goole outfit, many of whom had a youthful look.
This low gear was still enough to pin back the East Yorkshire side, who may be beginning to look nervously over their shoulders at the foot of the table.
It looked inevitable that Boro would make a breakthrough in the early stages, especially after they were aided by some questionable decision making from Goole keeper Thomas Beaurepaire.
The diminutive custodian spilled an early ball into the box, but Boro failed to take advantage.
He then opted to remain on his line when Benny Igiehon was played in on his goal, but he made up for it by saving smartly with his foot.
The hosts continued their quest for goals, but it wasn't Goole's resolve that kept them at bay, it was their own finishing.
Cameron Murray wriggled his way into a good position, but his sweet drive grazed the paint on the bar.
Igiehon then pirouetted wonderfully in the box, but his volley arrowed wide of the target.
Their final opening of the half fell to the towering Matty Turnbull, but after he won his header at the far post, the ball was bundled clear off the line.
There was a touch of Goole pressure at the beginning of the new half, having clearly been egged on by their management team, but normal service was soon resumed.
Boro then began to go for the jugular, led forward by the clever midfield play of Adam Bolder and Murray.
Bolder had two efforts superbly saved by Beaurepaire, before they finally pierced the Goole rearguard seconds later.
Igiehon seemed to have delayed for too long on the break, but his low shot rolled to Hazel at the far post and he made no mistake.
There was a short lull in the proceedings before Boro reasserted their authority.
Hazel started the move by switching wide to Dave Merris, he then collected the cross in the six-yard box and whipped the ball home.
Boro threw on debut boy Lewis Dennison in the closing stages, just prior to what would have been the goal of the season from Hazel.
Dennison picked out Murray, who cheekily flicked the ball into the path of Hazel. The striker met the ball beautifully, but his effort flew just wide.
Hazel then went close again with a free-kick from the edge of the box that clipped the wall and glided just beyond the upright.
It looked as though he had finally managed a hat-trick in injury-time when he struck a vicious effort from range, but Beaurepaire tipped it over the bar.
Sadly for the striker the referee blew time before he had tweaked his shooting boots further, though his double burst was enough to book a three-point haul.