Scarborough Athletic have to settle for point against Stalybridge Celtic
Scarborough Athletic were forced to settle for a point as a much improved second half display could only lead to a 1-1 draw with Stalybridge Celtic.
After starting the new year with a late defeat at South Shields, Boro hoped to bounce back with a win back at home.
The opening stages involved plenty of endeavour from both sides, but a lack of cutting edge in front of goal to break the deadlock.
The closest that the hosts came had a helping hand from Stalybridge skipper Stephen O’Halloran, as he nodded a Ryan Watson free-kick narrowly wide of his own goal.
At the other end Declan Walker arrowed an effort over the Boro bar and then cleared the crossbar again with a header from a corner.
James Walshaw gradually began to impose himself on the game as the half wore on, first dragging an effort well wide from distance and then heading wide of goal from a floated free-kick into the area.
But with Boro looking comfortable, disaster struck just minutes before the half-time whistle, as a shot looped up off Josh Barrett, falling right into the path of Darius Osei to stab into the bottom corner.
The setback was against the run of play but sparked a response in the second half as Boro upped the ante.
Ryan Watson led the way with a low drive that was gathered at the second attempt by Stalybridge keeper Alex Footicek, before Michael Coulson pinged over when well placed and Pete Davidson saw his dipping effort deflected wide of the target.
Coulson should have equalised midway through the second half, as he embarked on a bustling run to outpace the last defender and take it around the keeper, but then sent his effort high over the crossbar with the goal gaping.
But the Boro fans did not have to wait to celebrate an equaliser, a stunning strike from Ryan Watson midway through the second half that nestled right in the top corner.
This gave the home side the lift required and they took the game to the visitors, with Coulson flashing an effort over and Walshaw doing all the hard work to twist away from his marker, only to then clear the crossbar with his resulting shot.
Josh Barrett nearly nicked a winner in the closing stages with a header at the back post that was easily claimed by Alex Footicek in the Stalybridge goal.
It was the final chance of a game that both sides would be happy to come away with a point but Boro possibly disappointed not to do enough to claim the win after taking the game to Stalybridge in the second half.