Scarborough Athletic held to stalemate by South Shields
Scarborough Athletic and South Shields were unable to be separated in a goalless draw at a humid Flamingo Land Stadium.
Despite a late charge from John Deacey’s side, they weren’t able to break through a stubborn Shields side that battled hard to secure a point and almost nicked a win late on.
With the temperature rising ahead of kick-off, it seemed to sap the energy of both teams as the game struggled to get going for much of the afternoon.
Kian Spence, brought in for Luke Lofts on the right wing, came closest to an early breakthrough with a deflected shot that looped narrowly wide.
The visitors responded with Nathan Lowe drifting in from the right to rifle a low drive that Tommy Taylor in the Boro goal did well to stretch down and turn behind.
Despite the heat, the hosts showed plenty of energy going forwards, particularly during a ten minute spell in which they controlled the game, with good work by Michael Coulson allowing Ryan Watson to fire in a thunderbolt that was well blocked by Gary Brown before Chris Dawson lost his balance to send an effort just over from the edge of the area.
Boro showed glimpses of the slick passing play seen at times in pre-season, mainly through the energetic Dawson as they pressed for an opening.
But with the half meandering to a close, South Shields had a chance to take the lead with Josh Gillies fizzing a low ball across which had just too much on it for the lone Shields striker Lee Connelly.
Early in the second half, skipper Coulson decided to force the tempo, starting an arching run from deep that he kept going until the ball ran for Kian Spence on the edge of the area to send a deflected effort the wrong side of the post.
Substitute Wayne Brooksby nearly made an instant impact after coming on at the break, but he could only fire straight at Myles Boney with a weak sidefooted effort as the ball ran through to the winger at the far post.
With the game heading into the last ten minutes, Boro finally started to find some momentum and press in the final third.
A bouncing cross was misjudged by Boney and the ball hanging in the air, James Walshaw could not make up the ground to steer it home.
As the hosts tried to turn the screw with a late goal, Isaac Assenso powered a header wide when well placed at the back post and a loud handball appeal in the final minute was turned down by the referee.
There was still time for Tommy Taylor to produce a fine block to deny a Callum Guy drive as the game finished honours even in the bright bank holiday sunshine.