Scarborough Athletic maintain fine home form with victory over 10-man Ashton United
Scarborough Athletic’s fine run of form on home soil continued as they sealed a 3-1 win against 10-man Ashton United at the Flamingo Land Stadium.
Boro boss Darren Kelly was forced into once change from the side who lost out at Stafford Rangers last time out, Jack Johnson replacing the suspended Wayne Brooksby in the left wing-back berth, while Kieran Glynn returned to the bench after a knock.
After a minute’s applause for Matlock Town’s Jordan Sinnott, who tragically passed away last week, Boro started into a stiff gust for the first half and were pegged back by the visitors.
An early Ashton free-kick drifted just wide of danger after swinging towards Tommy Taylor’s goal in the wind before Johnson had to be alive to block an effort from United’s number nine Louis Almond, who had shown great strength to hold off Harry Coates.
The visitors’ early pressure paid off when referee Mr Jones pointed to the spot after a clumsy challenge from Isaac Assenso and United skipper Josh Wilson made no mistake from the spot.
Boro weren’t behind for long however when another soft looking penalty was awarded at the other end of the pitch for handball and Boro skipper Michael Coulson sent United keeper Greg Hartley the wrong way with his penalty for 1-1.
Kelly’s men almost went ahead on 23 minutes when James Walshaw’s free-kick was fumbled by Hartley, but the ball was hacked to safety.
Again Boro could’ve moved ahead minutes later when the raiding Josh Barrett put the ball on a plate for Johnson to tap in, but he somehow lifted over from close-range and the sides went in level at the break.
Boro turned round for the second half with the strong gusts at their back and set about trying to take control of the contest, seeing plenty of the ball but struggling to create anything of note in the opening exchanges.
The game came to life when a strong challenge on Johnson from Liam Tomsett resulted in a bout of handbags from both sets of players before Mr Jones showed the United man a straight red card.
Ryan Watson had been busy throughout, trying to unlock the Ashton defence and also whipping in some dangerous set-pieces, and he almost found the back of the net when he let fly with a skimming drive that was kept out by Hartley.
Almond was still proving a handful for Boro’s three-man defence and he found space on the edge of the box, but dragged his strike wide of Taylor’s goal.
Johnson was then in the right place at the right time again on the hour-mark, but yet again the Boro man somehow failed to find the back of the Ashton net.
Boro didn’t have to wait too long to get their noses in front however, more good work from Barrett down the right flank resulting in skipper Coulson tapping in for a 2-1 lead on 65 minutes.
Walshaw had three chances to bag a third, but couldn’t find the back of the net, his third opportunity in particular really should've troubled Hartley.
Any nerves from the 900 crowd were soon calmed though, Watson showing great composure to find the bottom corner for 3-1.
Boro’s all time top scorer Ryan Blott was introduced for a second debut to a great reception, which would’ve been even greater had his late drive not been kept out by Hartley, but the hosts had done enough for the 3-1 victory.