Scarborough Athletic open season with 0-0 draw at Basford
292 days after losing 4-1 at Basford in their last NPL outing, Boro again travelled to the Nottingham club on Saturday, but this time returned home with a well earned point after a gritty, hard fought goalless draw.
Basford’s two centre-backs Brad Gascogne and Stef Galinski were dominant in the air, and former Boro defender Dom Roma neutralised the threat of Michael Coulson with his tight man-marking, while pacy striker Marcus Marshall also impressed.
For Boro, Bailey Gooda was superb at the back, winning every ball, keeper Ryan Whitley pulled off two stunning saves in the second half and there were also top displays from Weledji, Jackson, Thornton and Watson.
Alex Howes fired narrowly wide for Basford, while Boro’s Kieran Weledji rampaged down the right flank and sent a low cross into the box, but the ball was scrambled clear, then Will Thornton fired a shot inches past the right hand post.
The best chance of the first half also fell to Boro on 35 minutes, when Coulson fed the ball to Ash Jackson, who directed a low cross into the box, but Nathan Cartman just failed to turn it in at the far post, then Glynn blazed a shot over and Watson fired wide as Boro ended the half strongly.
Boro keeper Ryan Whitley pulled off a terrific save within two minutes of the second half, when Ryan Wilson sent over a free kick into a crowded area.
The ball took a deflection and was heading for the bottom corner before Whitley dived low to his right to claw the ball round the post.
Boro then went close, when Ryan Watson played a precise though-ball to Kieran Glynn, but the keeper raced out and blocked Glynn’s shot, then 78 minutes Whitley pulled off another outstanding save, diving to keep out a goal-bound close-range header from Alex Howes.
Six minutes later Basford again almost scored, but Kieran Weledji was on hand to head a lobbed effort from Alex Howes over the bar.
Boro had two last gasp chances, with Cartman setting up Glynn, who turned and fired narrowly over, then Coulson wriggled free of his marker Roma and played a great through-ball to Glynn on the right, and Glynn’s ball back into the box was slammed into the net by Cartman, only for the linesman’s flag to determine that Glynn had drifted marginally offside.
Overall a draw was probably a fair result, and the strong defensive display will have especially pleased Boro manager Jono Greening.
BORO TEAM: Whitley, Weledji, Jackson, Turner, Thornton, Gooda, Coulson, Watson, Cartman, Maloney, Glynn.
Subs (not used) Gibson, Cogill,Cadman, Hutton, Ingham
BORO MAN OF MATCH: Bailey Gooda