Skipper Michael Coulson shines as Scarborough Athletic open account
Scarborough Athletic skipper Michael Coulson led by example as his side opened their NPL Premier Division campaign with a 2-0 home win against Warrington Town.
Boro left the field to a standing ovation after a stunning second-half show secured them a richly deserved win against fancied Warrington at the Flamingo Land Stadium.
The visitors had won their opening two Northern Premier League Premier Division matches, and it was they who dictated play for the first 20 minutes, forcing Boro to defend in numbers.
Bailey Gooda blocked a shot from Ed Clarke, goalkeeper Ryan Whitley saved to deny Mark Roberts, and Luke Duffy struck a shot over the crossbar.
Boro, without striker Nathan Cartman, who had a knee injury, gradually grew into the game, with Coulson giving a vintage display at centre-forward, chasing and challenging for every ball.
As in previous games, keeper Whitley handled confidently and the solid defensive trio of Bailey Gooda, Dylan Cogill and Will Thornton was superb, but there were stand-out performances all over the park.
An incisive move on 21 minutes saw Glynn pass to Coulson, who raced to the right edge of the area and sent over a low cross which Lewis Turner just failed to divert past the keeper, and seconds later Nick Hutton blazed a shot over the bar.
Coulson had a strong shot well saved by keeper Dan Atherton on 29 minutes, before Warrington went close when Luke Duffy fired an effort inches wide.
As half-time approached Boro upped the pressure. Glynn played a through-ball to former Barnsley ace Coulson, but keeper Atherton saved at his feet.
Then in the 44th minute an Ash Jackson shot was deflected over, and from Ryan Watson’s corner the referee penalised Ed Clarke for handball in the crowded area, and Watson blasted home the spot-kick to open the scoring.
Seconds before the half-time whistle, Josh Amis shot narrowly wide for the visitors.
Boro attacked the Shed end in the second half, and doubled their lead on 47 minutes when Coulson had a shot brilliantly saved, but Kieran Glynn followed up to head home the rebound.
From then on Boro totally dominated proceedings with Glynn and young Nick Hutton both showing skilful touches, Watson was dominant in midfield and Jackson superb on the left flank.
On 59 minutes Glynn threaded a through-ball to Lewis Turner, but keeper Atherton smothered his shot, and Coulson followed up to chip the rebound narrowly wide.
The flowing football continued as Maloney shot narrowly wide, Coulson back-heeled a pass to Glynn, who shot straight at the away keeper, then a precise Jackson cross was headed over by Hutton.
On 87 minutes a move involving a dozen passes ended when man of the match Coulson chested the ball into the path of James Cadman, who struck a fierce low shot that required a diving save from busy keeper Atherton.
At the final whistle the whole team was cheered off the pitch by the delighted supporters who had witnessed a fabulous feast of attacking football.
BORO: Whitley, Gooda, Jackson, Maloney, Thornton, Cogill, Hutton (Cadman 77), Watson, Coulson, Turner, Glynn (Gibson 85)
BORO MAN OF MATCH: Michael Coulson