Ten-man Boro held by Brighouse

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Ten-man Scarborough Athletic almost shaded all three points in a thriller against Brighouse Town, but after an energetic 90 minutes they had to settle for just one.

With the scores tied at 3-3 going into the final seconds, bungling referee Matt McGrath awarded Boro a penalty, but Ryan Blott’s first-ever spot-kick miss in an Athletic shirt denied them the victory.

This left Boro’s players feeling downbeat after a battling afternoon at Queensgate, though they coped admirably without boss Rudy Funk.

Funk was absent due to the sad loss of his mother-in-law, leaving his assistants Darren France and Denny Ingram in charge.

The duo fielded the same side that overcame Winterton seven days earlier and that feat looked like being repeated as they came flying out of the blocks.

So it was something of a surprise when Brighouse grabbed the lead with just seven minutes played.

Dangerous frontman Tom Matthews saw his effort saved by Boro keeper Steve Wilson, but he collected once again to feed Danny Naidole, who finished in acres of time and space.

Matthews almost doubled the advantage seconds after the restart when he broke through and lobbed Wilson, but the ball bounced the wrong side of the post.

Boro began to force their way back into the game, with Blott twice being denied by a full-stretch Tom Taylor in the Brighouse goal.

The leveller finally came when Blott’s attacking partner Tony Hackworth killed a throw-in on his chest, spun on a sixpence and fired low into the corner.

Boro continued their hunt for goals, with James Bennett seeing a shot deflected over and defender Andy Milne having a header held by the keeper.

But once again Brighouse countered in emphatic fashion, with the pace of Ernest Boafo powering him to the line, his cross picked out Matthews, who stroked neatly past Wilson.

Boro showed their character though, and after more pressure, Tommy Adams drilled a cross through the hands of the keeper and Blott stooped to head home at the far post.

While the game went on, the referee was desperately trying to grab the attention of the crowd by dishing out a plethora of cards, four of which came in the first half, with Ollie Banks and Blott picking up Boro’s.

Banks almost started the second period with a bang, smashing a drive wide after a wicked corner.

The crowd were on their feet when Blott slid onto a cross from the left, but his effort poked just wide of the goal.

Their goal did come though, with Blott again finding the space, his ball into the box was parried by Taylor, it hit defender Ben Charlesworth and rolled over the line.

Charlesworth’s fellow centre-half should have been sent trudging off the pitch when he took down Blott, who was charging in on goal, but instead Mr McGrath brought out a yellow.

He wasn’t as easy on Boro, as a pair of decisions altered the path of the game.

Firstly Matty Plummer was adjudged to have brought down Boafo in the box, Wilson got a hand to Matthews’ penalty, but it crept into the net.

Then Banks flung himself into a challenge, winning the ball in the process, the ref saw if differently though, and thinking he was in the Premier League, he awarded the Boro man a second booking.

Despite being reduced in numbers, Boro probably had the better of the final minutes, and after toiling away with Brighouse and the man in black, they were awarded the opportunity to wrap up all three points.

Hackworth was man-handled by Leon Henry when trying to latch onto a cross and a penalty was awarded by linesman Andrew Dunne. Blott stepped forward and smashed his kick against the bar and the ball bounced to safety.

Disaster could have struck in injury time when Brighouse were given a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Jame Murtley whipped it just over the bar, prompting the final whistle of a tremendous spectacle.