Three in a row for in-form Athletic

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SCARBOROUGH Athletic turned in another outstanding performance as Thackley were swept aside to make it a hat-trick of consecutive wins.

Boro excelled in all departments and at times it looked like an exhibition match, as the ball was stroked around the pitch with confidence and ease.

The pressure that had previously laid heavy on the players’ backs has vanished, allowing Athletic to express themselves fully, and they didn’t need a second invitation to do this.

Having crushed Thackley on the road earlier this season, you would have expected the visiting team to come flying at Boro in the opening periods.

That wasn’t the case though, and Boro grew with confidence as the seconds ticked by.

Paddy Miller did almost gift Thackley the lead when he needlessly gave the ball away in a dangerous area, but he pinned back his ears and dived in to make a superb saving tackle.

Miller then showed his attacking abilities when delivering a tasty corner from the right, but Thackley managed to scramble Matt Draper’s effort off the line.

The lively Curtis Bernard was desperately unlucky not to hand Boro the advantage, but his two flicked headers from the respective deliveries of Tony Hackworth and Miller, skimmed just over.

Hackworth then kept the pressure on with a sweetly-struck volley that was held by keeper Mark Bower.

Bower’s opposite number Kevin Martin then warmed his palms as he kept out a neat strike from Brice Tiani.

One of the reasons behind Boro’s recent up-turn in form has been the finishing of striker Ryan Blott, and he once again showed his value just after the half-hour.

Hackworth’s brilliant cross on the turn from out wide on the right was cleverly glanced goalwards by the head of Blott and the ball nestled into the net.

The final effort of the half was from the raiding Bill Law, who danced through and drove just wide.

Boro kicked off the second half as they had ended the first with a flurry of further chances on the Thackley goal.

Bernard wriggled free in the area, but he bent just wide. Then Blott cut in from the right and sent an effort that skimmed across the six-yard box and just past the toe of Bernard.

Winger Law was enjoying his best performance for a number of weeks and he capped this display with Boro’s second goal of the day.

A looping free-kick was delivered from the left and Law rose superbly to power a header into the bottom corner.

That was Law’s last action, as he was swapped for Chris Hewitt. The winger almost made an immediate impact when he stole into the box, but failed to poach fellow sub Adam Lee’s ball.

Blott then flicked Lee through on goal, but he was well denied by a scrambling Bower.

Boro did begin to ease off the gas in the closing stages, and it could well have cost them the three points.

Matt Morgan fizzed a free-kick just over and sub Liam Moore somehow missed from five yards out.

Keeper Martin was also on hand to save magnificently from Tiani, but time was on Boro’s side and they clung on to seal yet another victory.