Bransholme 1 Scarborough Town 2: The kick off had to be delayed for 15 minutes because of the Town players’ late arrival, so there was barely time for the team to warm up, and Scarborough’s starting line up had to be reshuffled with midfielder Gareth Thomas taking over goalkeeping duties.
There was nothing to choose between the sides in the first 10 minutes of scrappy play on a lively 3G pitch, then Sean Exley gained possession on the edge of the Bransholme box, went past a couple of players and from twelve yards out shot home to give Town the lead.
Scarborough were now starting to create chances, with Jamie Bradshaw taking a free-kick 25 yards out which was blocked, and then in Scarborough’s next attack Neil Thomas won possession in Bransholme’s half, pushed forward into the area shaking off a couple of challenges but shot wide.
Bransholme posed little threat up front, and when in possession usually ended up with over-hit long balls which went through to Gary Thomas who otherwise had very little to do.
On 19 minutes Neil Thomas sent Martin Cooper away down the right and he beat the defender to the by-line and crossed into the six-yard box for Jamie Bradshaw to fire home Town’s second.
Scarborough’s two-goal advantage was halved when Bransholme’s Matthew Tait hit a crisp low shot from the edge of the box into the left-hand corner of the goal on 22 minutes, but otherwise Town were rarely troubled. It looked increasingly likely that Town would add to their goal tally, particularly when Jamie Bradshaw beat the home keeper to a throughball and clearly seemed to be pulled down, however the referee awarded a goal-kick.
In a rare attack a Bransholme forward shot high and wide, while at the other end Exley tried a drive from outside the box which went wide, however there was still time in this half for Gary Thomas to show his goalkeepoing prowess when he made a fine save, holding onto the ball after a shot from the edge of the area.
Straight from the restart Ricky Nock took a big hit after clearing a potentially dangerous throughball and it was a couple of minutes before he was able to resume his position. In Town’s next attack and resultant corner, Exley crossed the ball along the six-yard box but Ricky Greening was unable to get to the ball and the danger was cleared.
Bransholme were still trying to break quickly and in one of their attacks they broke down the left-hand side and shot across the box for a goal-kick. Jamie Bradshaw then put in a shot from 20 yards which went outside the post, then a nice one-two with Neil Thomas put Bradshaw away but his shot was deflected wide. From the corner Ben Luntley headed over the home crossbar.
In Town’s next attack Neil Thomas went past two defenders and his shot was blocked for a corner which was eventually cleared. Jamie Bradshaw had taken some rough treatment and limped off to be replaced by Aidan Thomas. Bransholme were not creating any meaningful chances, most attacks were dealt with quite easily or ended in some wayward shooting, whereas Jon Manson broke down the right after interchanging passes with Cooper and crossed in for Greening to head goalwards only to see home keeper make an excellent save.
Danny Collins came on for Greening with 18 minutes to go and was straight into the action shooting over the goal from 20 yards out. With 12 minutes to go Bransholme had an effort disallowed for offside, then a great tackle from Manson thwarted the home side. Town were still creating opportunities to increase the lead, Exley hit a shot over the bar, then there was a good break from Cooper who crossed to Aidan Thomas whose shot was blocked for a corner, with the resulting delivery being volleyed over the top of the goal by Collins. Shane Holt replaced Ben Luntly for the last few minutes with Town still trying to increase the lead right up to the final whistle.
After a hectic preparation and a scrappy game on a 3G pitch, Town had given a good account of themselves and undoubtedly deserved the three points
Scarborough Town: G Thomas, Manson, Clayton, Gill, Nock, Cooper, Bradshaw (A Thomas 65), N Thomas, Exley, Greening (Collins 72), Luntley (Holt 86).