SCARBOROUGH Town made a valiant effort but could not quite upset the form book at Cargo Fleet.
The Middlesbrough side have won this trophy for the past two seasons and were determined to keep their unbeaten run going.
Playing down the slope and with the wind at their backs, Fleet began with a physical no-nonsense approach, playing the ball long at every opportunity.
Town struggled to counter this tactic and Fleet came close to scoring when Town failed to react quickly to a short corner, and Michael James stole into a shooting position but drove the ball over the bar.
However on nine minutes Fleet went ahead after brilliant work from the impressive Peter Snaith, collecting the ball with the outside of his foot and accelerating past his marker to slam the ball into the net from 12-yards out.
Town were finding it difficult to retain possession under Fleet’s constant pressing game, but Neil Fryirs managed to escape down the right wing and cross to Sean Exley who set himself well but shot straight at goalkeeper Lewis Yates.
Fryirs then repeated the break down the left, with Chris Nelson stretching to reach the cross and unable to get his shot on target.
On 22 minutes things got worse for Town when Jamie Bellamy timed his run superbly to outpace the back four and latch on to a diagonal ball, striding into the box and making no mistake with his powerful finish.
Cargo Fleet continued to boss the midfield by outnumbering Town in this area of the pitch, but Ben Briggs made a good interception to race away on the left before putting the ball hard and low across the six-yard box with nobody able to apply a touch.
After the interval Town stepped up a gear and put the Fleet defence under constant pressure, so it was no surprise when a half-clearance was returned into the box and Neil Fryirs jostled with two defenders before finishing to bring Town back into the game at 2-1.
Resolute home defending blocked a Kris Tate 25-yarder which looked to be goalbound, but at the other end Ricky Nock made a great saving tackle when Fleet broke through.
Town’s confidence had taken a knock in the first half, but it came flooding back when a super touch-and-go move involved five Town players and cut through the right-hand-side of the home defence.
Fleet were now penned into defence for long periods, clearing the ball at the expense of corners or throw-ins, although Town’s defenders still needed to be alert to the occasional long-ball breakaway.
Ben Luntley and Sean Exley were proving difficult for the home defenders to dispossess, but by getting all their men behind the ball they managed to keep Town at arm’s length.
A loose clearance was volleyed back goalwards by Town substitute Danny Collins, the ball just drifting wide of the top corner.
Then Fryirs went past his man on the right wing and squared for Luntley who blasted the ball just over the top.
A Fleet breakaway gave Chris Howard a chance to decide the game, but he failed to connect properly when the ball dropped to him from a left-wing cross.
Then the action moved back to the home end, with Town peppering the area with corners and long throw-ins, and finally forcing the ball into the net only for the referee to blow for a foul on the keeper.
In the final minute Nelson had a chance from a narrow angle but Yates was well-positioned to block the powerful shot.