Walshaw and Coulson fire Scarborough Athletic to Grantham victory

Boro 2-0 Grantham Town - Match report
Boro 2-0 Grantham Town - Match report

Scarborough Athletic kept their play-off hopes alive with a 2-0 home success against struggling Grantham Town on Saturday.

Goals from James Walshaw and Michael Coulson pulled Boro clear in the second half, though Boro did have a scare or two.

Boss John Deacey sent out a hugely attacking line-up to fight it out against a Grantham side, many of whom wouldn't be out of place in the land of the giants.

Boro started well in the sweltering conditions, making all of the early running, the visitors doing their work on the counter.

Much of Boro's approach play was impeccable as they searched for that goal to relax the situation, but the finishing touch was absent.

Coulson rolled just wide of the Grantham goal and Kev Burgess saw a back-heeled effort cleared off the line.

At the other end, Shane Benjamin looked Grantham's main threat, smashing a shot over the bar when well-placed and then seeing another strike palmed away by Tommy Taylor.

Boro lost the services of defender Ross Killock just before the half-hour through a hamstring injury and he was replaced by Jack Johnson.

Two Boro openings followed in quick succession after this, with Walshaw heading just over from six yards and then Coulson seeing his effort from the edge of the box sail over the bar and against the fence behind the goal.

Then, with play switching to the other end, it ended up being something of a surprise that Boro went in at the break unscathed.

Jordan Adebayo-Smith panicked and fluffed his lines when clean through after an error from Jamie Forrester, before Benjamin should have done better when former Boro man Chris Dawson picked him out with a smart low cross.

Then, just before the break, Burgess and Wayne Brooksby formed a brick wall to block an Akeel Francis shot, which came in from just five yards.

Boro's goal continued to lead a charmed life when the second half got underway.

Tommy Taylor made a truly amazing one-handed stop from Benjamin's close-range header, then Dawson hit both posts after his drive from the edge of the box beat the Boro stopper's dive.

Finding themselves under pressure, Boro threw on young prospect Flynn McNaughton and the attack-minded James Cadman to boost their cause.

And after pinning Grantham back for a good period of time, it was a slick attacking move that finally carved them open.

Coulson spun in the middle of the park and rolled in Walshaw and he took his time before crashing home off the bar.

The sides exchanged blows once again, with Francis skimming the bar and Boro's Coulson, McNaughton and Luke Lofts all having efforts blocked in a matter of seconds.

Then Boro landed the knock-out blow. Burgess won a towering header at the far post and Coulson nipped in to finish well.

Lofts could have added a third in the final seconds, but after slaloming through tackles, he had his effort blocked on the line.