Walshaw, Coulson and Hewitt help Boro to Ram raid
Scarborough Athletic landed another blow in their promotion bid on Tuesday night with a 3-1 ram raid at Ramsbottom.
Boro made a lightning start to the proceedings after a long trip west, landing two early blows to leave the hosts reeling.
They took the lead after just a matter of seconds, the move starting when winger Max Wright outpaced the home defence. His shot was saved, but Lewis Sugden reacted and fed James Walshaw, who made no mistake from close range.
Then, just two minutes later, the cushion was stretched to two goals, when Michael Coulson drilled sweetly home from the edge of the box after more exertion from the industrious Wright.
After this, the half descended into something of a slog, with little meaningful football being played on a challenging surface.
It was possibly Ramsbottom who got to grips with things the better, though the pace and quality of Boro always provided an undertone of threat.
The hosts created a couple of chances, the best seeing Sam Madeley outstrip the Boro defence, but the ball took a horrible bobble before he pulled the trigger and his shot skewed wide.
It was more of the same when the second half got underway, though a driving run and a wicked drive from Wright brought a save from Sam Ashton to lift the spirits.
There were a few moments of concern as the minutes ticked on, with the lively Jerome Wright and sub Sam Heathcote side-footing efforts each side of the Boro goal.
But the points were all-but sealed with 20 minutes left on the clock when Sam Hewitt fired home the third of the evening.
After some toing and froing in the box, the ball found its way to Hewitt on the edge of the area and he brilliantly drove it home with the outside of his boot.
Boro keeper Tommy Taylor clung manfully to his clean-sheet in the minutes that followed. The custodian making two smart saves to deny Heathcote and then Zehn Mohammed.
Though he could do nothing with five minutes remaining, as Greg Daniels gave him no chance with an accomplished finish to give the hosts a glimmer of hope.
The comeback was short-lived though, with Boro seeing out the final minutes in comfortable fashion and collecting yet another three-point haul.