Boro 1 Dinnington 1
Brian France's squad was boosted by the rapid recovery of Dave Thompson who came through 90 minutes for Edgehill and a training session unscathed and was straight back into the starting line up. With the absence of the suspended Jamie Waltham and the injured Kevin Milner, the versatile Graham Botham was asked to fill in at the back once more. Richard Medcalf back from injury displaced Craig Hogg who found a place on the bench, joined by Boro's latest catch Joel Hartley.
Boro hit the ground running making an early statement that they were here to take the points, Medcalf making his intentions clear after an early speculative effort from distance after turning his man. Thompson was justifying his starting place causing problems from midfield, threading a ball through the defence that was stolen by keeper Andy Thornton just before reaching Ryan Blott. Boro had a good penalty shout as Medcalf was brought down on the edge of the six yard line, the referee not interested and waved play on. The pressure was rewarded just after 18 minutes mark when Liam Widdowson found Mark Griffin in a useful wide position as a corner was cleared, Griffin put in a killer cross that was met by the foot of the flying Medcalf. The lead could have been doubled from the spot after Boro appeal for the second time after a handball in the Dinnington area, the referee again not interested. The home side continued to press when Botham looped a ball into the box, Scott Phillips header over unable to get the ball on target.
Dinnington were starved of the ball in the early stages but were looking dangerous on the counter, Michael Blythen threatened the Boro goal heading narrowly wide from a short corner. Scarborough were not content with a one goal advantage, Ryan Morton's free kick from a useful position whizzed past the left hand post with the keeper a mere spectator. Blythen was causing mischief at the other end getting in on goal after some tidy passing, Dave Bramley raced from his line to do enough to keep the shot off target. The away side now seeing more of the ball and were giving Boro some of their own medicine, the leagues marksman Ant Lynam not scared of trying his luck unleashed a shot too hot to handle, Bramley doing enough to tip the ball over. Boro thought they had doubled the lead before the break as Thompson centered the ball from a wide position, Widdowson guided the ball towards Blott who headed onto the bar, the ball was then bundled in by Thompson who was celebrating in the crowd when he discovered the linesman's offside flag. At the break Boro had more than held there own against the run away champions, they were better value than the one goal, the missed chances could come back and bite them.
Dinnington caught the home side cold needing only 3 minutes of the second half to level the scores, Grant Allott was given far too much time within the Boro penalty area, Bramley got his fingers to the shot but was too powerful to stop. Scarborough gritted their teeth and came back looking for the lead once more, Griffin picked up a loose ball on the right and ran at the away defence his shot unfortunately fell wide. Allott got himself into another dangerous position after slipping his marker, this time his shot was wide. The game was becoming very open and chances were going to be there for anyone able to take them. Medcalf was the next to step up shooting earlier than expected left keeper Thornton rushing across his goal to marshal the ball out. Boro then had in quick succession their third and fourth handball shouts, totalling 5 penalty appeals for the afternoon, all turned down.
Phillips had an almost un-missable chance at the back post from a Morton corner, his header went wide, chances don't get any better than that. Dinnington turned up the heat and reminded Boro why they were top of the table, Michael Blythen still in the thick of things forced the save of the day from Bramley, some how the Boro keeper kept the ball out with his legs deflecting the shot onto the bar. Ant Lynam was searching for his 32nd goal of the season, his strike from outside the area found Bramley at his best to push the ball wide. The champions persisted; substitute Jon Somerset shooting across the face of goal but Bramley pounced to keep his side in the game. Brian France hungry for a win rolled the dice taking Dave Kemp off for the fire power of Craig Hogg, in the later stages 4 men were pushed up front. Dave Thompson had the final chance of the day moments before the whistle; he chose to shoot on the edge of the area with options either side, as the ball sailed over the bar Boro knew that they had to settle for a single point.
Over 90 minutes a point each was a fair result, however Boro's missed chances in the first half cost them the win. The penalty decisions clearly made a difference; if only one had been given the story of the day would have changed dramatically. Given that Boro matched the run away champions blow for blow is very good news for the clubs future, even before any choice summer signings next year proves to be very promising.
Result: Boro 1 – Dinnington 1
Boro Line-up: Bramley, Wood © (Davies 37), Botham, Kemp (Hogg 83), Widdowson, Thompson, Griffin, Phillips (Hartley 72), Blott, Medcalf, Morton Goals: Medcalf 18 Cards: Yellow Griffin, Blott, Phillips
Dinnington Line-up: Thornton, Elam, Sykes ©, Griffin, Allott, J Wragg, Mercier (Perrouheau 86), Mirfin, Blythen, Lynam (M Wragg 86), Lindley (Somerset 65) Goals: Allott 48 Cards: Yellow Elam, Allott
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