Scarborough Athletic 2 ? Tadcaster Albion 2
Brian France was forced to put together a makeshift defence with Davies still out with a hernia injury, Kemp picking up a hand injury in training midweek compounded with Matty Kennet parting terms with the club this week. Chris Hyam joined Waltham at centre back with Widdowson filling the gap at right back. Hepples reclaimed his spot in the centre of midfield returning from injury, with Pindar getting another start. Tom Barker securing a place on the bench with Danny Exley nursing an ankle knock from the previous week's fixture.
The teams started evenly, however it would be Tadcaster who would take an early lead, the newly formed defence failed to clear a corner after 10 minutes allowing Pete Vasey to head home to give the travellers a one goal advantage. Boro didn't nurse their wounds for too long with an instant reply, Jamie Waltham flicked on a corner that Pindar struck from close range putting the teams back on level terms. The NCEL thus far averaging almost 4 goals a game, this game already looking it would be no exception. An early substitution was forced when Griffin pulled up injured, Adam Wilberforce would once again be called into action from the bench.
Tadcaster reminded the home side that they meant business; forcing a defensive header off the line and calling Bramley into play his resulting save justifying his first team place. Gray ran on to a route one pass up field, piercing the new central defensive pairing, Bramley did well to parry the one on one, however the rebound fell kindly gifting Gray an empty net who was more than happy to leisurely roll the ball home.
As the half came to a close it would be Boro that would reclaim the ascendancy, Hepples headed a ball down on the edge of the area, his tigerish style winning him a ball not rightfully his, however the resulting shot not troubling the keeper. Scott Phillips was given a golden opportunity to level the score just before half time, with time and space just inside the opposition's penalty area. Phillips choosing placement over power allowed Ryder enough time to stretch across his goal to keep the shot out, Pringle put the ball out for a corner denying Pindar his second prowling at the back post. Tadacaster kept the lead at the break in a very open game, with plenty more goals on offer this match wasn't over yet.
France made one change at the break in search of some new ideas, debutante Barker replacing Rob Pindar. Scarborough made a perfect start to the second half, with some flowing one touch football giving Phillips space on the right to cross the ball. The cross found half time sub Barker in oceans of space, who kept his composure heading the ball into the left hand corner leaving Tadcaster keeper Ryder rooted to the spot and without a chance. The young Scarborian delighted to score within minutes of his first team introduction. Boro continued to press in search of the lead, an enthusiastic Evans stuck well from distance after an adventure down the left wing unfortunately the shot was directed straight at the keeper.
The pendulum swung back to Tadcaster, Rob Ellis would twice prove to be a nuisance, first a glancing header falling just wide and a long range drive striking the bar. The attacking pressure didn't stop there Walsh delightfully stuck from range the ball seemed destined for the top left corner, Bramley rose to the challenge denying the away side the lead. Boro were able to gain composure and regroup for one last push for victory. Hogg had the ball in the back of the net only to be ruled out with Hepples crossing from an offside position. Scott Phillips would have another bite at the cherry to get on the score sheet; a ricochet from a corner gave him a golden chance to take all three points late in the game. This time choosing power but failing to pierce the sea of bodies on the line as every Tadcaster defender threw themselves fearlessly before the ball.
The game finished two each which could have been more for both sides, two teams not scared of going forward gave the crowd an entertaining 90 minutes with some refreshingly consistent refereeing. Brian France will hope for a quick return for his injured defenders, along with zeroing in on his attacking targets the squad is hopefully approaching completion. Next week Boro have to make sure that they don't slip up to Kirkbymoorside in the North Riding Senior Cup who have thus far started very strongly in Teesside Division 1, winning nine of their ten games, second in the league only on goal difference. Boro will be hungry for victory hoping for a run in their last remaining cup competition.
p.s. After 69 minutes Tadcaster left back Matt Cressey cleared the ball under pressure however match reporter Kevin Smith's face got in the way, after the match Kevin was quoted as saying "It bloody well hurt and I am not happy!"
Boro Lineup: Bramley, Widdowson, Evans, Hyam, Waltham ©, Hepples, Griffin (Wilberforce 32), Thompson, Hogg, Phillips, Pinder (Barker 45)
Subs not used: Revely
Tadcaster Lineup: Ryder, Pringle, Cressey, Jones, Vasey, Ellis, Watson, Coates, Gray, Wash, Thornton
Subs: Hill, Willoughby, Downing