Boro lose out to rivals Bamber Bridge
Bamber Bridge put a dent in the promotion challenge of rivals Scarborough Athletic with a 3-2 win at the Flamingo Land Stadium.
After Scarborough had taken the lead through Michael Coulson, Bamber surged back into the contest with two goals in quick succession before a third goal for the visitors midway through the second half settled the game as a contest, despite a late consolation from Jack Johnson.
The result was a blow for the hosts after an 11 game unbeaten run and closed the gap between the two sides to 4 points with 13 games to go.
The game started very much like the contest between the two sides a fortnight ago, but gradually Boro started to take control.
An inswinging corner from Lewis Sugden looked to be heading towards Michael Coulson at the back post before Adam Roscoe rose up to flick a header away from the danger area.
Sugden again turned provider with a teasing free-kick into the centre that Sam Hewitt ran in to flick on at the near post but it flashed through a crowd of players and ran behind.
Given the increasing pressure from the home side, it was no surprise on 15 minutes that the deadlock was broken by Steve Kittrick's side.
A ball from the right was initially trapped by Nathan Valentine 10 yards out, before the midfielder scuffed his shot off through for Michael Coulson to sweep in at the back post from 6 yards.
This gave Scarborough a lift as they went on to carve out a number of good opportunities to extend their lead further.
James Walshaw shrugged off his marker to power a shot that was initially spilled by Lloyd Rigby, but ran out to the left of goal and Coulson couldn't do much with the rebound from such a narrow angle.
This was quickly followed by Max Wright carrying the ball up to the edge of the area, feeding inside for Walshaw to control and fire a fierce effort at goal that was well blocked by the covering Brig defenders.
After these missed opportunites, Bamber began to pressure the Boro defence for the first time.
Danny Forbes sent an acrobatic overhead flick racing across the six yard box that was recovered and played back across for Adam Dodd to slam a powerful drive that Bailey Gooda managed to get behind and block.
This was a warning sign, but one that the home side did not heed and Bamber were soon back on level terms.
A goal kick from Rigby was headed down by Adam Roscoe for Alistair Waddecar to play across to Lewis Nightingale. On the edge of the area, the winger cut in and curled a tremendous shot across goal and into the top corner to stun the Boro fans.
Just a few minutes, later things went from bad to worse as Bamber took the lead. The opportunity arose following good work by Adam Roscoe to get stuck in and block Sam Hewitt’s clearance, with the ball running kindly for Alistair Waddecar to race clear and finish under Tommy Taylor.
Regan Linney tested the palms of Tommy Taylor with an angled shot on goal as the half drifted through to the break. It was a frustrating turnaround for a Scarborough side that had got themselves ahead, then not taken the game to the visitors and let Bamber back in the game.
At the start of the second half, Boro came out with a renewed intent, picked up the pace and pushing for an equaliser. Nathan Valentine nearly pulled the hosts back into the contest, getting on top of a bouncing ball to fire a looping shot that grazed the post with Lloyd Rigby scrambling to get a touch.
There were also a couple of sights on goal for Coulson and Walshaw, but neither were able to really test the Bamber number 1.
After a long spell of pressure, it was a real sucker punch for Bamber Bridge to break away and nod in a third goal that ultimately proved decisive.
Macauley Wilson showed superb strength to advance down the right and send over a deep cross for Regan Linney to rise at the far post and make it 3-1. It was far too easy for the visitors and having not carved out a plethora of chances, Neil Reynold's side were clinical and grabbed the opportunities that presented themselves to gain the lead.
Boro were rocked by this latest setback but despite plenty of decent build up play, it was without the cutting edge that they have shown on occasions this season.
Hopes of a late comeback were raised when Jack Johnson rammed in from close range in time added on, but Neil Reynold’s side saw the game out for the win that nudged them back into promotion contention.
Boro: Taylor, Johnson, Merris (c), White, Hewitt, Gooda, Valentine, Sugden, Walshaw, Coulson, Wright
Subs: Price, Morgan, Beadle (White), Snowden, Muggleton (Sugden)
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