In-form Scarborough were made to work for the three points by much-troubled Eastwood Town and only looked comfortable once veteran striker Gary Bradshaw tucked away a 78th minute penalty.
With new manager Paul McFarland taking the reigns in two weeks’ time, his watching assistant manager John Adams will have been delighted with the commitment of the Eastwood players on show.
Eastwood fielded a much-changed team with a number of first team players having followed former manager Gary Hayward out the door.
Scarborough started the brighter of the two sides, with Ryan Blott firing high and wide with their first shot.
However, the striker did open the scoring with his very next attack after his striking partner’s overhead shot fell fortunately at Blott’s feet and he tucked it away with confidence on 19 minutes.
However the Badgers responded well and Henry Sibenge tucked away a loose ball following a goalmouth scramble to level the scores only two minutes later.
The wind was causing problems, making it difficult to play for both sides and played a decisive part in the visitors regaining the lead as Blott scored his and Scarborough’s second when his curling shot was wind-assisted into the top corner.
Blott was denied his hat-trick by Eastwood’s keeper James Wren, while at the other end Vijay Selvam saw his goalbound header from Sibenge’s cross saved by Jason White.
Wren again came to Eastwood aid saving Blott’s shot from outside the box.
Bradshaw then saw his free-kick well saved by Wren as the visitors were being made to work for their openings.
Thomas Davie fired across goal and the Seasiders hit the woodwork when a heavily wind- assisted cross, which was aimed towards the back post, changed direction to smack the centre of the crossbar.
The home side started to get a foothold in the game around the hour mark but Sibenge’s shot lacked the power to trouble White.
Eastwood thought they had equalised in the 68th minute when Selvam got around the back of the visitors’ defence and flicked the ball past the onrushing keeper only to see Andrew Milnne acrobatically clear the ball off the line.
Chris Bolder was unlucky to see his shot crash against the post for Scarborough, before Eastwood keeper Wren’s long free-kick evaded everyone including the visiting keeper only for the ball to go agonisingly close to the goal.
The decisive goal came when Eastwood defender Jacob Sturgess was adjudged to have handled the ball on the edge of the box. After much protestation the referee awarded the visitors a penalty which Bradshaw duly dispatched.
The award broke the Eastwood spirits and the visitors saw out the remaining 12 minutes quite comfortably.
Bradshaw should have doubled his tally in the dying minutes but overhit his shot having been played through on goal, and that was to be that as Athletic took the points.
Saturday, December 14, 2013:
Eastwood: 1 James Wren 2 Laurence Zisaruk-Gibson 3 Jacob Sturgess 4 Elijah Reid 5 Joe Storer 6 Tyler Witton 7 Josh Schofield 8 Tyrone Burton 9 Henry Sibenge 10 Vijay Selvam (James Murphy 52) 11 Dan O’Donnell (Dan Dobbie 85). Subs not used: Lee Barrow, Jack Saunders
Scarborough: 1 Jason White 2 Matt Plummer 3 Joe Lamplough 4 Andrew Milne (Steve Ridley 85) 5 Paul Foot 6 Peter Davison 7 Thomas Davie (Liam Sheppard 70) 8 Chris Bolder 9 Ryan Blott 10 Gary Bradshaw 11 Ryan Williams (Ben Middleton 85). Subs not used: Darren Clough, Bryan Hughes Att: 239 Ref: D Russell
Best Badger: James Wren
Report by Andy Cope