Photo by Jonathan White
Scarborough Athletic overcame a first half red card to beat Nantwich Town 3-0 at the Flamingo Land Stadium.
The Dabbers had the better of the first half, with the returning Jamie Morgan and Joe Mwasile dominating the left hand side.
Shaun Miller squandered a half chance early on, a Sean Cooke free kick fell his way but it looked as if he wasn’t expecting it and it squirmed under his foot.
Jake Day headed in for Scarborough but was promptly flagged offside, before Dan Cockerline fell victim to the artificial pitch, seeing a ball played through to him in a good position get held up and forcing him to turn, losing his chance to get a shot in.
Joel Stair had Nantwich’s best chance, heading powerfully towards goal from a Cooke free kick but it was brilliantly saved by Ryan Whitley, tipping round the post at full stretch.
A couple more shots from both teams that didn’t really test either keeper meant we were drifting pretty uneventfully towards half-time, but that changed on 40 minutes.
Morgan was penalised for a foul on Scarborough captain Nathan Cartman, but he reacted badly to the challenge, and lashed out at Morgan with a foot, and after lengthy consultation with his assistants the referee gave a straight red card to Cartman, as well as a yellow for Morgan.
But rather than putting them on the back foot, the hosts seemed to be galvanized by this and flew in the second half.
Mwasile had the ball in the net early on but the offside flag denied him.
Scarborough took the lead through Jake Day who half-volleyed in off the post after a cross was not cleared sufficiently, poor defending but the finish was exquisite.
A flurry of action just past the hour saw Scarborough miss two chances to double their lead, the first a good save by Wycherley and the rebound should have been buried but flew wide with the keeper still on the floor.
Then the Dabbers went up the other end with a smart move that saw Miller get an opening, he tried to lift the ball over Whitney but he stood tall and showed rapid reflexes to push it over the bar.
Most of the Dabbers’ other efforts lacked any conviction, too many were wildly off target or straight at the keeper, and often from ambitious distances out.
But even when the attempts were good, Whitney was looking nearly unbeatable in goal. Another Miller effort on 72 minutes, a shot on the swivel, was superbly kept out again. That felt like the moment the Dabbers started to feel as if it wasn’t going to be their day.
Scarborough pounced on this and added a second 11 minutes from time, a cheeky free kick from Ryan Watson snuck in at the near post past Wycherley who was caught out.
Nantwich got a penalty four minutes from time after substitute Connor Heath was tripped in the box, Cooke took but Whitley capped off his man-of-the-match display by going the right way and saving.
Scarborough finished the game with a third, Luca Colville finding the corner in the 90th minute to seal a magnificent win especially with the man disadvantage. The home fans were bouncing and the Dabbers were left wondering how a strong position in the game had gone so wrong.
Scarborough Athletic: Ryan Whitley, James Cadman, Dylan Cogill, Lewis Maloney, Will Thornton, Bailey Gooda, Luca Colville, Ryan Watson, Nathan Cartman, Jacob Day (Ashley Jackson, 74), Kieran Glynn (Bradley Plant, 90)
Subs not used: Michael Ingham, Theo Hudson, Simon Heslop
Goals: Day (54), Watson (78), Colville (89)
Red card: Cartman (40)
Nantwich Town: Andy Wycherley, Joel Stair, Jamie Morgan, Troy Bourne, Josh Langley, Caspar Hughes, Tommy Montefiori (Joe Malkin, 82), Shaun Miller, Dan Cockerline, Sean Cooke, Joe Mwasile (Connor Heath, 75)
Subs not used: Cameron Terry, Jacob Edwards, Ollie Pope