As far as opening games go, Scarborough Athletic’s step into the 2015-16 Evo-Stik North season couldn’t have gone much better.
Boro ripped into New Mills on the sweeping hills of the Pennines, powering into a three-goal lead before easing off the gas in the second half.
The signs were hugely positive right across the park, with joint-bosses Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot clearly getting their selection right.
They plumped for the towering figures of Tom Corner and Alex Peterson in attack, while keeper Ben Simpson, Ryan Qualter, Nathan Peat, Steve Mallory, Joe Fox and Dominic Rowe all made their competitive debuts.
One of the new boys Rowe almost opened his account with just a few minutes played, but his early drive went wide of the target.
The strike-pair of Peterson and Corner were also benefitting from some glorious Boro passing, which had a bewildered New Mills chasing shadows.
Peterson headed just wide, Corner had a shot saved and Fox just failed to convert as the pressure gauge began to reach dangerous levels.
The Millers’ defence was finally blown apart in the 23rd minute, when good work from Corner teed up Peterson, who crashed home a volley from eight yards.
Anyone impressed by Boro’s first finish would have been truely astounded by their second five minutes later.
Mallory’s lofted ball into the box was headed into the path of Fox by Peterson. Fox met it with the sweetest of volleys that gave keeper Liam Higginbotham no chance.
Boro could have moved further clear by the interval, but another fine Fox effort was somehow blocked by Higginbotham at point-blank range and Corner put the ball in the back of the net, his effort was ruled out for off-side.
It is said that 2-0 is the most dangerous of scorelines in football, but in this game that wasn’t the case.
With Qualter and Peat marshalling the Boro defence, it gave Boro the confidence to express themselves in attack, something they continued to do when the second half began.
It took Athletic just seven minutes of the new period to kill the game off, and it was the endeavor of Corner that made it so.
The striker was bundled over in the area by George Whiteoak and he brushed himself down to take the kick. His initial penalty was kept out by Higginbotham, but Corner had the presence of mind to roll home for number three.
The wave of Boro pressure retreated for a small period, that was until the arrival of Ryan Blott and Alex Metcalfe from the bench, who soon whipped up another frenzy.
Blott fired home with his first touch, but his goal was chalked off by the linesman.
Metcalfe’s corner was then nodded just wide by Qualter, before the lively attacker danced into the box, outstripped the keeper, but rollod just wide of the target.
By this point the opening game had been comfortably won and the three points had been stashed in the bag.
More interesting and tougher challenges await though, starting at Queensgate this coming Tuesday.