Watching Scarborough Athletic in recent weeks isn’t too easy on the eye or the heart.
Boro may not be playing the most attractive football, but their scrapping style is earning the vital, early season points.
That was the case on Saturday as they came from behind to beat a lowy, but organised, Prescot Cables side 2-1 at Queensgate.
Athletic looked dead and buried at 1-0 down with just a handful of minutes remaining, but their persistence in attack made the difference.
Striker Gary Bradshaw personified Boro’s passion and dynamic drive, with the former North Ferriby man scoring their equaliser and then earning the last-minute penalty that made sure of the win.
Much of the early play revolved around Bradshaw, as the game moved away to a gritty start.
He was involved in earning an early corner, the set-piece being headed just wide by Chris Bolder.
Bradshaw then produced a glorious touch to free Ryan Williams, but his low cross was just behind Jimmy Ghaichem’s darting run.
Another Williams centre caused more havoc in the Prescot defence and Bradshaw leapt to plant a header against the post.
It may have been a quiet start for Boro keeper Jason White, but he demonstrated his sharpness when he brilliantly kept out Charlie Stoker’s low drive.
Boro were in charge though and Bradshaw was unlucky not to open his account when his shot was hooked away from underneath the bar after a glorious ball from Ryan Blott.
As the half progressed Boro began to ease their foot off the gas, allowing Prescot to up the ante.
White saved well from Sam Corlett and then Blott showed his defensive qualities, heading Jon Barthurst’s effort off the line.
Boro were stung for their slack finish to the first period just seconds before they dug into their half-time oranges.
The diminutive Corlett somehow managed to outjump the Boro defence and he angled his header into the bottom corner of White’s net.
Boss Rudy Funk strode meaningfully from the dug-out to give his troops a half-time roasting which seemed to extract a little more positivity when the second 45 minutes began.
Blott had a low shot saved by the legs of Prescot keeper Adam Reid and then Bolder lobbed over when well placed.
Boro were almost caught on the quest for the leveller when Jack Phillips found some space and curled just wide of the target.
The hosts continued their charge though and after a succession of corners Ben Middleton volleyed just wide of the target.
Time looked to be running out, but Boro’s constant raiding was finally rewarded when a Jordan Thewlis run was crudely ended in the box.
Having shuffled their penalty-taking pack in recent games, it was Ryan Williams who stepped up, but Reid read it was and saved comfortably.
Prescot’s cause was dealt a blow when defender Jacmes McCulloch was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Buoyed by the extra player, Boro finally levelled the game when Bradshaw darted onto a flick from sub Danny Chambers and finished confidently.
With Prescot creaking at the back, Bradshaw made another clever run into the area and he went down under the weight of a challenge.
Referee Andrew Dunne pointed at the spot and Thewlis converted off the post.
Boro coasted through the final seconds to wrap up another victory, propelling them up to the dizzy heights of third in the Evo-Stik North table.