Football: New-look Scarborough search for consistency

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The Independent Online
WHEN SCARBOROUGH marked their return to Conference football after a 12-year absence with a 5-0 opening-day thrashing of Yeovil Town last month, it looked as though they were ready to mount a strong challenge for promotion back to the Football League.

Subsequent results have not been as spectacular, however, and after losing four of their next eight games the North Yorkshire side find themselves in 12th place in the Nationwide Conference after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Northwich Victoria.

To be fair, inconsistency is to be expected, for Scarborough's squad has been almost totally rebuilt since they were relegated from the Third Division in May. The team that took on Northwich contained only two survivors, the forwards Steve Brodie and Darren Roberts, from the side which faced Peterborough on the last day of last season.

Scarborough have kept faith with the manager who took them down, the highly experienced Colin Addison. The 58-year-old, formerly in charge of Newport County, Derby County and Atletico Madrid, arrived at the McCain Stadium in February and brought about a rapid improvement in results. Indeed, he would have been a hero for keeping up his side had it not been for the extraordinary events of the last day of last season, when Carlisle saved themselves and sent Boro down thanks to a 94th-minute winning goal by their goalkeeper.

Scarborough fans and staff could be forgiven for dwelling on that sporting disaster, but at Drill Field on Tuesday Addison insisted: "That's history. It was cruel but it's behind us and we have to look forward."

Addison is no stranger to the non-League world. He made his name as a manager by inspiring Hereford United to a famous FA Cup victory over Newcastle in 1972 and then taking them into and up from the Fourth Division, and in more recent times he had a spell in charge of Merthyr Tydfil.

Aided by selling two players, Chris Tate and Matt Russell, to Halifax in deals which will eventually bring in over pounds 200,000, Addison has been able to retain a full-time squad and has made a series of summer signings. The most experienced new recruit is his player-coach Lee Sinnott, the former Watford and Crsytal Palace defender, who arrived on a free transfer from Oldham Athletic.

The latest signing is the giant striker Andy Morris, a scorer for Chesterfield in their FA Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough in 1997, who arrived on loan from Rochdale this week prior to a possible permanent move. "He will give us a different option up front," Addison explained. "We still need new faces, though. We're not the finished article by a long way."