Football: Scarborough fight on

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Scarborough 3 Plymouth Argyle 0

SCARBOROUGH HAULED themselves off the bottom of the Nationwide League last night with a dramatic victory over a disappointing Plymouth, who saw their hopes of reaching the Third Division play-offs dashed.

Two late goals by Chris Tait supplemented Steve Brodie's prompt kick- start to claim the three points that sent Carlisle tumbling into the basement. A single point now separates the two clubs, and each has one match left to play. Scarborough entertain Peterborough while Carlisle play host to Plymouth on Saturday and they must hope they will be in as generous mood as they were last night.

The home side were given an almost immediate lift to their prospects of survival by Brodie, with his 12th goal of the season after three minutes. Set up by Tate's craftily lobbed pass, Darren Roberts, on the left, found the striker, who neatly headed past Argyle's reserve keeper, James Dungey.

The Pilgrims had a chance to equalise through Steve Guinan but his attempt was intercepted in the goalmouth by Sean Rennison.

Scarborough - playing more like a side seeking promotion than playing for their future among football's professional ranks - were dictating the run of play and Brodie almost scored a second, narrowly putting over the bar from a fine cross by Graeme Atkinson. At the other end Jon Beswetherick was unlucky not to equalise with a low drive from 15 yards which went just wide.

Scarborough had further chances from Nathan Jones and Roberts, who went close with a shot on the turn. Tate went close for the Seasiders but was narrowly beaten to the ball by Dungey.

The home side's hopes were raised again with a fine header into the centre by Tate but there was no one on the spot to finish off the move.

As half-time approached, Plymouth began to respond, Steve McCall driving a speculative 20-yard volley just over the bar. Scarborough countered by charging forward, their abandon nearly reaping dividends on on the half-time whistle but Simon Collins just managed to beat Michael McNaughton to put the ball behind the net in a desperate clearance.

Scarborough continued to hold a firm grip after the break with Tate and Roberts masterminding a succession of chances and Roberts went narrowly wide.

Simon Collins almost put Plymouth back in the game with a fine shot after being set up by Martin Barlow then Darren Bastow was unlucky with a blocked shot in a crowded goalmouth. Two minutes later he just missed the target with a 25-yard shot.

Scarborough, however, kept their composure and Tate put the issue beyond doubt with two spectacular goals - both set up by Atkinson - in the 74th and 76th minutes.

Scarborough (4-3-3): Parks; Russell, (Porter, 80), Atkinson, Worrall, Rennison; McNaughton, Hoyland, Jones; Tate, (Saville, 80), Brodie, Roberts. Substitute not used: Mountfield.

Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): Dungey; Wotton, Beswetherick, McCall, (McGovern, 70); Heathcote, Collins, Barlow, Phillips (Ashton, 62); Sale, Bastow, Guinan. Substitute not used: Crowe.

Referee: S W Mathieson (Stockport).