Harrogate Railway suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Scarborough Athletic on Monday night in a one-sided contest at Station View.
Four goals in 13 first half minutes, including a hat-trick for Thomas Corner, put the result beyond doubt with just 21 minutes on the clock.
Second half substitutes Alex Peterson and Ryan Blott added to the scoring after the break to round off a miserable night for Railway.
Scarborough have been in sterling form this season, and a fourth straight victory moves Monday night’s visitors to the top of the Evo-Stik NPL North.
Lee Ashforth made two changes from Saturday’s eventful trip to Brighouse with Jordan Outerbridge replacing the injured Lawrance Hunter at left-back and Charlie Clamp replacing Mike Morris.
The first opportunity very nearly fell to Railway, who have made a habit of scoring early this season, however, Chandler Hallwood reacted quickly in the Scarborough goal to deny Vincent Dhesi a shooting opportunity.
The visitors then showed their intentions and overall quality, marching up the other end and forcing Tom Goodwin to make a good save to his left.
Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot’s men got their first goal of the night after just eight minutes when a hanging cross from left of the penalty area was nodded in at the back post by Corner.
It took just four minutes for ‘Boro to add a second, when Gary Bradshaw capitalised on a loose ball in the Railway defence and poked past the onrushing Goodwin.
Another four minutes passed and the Seasiders found the back of the net again as Corner excellently flicked Nathan Peat’s long free kick over Goodwin and over the line.
The hosts looked shell-shocked at this point, and conceded a fourth goal that coincided with Corner completing his hat-trick, as the prolific striker capitalised on Goodwin’s misjudgment of a low cross and tapped into an empty net.
A terrible start then got worse for Railway as Roy Fogarty was forced to depart the action due to a nasty looking gash to the head.
Brimming with confidence, Scarborough continued to dominate the contest and could have extended their lead had Railway’s defenders not piled bodies in the way to block a goal-bound shot from range.
Another defensive error at the back for Railway allowed Joseph Fox to try his luck, although his attempt was straight at the busy ‘keeper.
Ashforth’s side did manage to test Hallwood before the interval, with the hard-working Ryan Sharrocks cutting in on his right and saeing his strike well saved at the near post.
A rather subdued start to the second half featured Stephen Mallory’s free kick kept out by Goodwin as Railway attempted to tighten up.
The hosts carried on plugging away, despite the score-line and dominance of their opposition, with Dhesi side-footing over from outside the area.
Scarborough got a fifth after 63 minutes when Fox’s free-kick dropped kindly to substitute Peterson eight yards out for the striker to coolly slot home.
Another substitute striker, Blott, then rounded off the scoring for Scarborough, although there was a hint of controversy about the goal.
A direct through ball from the ‘Boro defence looked to have been brought down by the hand of Blott, although there was nothing controversial about the striker’s explosive turn of pace and exquisite dink over Goodwin.
With ironic chants of ‘we want seven’ from the travelling Scarborough supporters, the visitors didn’t let their tempo drop and, be it not for Goodwin catching Fox’s powerful effort at the second attempt, would have granted their fans’ wishes.
Railway will be aiming to forget the result as quickly as possible and, with Spennymoor travelling to Station View in the FA Cup on Saturday, need to respond in the right manner.
Harrogate Railway: Goodwin, Mycoe (Brown 54), Outerbridge, Low, Clamp, Thirkell, Sharrocks, Stockdill, Fogarty (Bromley 25), Dhesi, Lyn (Kidd 70)
Subs not used: Ibrihimi, Morris
Booked: Stockdill 72
Scarborough Athletic: Hallwood, Plummer (Metcalfe 45), Robson, Peat, Qualter, Mallory, Fox, Davidson, Corner (Peterson 56), Bradshaw (Blott 56), Rowe
Subs not used: Lamplaugh, Skelton
Goals: Corner 9, 16, 21, Bradshaw 12, Peterson 63, Blott 71
Booked: Blott 66
Referee: M. Dwyer