Scarborough Athletic’s final week of the season brings a chance to make their first season back in the town after ten years in exile one to remember.
After returning to play in Scarborough in July 2017, the club has gone from strength to strength this season, with average attendances at the Flamingo Land Stadium more than tripling when compared to last season playing 18 miles down the coast in Bridlington. The Seadogs final game of the season is at home on Saturday against Ossett Albion, with Boro having a chance to claim second place and gain automatic promotion to the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Scarborough Athletic rose from the ashes of the former Football League side Scarborough FC when it was liquidated in June 2007 with debts of £2.5m. The new Athletic side was forced to start from scratch and has steadily worked its way through the leagues over the last 11 years, with promotion this season putting the new club back at the same level that Scarborough FC would have played at before it was disbanded eleven years ago.
Just 18 months ago, crowds had stagnated at around 350 fans over in Bridlington and the club was struggling to stay afloat financially, with supporters rallying round to raise £20k in just a matter of weeks. In February 2017, the club was dealt a major blow, when Chairman Dave Holland suddenly passed away just 5 months short of seeing the new 2,070 capacity stadium that he had worked so hard to deliver to enable Scarborough Athletic to return home.
The new ground was opened in front of a capacity crowd against a Sheffield United XI, with attendances at the new Flamingo Land Stadium surpassing all expectations and well over 1000 fans regularly coming through the turnstiles. The return of senior football to the town has also enabled a new generation of younger fans to support the team again, having missed out on watching live football in Scarborough for 10 years.
The game against Ossett Albion is also a milestone for the visiting side, as it is the final time that the Unicorns will play before they merge with Ossett Town in the summer to form an Ossett United side for next season.