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Pilgrims 2-2 Leyton Orient

Coca Cola League

Manager Steve Evans stuck with the same line-up that had won at Cambridge on Saturday for this Bank Holiday match against Leyton Orient. It turned out to be the archetypal game of two halves, with the East London side dominating the first half and the Lincolnshire side the second. Efe Echanomi was the first player to get a shot on target, but Nathan Abbey was able to parry his effort from the edge of the area. Abbey made a more dramatic save when David Hunt hammered a 35-yard free kick goalwards and the keeper had to deflect it over the bar. Orient took the lead on 32 minutes when MCMAHON stabbed home a loose ball after Andy Scott had headed a Justin Miller free kick into the area and Paul Ellender had made a mess of his attempt at heading the ball clear. Two minutes later Orient almost increased their lead when McMahon struck a fierce 25 yard volley, but Abbey was able to tip the ball over. Just before half-time Daryl Clare was stretchered off following a wild challenge by Donny Barnard that left the Boston striker with a large gash in his right knee that will see him sidelined for at least two weeks. Lee Thompson came on as his replacement. At the start of the second half Boston switched to an attacking 3-4-3 formation, bringing on forward Jason Lee for defender Dean West.

The change worked wonders as four minutes into the half Andy KIRK bundled home a cross by Mark Greaves. Boston piled on the pressure as they sought to maintain their excellent home record. Kirk fired just wide after Ellender flicked-on a free kick by Austin McCann. Then Orient keeper Lee Harrison blocked another shot by Kirk from the edge of the penalty area. When Danny Thomas sent a free kick on the left wing into the box, Harrison reacted well to keep it out. New loan signing Kevin James saw his cross from the right nodded on by Kirk to Lee, but the big striker's shot was deflected wide by Brian Saah. With just two minutes of normal time remaining Boston took the lead when Paul ELLENDER headed home a free kick by Danny Thomas. But Orient hit back in the fourth minute of stoppage time to gain a share of the points when MCMAHON got his second goal after slack marking gave him a free header as he got on the end of a cross by Matt Lockwood. After the match Steve Evans commented: "We've absolutely smashed them second half. They kept going right to the end and they've got themselves a point, unjustly so, but that happens."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Dean West (Jason Lee 46), Paul Ellender, Mark Greaves, Chris Holland, Kevin James, Daryl Clare (Lee Thompson 45), Andy Kirk, Danny Thomas. Subs not used: Courtney Pitt, David Staff, Simon Rusk.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2005.