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Lincoln City 1-1 Pilgrims

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Another tight and competitive derby tussle yielded a point apiece for county rivals Lincoln City and Boston United. Matches between the sides have never really hit any great heights since the Pilgrims’ elevation to the Football League. But as occasions they still hold special attraction for the supporters - notably with nearly 1,300 United followers helping to swell this particular Sincil Bank attendance beyond the 7,000 mark. The fare possibly didn’t quite match the occasion on a wind-swept day but arguably a draw was a fair result. The Pilgrims made a flying start by taking the lead inside six minutes thanks to a raking and powerfully struck free-kick by Neil Redfearn awarded when Mark Greaves was shoved by Ben Sedgemore. REDFEARN smashed home an unstoppable 35-yard swerving shot which gave keeper Alan Marriott no chance as it sailed into the home net. Seconds later, Marriott made a comfortable from a tame header by Adam Boyd from a Chris Hogg centre. The early setback seemed to spur Lincoln into life and the Imps were awarded an indirect free-kick in the box, after Ben Chapman had been penalised for a high foot. However, Gary Fletcher’s wild effort was easily cleared by Graham Potter. Lincoln briefly threatened again when Richardson ran onto a long through ball, but after getting the better of Chapman, he slid the ball wide from an acute angle. Boston replied with Graeme Jones sailing a first-time lob towards goal, although Marriott was equal to the effort, instigated by Potter’s initial long pass. And then on 36 minutes, the Pilgrims had loud claims for a penalty when Redfearn appeared to be upended by Mark Bailey in pursuit of possession close to the byline.

But referee Carl Boyeson ignored the United appeals. Back at the other end, a ball into the Boston box caused mayhem and Bastock eventually managed to turn it behind after Fletcher had got a touch on the ball, six yards out. But rising home pressure told in the 40th minute when RICHARDSON powered home a header from Peter Gain’s corner. Boston almost went back in front before the interval, but Tom Bennett volleyed wide following Redfearn’s partially cleared corner. The start of the second period was scrappy, but Lincoln went close in the 63rd minute when Richardson scooped over from close-range following Fletcher’s run and cross. Boston continued to look threatening on the break, and Redfearn’s driven ball across the box just evaded fellow team-mates as United sought to regain the lead. The introduction of Simon Yeo briefly injected life into Lincoln’s attack, and he fired wide within a minute of coming on. The same player then had two efforts blocked from 18 yards before Bastock gathered his third, deflected, effort low down on the line. Boston had a phase of play as the second half progressed when they seemed to grow in stature and power plus a string of corners and frequently had Lincoln back-pedalling but without any clear opportunities coming their way. Back at the other end, there was a hairy moment for Boston in the 68th minute when Bastock completely lost a curling centre from Gain and Chapman had to hoof the ball away from under his own bar. Both sides continued to search for a late winner, and although Lincoln had a fair spell in the ascendancy, they failed to turn their play into goalscoring opportunities.

United team (3-5-2): Bastock; Beevers, Chapman, Ellender; Hogg (L Thompson 57), Bennett, Redfearn, Greaves, Potter; Jones, Boyd. Subs (not used): Balmer, Duffield, Angel, Croudson (gk).

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2004.