Burton Albion 1-1 Pilgrims
Dr Martens League
Match Report by Barbara Singleton
Boston United returned to the top of the Dr Martens Premier League with a hard-earned point at fellow high-flyers Burton Albion. Considering the Pilgrims led through a Mickey Nuttell goal against his former club, United might be a little disappointed they didn't snatch all three points. But in a frantic finale of high drama Burton levelled the scores while United's Colin Hoyle and the home side's Anton Thomas were sent off after squaring up to each other. It was an edge-of-seat finish to an entertaining match which certainly lived up to it's top-of-the-table billing. The Pilgrims showed just one change to the line-up that beat Atherstone 3-0 at York Street on Saturday with Gary Childs making way for Gary Porter. On the bench there was a shock for Boston fans with last season's captain Martin Hardy returning to the club after a brief but unhappy spell with Worksop Town. Early on, United looked the more lively and Nuttell tried his luck with a 20-yard volley but goalie Nick Goodwin didn't have too many problems with the strike. However, Burton - roared on by a raucous crowd of almost 2,000 - began enjoying more and more possession.
They passed the ball around sweetly but all too often couldn't find the end product in front of goal. However, Paul Wilson had to hack home captain Darren Stride's header off the line, while Thomas put a header wide of the post when a goal looked at certainty. Early in the second half the Pilgrims were forced into a change when Mark Rawle limped off injured to be replaced by Paul Watts. And on 55 minutes, Boston took the lead as NUTTELL converted Dave Norris' low cross into the box. Watts twice went close to adding to that goal while Norris turned a shot wide, but as the half went on Burton upped the tempo and levelled the game on 81 minutes. Player-manager Nigel Clough swung in a free-kick and Danny GEORGE scrambled the ball in at the post. But the drama wasn't over as Thomas and Hoyle were harshly dismissed for a nothing incident when they clashed after Paul Bastock had saved at the feet of the Burton forward. To add to the tension, the referee found seven minutes of injury time but Boston got the draw to ensure a return to the top of the table on goal difference.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Porter, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Paul Watts, 14. Martin Hardy, 15. Gary Childs.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo. Reproduced here with the author's permission.