Pilgrims 1-0 Scunthorpe United
by Barbara Singleton
Last-gasp hero Richard Logan gave Boston United a timely boost in their quest to climb clear of the Third Division relegation trapdoor. And besides helping to secure three important points, his stoppage time bullet header helped to somewhat redress the balance after the Pilgrims had suffered equally galling late, late heartbreak at Bournemouth the previous weekend. The win also helped to lift Neil Thompson's team up to fifth from bottom in the table - although the ever tightening nature of the basement zone suggests the hoped-for climb towards safety could still be a tortuous route. Thompson acknowledged this fact by saying: "We have 16 matches left and each was will be massively important in their own right. What we have to do it treat them all with a level head - not getting too carried away with wins and not getting too disappointed if we suffer a defeat." Overall, it was a match in which Boston generally held the upper hand, albeit without conjuring up the required clinical finish until right at the death. The Pilgrims signalled their intent from the opening moments and Mark Angel forced a corner after just 14 seconds. He played a short flag-kick to home debutant Peter Duffield, but his shot was blocked by Mark Jackson. Mark Greaves then fizzed a shot across goal after Logan skilfully played him in. Angel's subsequent return ball was hacked over the bar by Cliff Byrne. Simon Weatherstone's attempted lob moments later was safely held by Tommy Evans after the Boston man had outpaced Andy Dawson. Weatherstone then saw a 20-yard thunderbolt rattle the underside of the bar after Logan had crossed from the right. And the same United midfielder had a further two chances in the next five minutes, firstly slicing well wide from Redfearn's knockdown and then seeing his goal-bound effort deflected over the bar by Jackson.
Next, Neil Redfearn's fierce snapshot was held by Evans after Greaves' header had set Angel clear to cross. Pilgrims' keeper Paul Bastock was only called upon twice in the first half to deal with tame efforts from Matt Sparrow and Martin Carruthers. Back at the other end, Logan's header came within a whisker of putting Boston ahead on 39 minutes but it flashed just wide after Weatherstone had crossed. And in stoppage time, Duffield's dipping 20-yarder landed just over Evans' crossbar. He had initially seized possession after Byrne had failed to clear Hocking's ball forward. At the start of the second half, Bastock made a good save low down to deny Carruthers' header. Boston were seemingly denied a penalty on 55 minutes when Angel appeared to be felled by Nathan Stanton. But referee Andy D'Urso thought Angel had dived and booked the United winger for unsporting behaviour. Within two minutes, Scunthorpe were reduced to 10 men as Sunderland loanee Byrne was red-carded for a wild lunge on Greaves. Boston continued to hold the territorial advantage but struggled to create many real openings. Redfearn's 20-yard free-kick was collected by Evans and then Angel fired over from 12 yards. In reply for the Iron, Dawson's 20-yarder cleared Bastock's bar. As the game entered its final few minutes, Logan's header from 18 yards was well held by Evans after Duffield had crossed from the right, before Stuart Douglas drilled wide. But just as time seemed to be up, LOGAN connected with Tom Bennett's pinpoint cross to head home, giving Evans no chance. And the strike duly sent a noisy York Street crowd into wild celebrations.
United team: (4-4-2) 1. Bastock, 2. McCarthy, 3. Hocking, 4. Balmer (Douglas 71), 5. Chapman (Gould 76), 6. S Weatherstone, 7. Greaves (Bennett 80), 8. Redfearn, 9. Angel, 10. Logan, 11. Duffield. Subs (not used): Town, Conroy (gk).