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Shrewsbury Town 1-1 Pilgrims

Coca Cola League

A goal by Shrewsbury in the second minute was cancelled out by a Boston goal two minutes from time, with little from either side to entertain the crowd between. Julian Joachim returned to the Boston side after missing the midweek game with a bruised hamstring. He played up front alongside Francis Green. Stewart Talbot was out - suspended after his sending off, so Mark Greaves took his midfield role. Shrewsbury took the lead in the second minute. Chris Holland gave away a free kick on the right wing. Kevin Sharp floated the ball into the box and Kelvin Langmead saw his header hit the bar, but the ball came out to Richard HOPE who hooked the ball over Michel Kuipers into the net. Boston responded by winning a lot of possession without making many clear cut chances. Joachim laid a great ball back to Green, but he sliced his effort so wide that it ended up as a throw in. The Pilgrims were soon reduced to long range efforts. First McCann fired the ball wide of the target. Then a curler by Simon Rusk almost deceived Joe Hart in the Shrewsbury goal, but he dived just in time to make the save. Boston should have equalised on 21 minutes when Green was gifted a great opportunity by a defensive error, but he shot across the face of the goal and wide. Just before half time Stallard got control of the ball after it had been bouncing around the area without being properly cleared following a free kick. He turned nicely and shot, but it was too tame to give Kuipers any problems. Green was unlucky five minutes into the second half when he outpaced his marker and fired in a powerful shot, only to see it go inches wide of the left post.

On 64 minutes Boston were reduced to ten men for the second time in as many games. Simon Rusk had already been booked in the first half for a bad foul on Neil Sorvel. Rusk now won a free kick after being fouled by Sharp, but in an act of amazing stupidity he decided to make a comment to the referee and was promptly booked for the second time and dismissed from the field of play. With their extra man Shrewsbury now began to dominate. Steve Evans soon brought on his remaining two substitutes after McCann had been replaced earlier by Noel Whelan. Bradley Maylett and David Galbraith came on for Mark Greaves and Danny Thomas respectively. As the game entered its final stages Sorvel drove a shot just wide. Then a volley by Dave Edwards was well saved by Kuipers. With two minutes remaining Maylett received the ball on the right wing and scampered past his marker before picking out Noel WHELAN with a superb cross who placed his shot beyond the reach of Hart to give Boston an unexpected equaliser that stunned the home crowd. Shrewsbury piled on the pressure in an attempt to regain the lead. Kuipers made an absolutely amazing save to keep out a shot from Colin McMenamin that looked destined for the bottom corner. But the Boston defence managed to hold out all the way to the end to earn a welcome away point. After the match Steve Evans said: "If Shrewsbury had won here it would have been the biggest robbery since the Train Robbery."

United team: Michel Kuipers, Lee Canoville, Austin McCann (Noel Whelan 55), Paul Ellender, Mark Greaves (Brad Maylett 60), Alan White, Chris Holland, Simon Rusk, Danny Thomas (David Galbraith 62), Francis Green, Julian Joachim. Subs not used: Jason Lee, Lawrie Dudfield.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox 2005.