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Pilgrims 3-2 Yeovil Town

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

This was all-action stuff of the highest order. The added bonus was that Boston United prised out a last-gasp winning goal after a second half in which they had hung on at times to contain a free-flowing Yeovil outfit. Not only did the result add further fuel to the Pilgrims’ ambitions of climbing into the top 10, but it also served to deflate Yeovil’s play-off aspirations. And it dampened visitors’ spirits after former United favourite Simon WEATHERSTONE had marked his return to York Street with a goal early in proceedings. His sweetly-struck left-foot 20-yarder arrowed past Paul Bastock in the fourth minute as Yeovil signalled their intentions of making a positive attempt to halt a poor recent run of away results. Boston hit back and Graeme Jones unluckily saw Lee Johnson scramble back to clear a forceful shot from close to his own goalline. But in the 14th minute Boston got back on level terms. A long throw-in by Lee Beevers was glanced into the path of Kevan HURST by Jones and the youngster - in his first full United appearance - wriggled into the penalty area before firing past keeper Steve Collis. Yeovil countered with some purposeful attacks, the best of which saw Adam Stansfield force Paul Bastock into a full-stretch save with a rising drive. In reply, Boston went close again on 34 minutes when Hurst whipped over a cross from the right and Tom Bennett’s shot on the turn was tipped over by Collis. To a large extent, Boston had enjoyed the lion’s share of pressure and creativity without being able to force home their advantage. But they went ahead on the stroke of half-time - albeit in somewhat bizarre fashion.

David NOBLE took a free-kick from close to the left touchline and then looked on gleefully as his set piece delivery curled past defenders and attackers like before bouncing beyond Collis and into the net. Yeovil, though, were a completely different proposition in the opening phase of the second half, sweeping forward with great regularity while defenders Terry Skiverton and Hugo Rodrigues kept the United strike force in check. It was no surprise when a 51st minute equaliser arrived, STANSFIELD whacking an unstoppable shot past Bastock from Gavin Williams’ raking pass. Three minutes later Paul Ellender was judged to have fouled Williams at the cost of a penalty. Williams stepped up and fired past Bastock only for referee Eddie Ilderton to indicate he hadn’t signalled for the kick to be taken. Williams duly ran up again, but changed the direction of his shot and Bastock sprawled to pull off a fine save. In the 63rd minute Yeovil threatened again but Johnson fired just wide. Boston finally got their second wind and managed to string a few moves together, although the required cutting edged remained lacking. Yeovil kept piling forward in search of a winner and in the 79th minute Stansfield forced Bastock into another excellent save. Then, with the match entering its dying throes, Skiverton headed just wide from a Johnson corner. Then at the other end Noble fired too high with a scorching shot on the run. Then, just when it seemed that both sides had run out of stamina, United super-sub Lee THOMPSON sprinted onto a Jones pass from the half-way line. He raced on and buried a low drive beyond the advancing Collis to trigger wild scenes of jubilation among Pilgrims followers.

United team (4-4-2): Bastock; Beevers, Balmer, Ellender, Chapman (Hocking 74); Holland (Angel 33), Bennett, Noble, Melton; Hurst (Thompson 77), Jones. Subs (not used): Croudson, Cropper.

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2004.