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Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Pilgrims

Coca Cola League

Manager Steve Evans had a dilemma coming into this match. Should he stick with makeshift striker Greg Strong, who had performed so well in the midweek match against Southend, or should he bring Jason Lee back into the starting line-up after recovering from injury. He chose the former, so Greg Strong began the match alongside Andy Kirk and Daryl Clare as Evans stuck with his new preferred 3-4-3 formation. Nathan Abbey began the match showing the same worrying tendencies that had become apparent in the previous match - flapping aimlessly at any high ball that entered the area. After a lacklustre opening fifteen minutes, the game settled down to a pattern where Shrewsbury did most of the attacking. Abbey had to make a good save to push a shot from Ryan Lowe round the post. A minute later Lowe saw a long range dipping effort go just over the bar. Austin McCann was then lucky to only receive a yellow card as he tripped Neil Ashton as he broke clear. Jake Sedgemoor then tried his luck, but his shot also narrowly missed the target. Boston's only chance of the half saw Daryl Clare volley a deep cross from Danny Thomas straight at the keeper. Five minutes from time defender Darren Moss blasted well over the bar after the ball came out to him following a dangerous cross across the face of the goal from the left wing.

Boston began to create a few openings in the second half. A weak shot from outside the area by Strong gave keeper Scott Howie no problems. Howie also did well to intercept a dangerous header back across the goal by Paul Ellender following a Boston corner kick. With half an hour left Jason Lee joined the attack at the expense of Strong. There were soon chances at both ends. Lowe blasted over from inside the box. Then Clare broke down the right wing and found Lee with a cross to the back post and Shrewsbury were lucky to clear the ball after Lee's header was palmed away by Howie. Both sides had chances to snatch victory in the closing minutes. Howie had to make a fine save when Kirk turned and shot, but he managed to deflect the ball behind for a corner. Then in stoppage time Shrewsbury won a free kick right on the edge of the area after substitute Courtney Pitt - on for Clare - tripped Lowe as he ran into the area. The resulting free kick curled inches wide of the right post. After the match Steve Evans commented: "We've had a penalty not given, that would have been three points for us. It was a poor decision by the referee. Perhaps if it had been at the other end maybe he would have given it."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Paul Ellender, Mark Greaves, Kevin James, Greg Strong (Jason Lee 60), Daryl Clare (Courtney Pitt 70), Chris Holland, Andy Kirk (Lee Thompson 90), Danny Thomas. Subs not used: Steve Melton, David Noble.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2005.