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Pilgrims 1-2 Cambridge United

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

The anxiety rolls on as Boston United continue to find points hard to pocket in a new season of Third Division action. Defeat at the hands of Cambridge via a last-gasp goal from Us’ defender Stevland Angus meant that the Pilgrims remained in 22nd position in the table. Cambridge’s 89th minute winner denied Boston what would arguably have been a deserved draw and meant that they have now taken just one point from the last 12 available. It was a hugely disappointing conclusion to a match which had seen Boston rally well to net a 59th minute equaliser from Simon Weatherstone after falling behind on 42 minutes following a largely undistinguished first period. As things turned out, it was Boston who created the first moments of pressure with Paul Ellender collecting a pass from Graham Potter and firing in a drive which keeper Shaun Marshall tipped over. Then a low drive by the grafting figure of Neil Redfearn - who continues to lead by example - drifted wide of the target. Cambridge appeared composed in much of their build-up work but it wasn’t until the 27th minute that they suggested there was any cutting edge to their game. That came when Justin Walker somehow contrived to head wide from inside the six yard box after a superbly Stuart Bimson curling corner had totally deceived Paul Bastock. That came three minutes after Weatherstone had broken clear only to shoot wide with only Marhsall to beat. Cambridge responded well and Terry Fleming cracked a rising drive inches over the Boston bar after sparkling link-up play with Luke Guttridge. Then Dave Kitson turned well just inside the home area only to see a curling shot deflected wide.

But what seemed an inevitable breakthrough came three minutes before the break when GUTTRIDGE burst clear onto a Justin Walker pass and smacked a low shot past Bastock. Boston opened the second half with overdue renewed vigour and had the Cambridge rearguard repeatedly stretched. New loan signing Andy White saw a header held by Marshall and then Stuart Douglas wriggled clear only to see his eventual shot blocked by the visiting keeper. Then Douglas inadvertently turned goal preventer when he got in the way of an Ellender header from a Redfearn corner and the ball bobbled out for a goal-kick instead of hitting the net. The home leveller, though, arrived on 59 minutes from another Redfearn corner. The ball was only partially cleared and fell to WEATHERSTONE. And from the edge of the box he half-volleyed through a ruck of players. The balance of power looked like shifting fully to Boston, particularly as White and Redfearn almost netted again with good efforts. Cambridge responded briefly when Dave Kitson burst clear only to be denied by a brave diving save from Bastock. Back at the other end in the closing minutes Redfearn curled a drive inches too high. Cambridge, having weathered something of a bombardment answered with a late rally and almost netted when Terry Fleming saw a swerving effort somehow crash away off the inside of a post with the home defence scrambling the ball away for a corner. But from Guttridge’s resultant flag-kick, the possession was not seized fully by Boston and when John Turner returned the ball into the danger area, there was ANGUS to smack home Cambridge’s winner. Even then, Boston replied with two close calls for substitute Peter Duffield. But time evaporated as Boston sought a second equaliser.

United team (4-4-2): Bastock; Beevers (Logan 90), Ellender, Hocking, Chapman; Rusk, Weatherstone, Potter, Redfearn; Douglas (Duffield 75), White. Subs (not used): Greaves, Croudson, L Thompson..

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2003.