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Pilgrims 0-0 Cheltenham Town

Coca Cola League

The Boston United team must be wondering what they have to do to score a goal. They did everything right in this match but the ball just wouldn't go into the back of the net. It wasn't just a case of failing to put away the chances when they came, it was more like pure bad luck. The only enforced change to the starting line-up was the absense of Simon Rusk following his sending off against Shrewsbury and subsequent suspension. Manager Steve Evans stuck with his latest strike parnership of Julian Joachim and Francis Green and brought back Stewart Talbot and Bradley Maylett in place of Austin McCann and Rusk. Danny Thomas looked lively and dangerous and the winger had the first Boston shot, but it was just wide of the target. Cheltenham goalkeeper Shane Higgs was playing a blinder. He soon made a series of amazing saves. The first kept out a header by Alan White and the next denied a precise effort by Joachim. Cheltenham only looked like scoring once in the first half and that was five minutes before the interval. Kayode Odejayi ran between Lee Canoville and Paul Ellender to go one on one with Michel Kuipers, but was unable to beat the Boston keeper - playing the last match of his loan spell - with his well struck drive. Boston finished the half with a flurry of chances.

A goal-line clearance by Shane Duff denied Joachim after Higgs had been beaten. Then White hooked a shot just over the bar. Higgs kept the good saves coming in the second half - he soon had to stretch to keep out a shot from Francis Green. Ten minutes into the second half Lee Canoville limped off with a calf injury to be replaced by Austin McCann. A shot by Green then beat Higgs but bounced clear off the far post. A poor back pass by Bradley Maylett almost let in Cheltenham, but Kuipers ran out of his area and fouled Steve Guinan and picked up a yellow card in the process. A shot by Chris Holland managed to bounce out after hitting the inside of the back post. Lawrie Dudfield came on for Maylett and he soon saw a long range effort cannon off the post and a follow-up by Greaves hit the crossbar. Right at the end Julian Joachim clattered to the ground as he ran into the box, but the referee wasn't interested in giving Boston a last minute penalty. After the match Steve Evans said: "It could have been five. There's a couple of penalties that the referee's not given. We are sick of the sight of him. They are rubbish."

United team: Michel Kuipers, Lee Canoville (Austin McCann 56), Paul Ellender, Alan White, Mark Greaves, Stewart Talbot, Chris Holland, Danny Thomas Bradley Maylett (Lawrie Dudfield 63), Francis Green, Julian Joachim. Subs not used: Ben Futcher, Noel Whelan, Jason Lee.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2005.