Bury 0-0 Pilgrims
by Barbara Singleton
Another excellent away point was added to Boston United's on-going crusade to escape the clutches of the Third Division's two relegation places. And although the Pilgrims slipped two places in the table due to home victories for fellow strugglers Exeter and Bristol Rovers, nothing should detract this thoroughly-merited share of the spoils against promotion-chasing Bury. It was an encounter in which Neil Thompson's men matched their high-riding hosts all the way. And with a little more positive fortune in front of target, United might even have snatched maximum spoils. The United boss said: "It was a superb performance and a cracking away point. We worked really hard throughout the whole game and all of the players can take a lot of credit from their performances." United made three changes to the line-up which had battled so gamely despite suffering a 1-0 loss at home to Hartlepool with Stuart Douglas fit again to help lead the attack while Stuart Balmer and Mark Greaves replaced injury and illness victims Peter Costello and Mark Angel respectively. In the opening moments, it was Greaves, playing in a somewhat unfamiliar midfield role, who set Richard Logan clear. But he dallied too long when trying to get in a shot and eventually lost the attacking momentum as he ran across field. From the subsequent breakaway, Jon Newby went sprinting clear but a great tackle from Balmer halted the Bury man's progress. Simon Weatherstone's swirling long-range shot from 20 yards dropped just wide of Garner's goal on nine minutes as Boston looked for a goal that their early possession deserved.
Weatherstone then saw a weak shot easily gathered by Garner from Chapman's cross after the United left-back had played a one-two with Logan. The best chance of the half arrived moments later as Thompson's low shot was well saved low down by Garner after Logan and Douglas had both dummied Weatherstone's cross. Tom Bennett's snapshot sailed well wide before Weatherstone fired inches wide of Garner's goal after the excellent Greaves had once again played the ball into his path. McCarthy then had an angled shot deflected wide from Weatherstone's corner. In the second half, Logan saw a 58th minute shot deflected away from goal after Douglas had won the ball, getting in between Steve Redmond and keeper Garner to set up the on-loan Ipswich man. Douglas then had a 61st minute header brilliantly parried by Garner from another Weatherstone cross. Bury's first shot on goal arrived on 69 minutes when Bastock comfortably gathered Newby's low effort. A minute later, Bastock did brilliantly to tip George Clegg's free-kick after Terry Dunfield had been felled 20 yards from goal. The Pilgrims seemed to have a valid penalty appeal turned down on 73 minutes Logan when he appeared to be tugged back by Danny Swailes. The latter was then involved at the other end when he saw his header from Dunfield's free-kick tipped over by Bastock. Greaves' long-range effort posed no real threat to Garner's goal on 84 minutes and then David Town - again looking lively during a brief cameo role from the bench - fired a low shot just wide of the target after wrong-footing Swailes to create the opening as both sides eventually had to settle for a point apiece.
United team:: 1. Bastock, 2. Chapman, 3. Hocking, 4. McCarthy, 5. Bennett, 6. Greaves, 7. Balmer, 8. L Thompson, 9. S Weatherstone, 10. Logan (Town 87), 11. Douglas (Battersby 90). Subs (not used): Higgins, Gould, Conroy (gk).