York City 1-1 Pilgrims
by Barbara Singleton
Boston United doubled their away points tally with an impressive fightback performance at York. The Pilgrims recovered well from falling behind to a goal just before the interval by Jon Parkin. And Simon Weatherstone levelled matters 13 minutes after the break to stem the Pilgrims previous poor results sequence on their travels. And on the overall balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair reflection of the afternoons proceedings. It might have been a whole lot different, though, if York had cashed in on an opportunist moment for the bustling Parkin after only 70 seconds when his curling 18-yard shot came back off the underside of Paul Bastocks bar and bounced to safety. Boston rode that moment of luck and hit back when Bayo Akinfenwa did brilliantly to control the ball inside his own half. He then held off four York defenders before seeing keeper Mark Ovendale save well from his attempted chip-shot. Akinfenwa looked lively during the first half and he saw a 26th minute header fly inches too high after Graeme Jones had paved the way for Mark Angel to cross from the left. York replied and posed a threat when Mitch Ward curled a 25-yard free-kick wide after Matt Hocking had fouled Lee Nogan. Back at the other end, Richard Hopes last-ditch tackle denied Akinfenwa after Jones had slipped him through with a fine pass as Boston sought a breakthrough. The Pilgrims, however, suffered a blow in the 35th minute when Angel was replaced by Weatherstone after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury. However, the blow did not seem to have a major effect on the side as Lee Thompson went close on 41 minutes, diving full length to head just wide after connecting with Jones centre from the left. But the miss proved costly as York took the lead in the 45th minute when PARKIN bundled the ball home after Bastock appeared to lose his grip on Hopes left-wing cross.
York then started the brighter of the two sides in the second half and almost doubled their lead in the 51st minute when Balmer and Hocking made a complete pigs ear of trying to defend a cross from Parkin. But thankfully Bastock was on hand to pick up the pieces to the misunderstanding. Bastock then had to react well by saving with an outstretched foot to again keep out Parkin as York threatened again. But in the 58th minute Boston drew level when Simon WEATHERSTONE rose well to power in a close range header following a cross from the left by Lee Beevers. However, City almost retook the lead in the 62nd minute when substitute Mark Greaves - on moments earlier for an out-of-sorts Matt Hocking - hacked a Richard Cooper header off his own line. Boston hit back and on 65 minutes Lee Thompson powered forward and flashed a fierce drive inches wide of Ovendales goal. Moments later Thompson again got into space but dallied too long when a chance beckoned for him to pass inside to Akinfenwa and the opportunity was lost. United substitute Mark Greaves then produced a miraculous acrobatic goal-line clearance to deny Richard Coopers header after Bastock had dropped Dave Merris centre. Boston continued to hold the upper hand for lengthy spells without being able to prise open the City defence again. Yorks efforts at replying were largely reliant on counter attacks. The next really clear-cut chance arose on 82 minutes when Bennett crashed a free-kick into the home defensive wall and Thompson drilled the rebound wide. Straight away in reply, Bastock comfortably gathered ex-Pilgrim Liam Georges low effort following Parkins knock-on. And then York threatened briefly again towards the end with Dean Crowe going on a mazy run in the second minute of stoppage time. But he ran out of steam and blazed wildly over from distance, before Parkin fired a last-gasp shot too high as both sides settled for a point apiece.
United team (4-4-2): Bastock; Hogg, Balmer, Hocking (Greaves 57), Beevers; L Thompson, Bennett, Ellender, Angel (Weatherstone 35); Jones, Akinfenwa. Subs (not used): Croudson (gk), Clarke.