Newport County 2-2 Pilgrims
Dr Martens League
by Echo Reporter
Another tough away clash negotiated, and one more point added to their Dr Martens League championship quest kitty. But manager Steve Evans wasn't totally satisfied with Boston United's reward from their long haul to Wales - even though opponents Newport had not lost on home soil for 19 months. Goals from Gary Childs and Lee Power had twice given the Pilgrims the lead only to be pegged back each time by David Hunt and Karl Bayliss, the latter strike coming in the final minute. Evans said: "Arguably we should have been dead and buried at half-time because they gave us something of a run-around. But we got an interval lead and things improved a lot in the second half. We missed three one-on-one chances to have put the result beyond doubt, and then they went and scored right at the death to deny us the opportunity of opening up an even bigger gap at the top of the table. I was probably a bit harsh on the players, but I gave them a rollicking for the fact that we need to make sure we win these sort of games. Admittedly it was a difficult place to go to try to get a victory, but these are the sort of standards we have set for ourselves. We know that nothing other than promotion will be acceptable for our club this season. We have been out of the Conference for too long and we want success for our supporters." While principal rivals Bath were going down 3-2 at Tamworth, United prised out what might eventually prove a useful point at Newport.
On the balance of play in the first 45 minutes, the Pilgrims will probably count themselves lucky not to have been adrift by a substantial margin as home front men Brown and Clark looked particularly nippy and frequently had the Boston rearguard at full stretch, creating - and missing - a plentiful supply of opportunities. United, on the other hand had virtually a 100 per cent success rate with their two chances. First, CHILDS slotted home in the 15th minute after a Paul Wilson corner had evaded a crowd of players. And then in the 43rd minute POWER ran on to Mickey Nuttell's headed flick-on from a Paul Bastock clearance. He cleverly chipped advancing keeper Pat Mountain and the ball bobbled in off a post. But Newport were generally the dominant force and Brown, Clark, Bayliss and Smart went close - the latter rattling a free-kick against the bar. County grabbed an equaliser in the 22nd minute when HUNT blasted a 25-yard pile-driver beyond the reach of Bastock. But that apart, the Boston goal somehow remained intact. After the break, United made an improved fist of things, but Nuttell (twice) and Peter Costello should have done better when presented with inviting targets. Newport's responses were more comfortably contained by Boston, but the United castle finally cracked on 89 minutes when BAYLISS fired in from 20 yards after a right-side free-kick by Flynn had only been partially cleared.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Len Curtis, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Lee Power, 11. David Norris, 12. John Walker, 14. Paul Watts, 15. Peter Costello.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.