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Pilgrims 3-4 Hednesford Town

Nationwide Conference

by Barbara Singleton

Boston United are in danger of being labelled the kings of the late giveaway if this run of form continues much longer. For the second week in succession, the Pilgrims were defeated with virtually the last kick of the game as they went down 4-3 at home to 10-man Hednesford Town. But unlike the previous week at Stevenage when the tale was - to a degree - one of hard luck, this time there was no excuse, the Pilgrims looking a ragged and lacklustre outfit for long spells of their Conference clash. Coach Lee Power summed up the views from the United camp. He said: "When you score three times in a home match, you don't expect to lose. But we were awful. There was no passion and no commitment. We looked nervous and disjointed from the start and quite frankly we didn't deserve to get anything out of the match. Too many players had an off day." The indications of what was to unfold were certainly evident in the first 25 minutes when Hednesford held all the aces. Neil Davis worked a good opening with his astute chip-shot being hacked off the line by Joby Gowshall, while Paul Bastock also had to palm away a fierce drive by Stewart Airdrie and then make a sprawling save at the feet of Davis.

It took Boston 28 minutes to create a genuine chance. But when it arrived, they made it count. Paul Wilson slipped a pass to Mark RAWLE who fended off Russell Bradley's challenge before swivelling to score with a 15-yard left-footer. However, that advantage lasted just five minutes until Scott BONSALL netted with a low drive after showing good control from a raking crossfield pass by Airdrie. United hit back with Daniel French rifling a shot against a post before the same player provided a cross-shot from which Ken CHARLERY tapped in on 38 minutes to restore the Pilgrims' lead, but things soon took a downward turn. BONSALL skipped clear and netted a second equaliser almost on half-time. Then three minutes after the break Paul BAGSHAW put Hednesford in front with a far-post finish after Airdrie and Davis had created an opening. United responded five minutes later, again through RAWLE, after Paul Wilson and Paul Raynor had set up the chance. But that was effectively where United's creativity ended - despite Hednesford losing full-back Lee Colkin on 73 minutes, dismissed for a second yellow card. Hednesford simply redoubled their resolve and struck a stoppage-time winner when BONSALL completed his hat-trick when netting after a Bagshaw drive came back off the bar.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Wooding, 3. Lucas (Nuttell 79), 4. Hoyle, 5. Gowshall, 6. Wilson, 7. French, 8. Charlery, 9. Raynor, 10. Rawle (Fewings 72), 11. Dick. Subs (not used): Stanhope, Lodge, Martin (gk).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.