Pilgrims 4-2 Yeovil Town
LDV Vans Trophy
by Barbara Singleton
Late drama paved the way for Boston United to make progress into the second round of the LDV Vans Trophy. The Pilgrims endured a see-saw second half which initially produced a 2-0 lead, saw it wiped out as Yeovil fought back to equalise but then yielded two stoppage time goals to tilt the tie back in their favour. Arguably the decisive flashpoint came in the 90th minute when referee Fraser Stretton awarded United a penalty for an apparent trip by Adam Lockwood on Alex Higgins. Yeovil midfielder Lee Johnson took exception to the decision and uttered his objections with words to the dislike of the match official who brandished the red card in advance of Mark Angel dispatching the spot-kick. Then with the match into its dying seconds, Simon Weatherstone delivered a thumping angled volley to put the tie totally beyond doubt. Those goals rounded off a compelling second half which had been in direct contrast to something of a subdued first 45 minutes. In fact, the first chance of note took 15 minutes to arrive. But when it did, it produced a spectacular effort. Mark Clifford intervened to halt a spell of Yeovil pressure and powered a pass out to the right where Simon Weatherstone scampered clear and unleashed a rising, angled drive which beat keeper Jon Sheffield but bounced away off the visitors' bar. Yeovil hit back with period of pressure which culminated with a breakaway move when Darren Way set Andy Lindegaard free. But in a straight confrontation with United keeper Paul Bastock, the attacking midfielder lost out to a brave smothering save. In other Yeovil forays Lindegaard was again a threatening presence with two shots which skimmed wide of the target. Boston hit back and some useful attacking build-up work brought untaken chances for Mark Angel and Simon Weatherstone. Then, just after the half-hour mark, Lee Thompson and Weatherstone brought fine, sprawling saves from Sheffield as Boston sought to trigger a breakthrough. However, despite touches of enterprise at both ends, the interval arrived with the scoreline blank.
Early in the second half, Mark Greaves caused a ripple of amusement to spill round the ground as his rising shot from near the corner of the penalty area flashed over the Yeovil bar and scored a direct hit in the announcers' box behind the York Street goal! Moments later Matt Hocking joined Boston's attacking momentum but headed fractionally wide from a Weatherstone centre. However, in the 59th minute Boston broke the deadlock when Tony BATTERSBY marked his home debut with a neatly headed goal after the creativity had been generated down the right by Thompson and Mark Clifford. Moments later he was withdrawn in favour of Anthony Elding - presumably as manager Neil Thompson sought to protect the striker's fitness for tougher challenges ahead. But in his absence, the Pilgrims kept up their forward forays and Lee THOMPSON doubled the lead on 71 minutes with a swerving 18-yard drive after a snap-shot from Alex Higgins had been partially blocked. But within two minutes Yeovil had hit back with Terry SKIVERTON claiming the scorer's glory with a header back across goal and into the net from a Michael McIndoe corner, despite Adam Lockwood initially appearing to get the finishing touch. In the 80th minute the scores were level when substitute Carl ALFORD forced the ball home following a quickly taken free-kick on the edge of the Boston box by Lee Johnson. But then came late mayhem. Elding and Higgins both saw efforts flash wide at one end while, at the other Paul Bastock had to save well to prevent Alford and Williams from completely turning the tie on its head in favour of the Conference high-flyers. Just as the fourth official hoisted the "four minutes stoppage time" board, Higgins darted into the visitors' area and shot wide under a challenge from Lockwood. Dramatically the referee pointed to the spot and ANGEL sent Sheffield the wrong way before WEATHERSTONE hammered home the final nail with the game virtually at its conclusion.
United team: (4-4-2) 1. Bastock, 2. Clifford, 3. Chapman, 4. Bennett, 5. Hocking, 6. Greaves (Warburton 90), 7. Higgins, 8. Angel, 9. Battersby (Elding 61), 10. L Thompson, 11. S Weatherstone. Subs (not used): Redfearn, Gould, Conroy (gk).