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Ian Ross's free kick is kept out

Pilgrims 1-1 Grimsby Town

Coca-Cola League

Boston United maintained their unbeaten home record by the skin of their teeth when a last minute equaliser from Julian Joachim cancelled out the first half penalty strike by Grimsby that had also seen Austin McCann dismissed for the foul that gave away the spot kick. The only change to the starting line up over the last match at Bury was that Ben Futcher returned at the expense of Mark Greaves who was absent due to illness. Boston got off to the worst possible start when on 11 minutes McCann was sent off for scything down Michael Reddy as he ran into the area. Congo international Jean-Paul KAMUDIMBA KALALA slotted home the resultant penalty kick to give Grimsby the lead. With a player missing, Steve Evans decided to re-organise his side, bringing on Danny Thomas for Jason Lee. Despite being a man short, the gap between the two sides remained small. Perhaps Grimsby were still feeling the effects of their midweek win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Carling Cup. Boston kept attacking and both Noel Whelan and Ian Ross produced long range efforts that required good saves by Grimsby 'keeeper Steve Mildenhall. Just before half-time Grimsby wasted a good chance to increase their lead when Gary Cohen somehow managed to miss the target from six yards out after being picked out by a corner from Tom Newey.

Simon Rusk joined the fray at the start of the second half, coming on for Whelan. Boston almost equalised right from the restart, but Mildenhall just managed to deflect Brad Maylett's shot wide. Another attacking move by Maylett ended with him being fouled just outside the area. Ian Ross took the free kick and Mildenhall again pulled off a superb save to tip the ball away. Grimsby hit Boston on the break and this time it was the Boston keeper who was the hero, keeping out Reddy's shot. Two minutes from time Grimsby almost made sure of the points but Andy Pakinson's effort hit the crossbar. Boston equalised through Julian JOACHIM in the last minute of normal time when he volleyed home Paul Ellender's flick-on from a free kick by Ross. Grimsby almost scored with the last kick of the game, but Abbey was just able to tip Parkinson's shot away from goal. After the match Steve Evans said: "We'd rather get a point than nothing, but we know in this league draws don't get you anywhere. You need to be winning football matches."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Austin McCann, Paul Ellender, Alan White, Ben Futcher, Brad Maylett, Ian Ross, David Noble (Lawrie Dudfield 83), Julian Joachim, Jason Lee (Danny Thomas 16), Noel Whelan (Simon Rusk 46). Subs not used: Stewart Talbot, Chris Wright.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox 2005. Photograph copyright © Pat Everitt 2005.