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Carlisle United 4-2 Pilgrims

Coca Cola League

Table topping Carlisle racked up their fifth consecutive League win as their championship campaign gained momentum, but the 4-2 scoreline was slightly flattering to the home side and if luck had been on their side the visitors may have even snatched an unlikely point. As it ended however, Boston's playoff fantasies have almost been extinguished, although two easy looking upcoming home games should keep the dying embers alive for one more week at least. With Stewart Talbot still out injured, manager Steve Evans made just one change over the side that had been beaten by Northampton on Wednesday night - Peter Till and Asa Hall swapped places with Hall in the starting XI and Till on the subs' bench. Boston were a goal down after 90 seconds when Chris LUMSDON put the ball in the net after being picked out by a header from Derek Holmes following a failed clearance by the Boston defence. More Carlisle pressure followed and in the 20th minute they went two up from a corner. The ball found its way through to Karl HAWLEY who diverted the ball past Kuipers with a cheeky flick off his heel from close range. Boston's only real chance of the half fell to Julian Joachim, but his well placed shot was saved by a diving Keiren Westwood. Boston almost went three down just before half time, but Kuipers was just able to keep out a header by Holmes.

Brad Maylett replaced Asa Hall at the start of the second half, and Boston looked a much more lively proposition. They pulled a goal back in the 61st minute when Chris BILLY stuck out his foot to put the ball past his own keeper following a penetrating cross from Jamie Clarke. Carlisle restored their two goal advantage on 75 minutes when substitute Simon HACKNEY stroked the ball home at the end of a fast break forward. But Boston came back again and in the 84th minute Simon RUSK scored from close range after a cross by Clarke had fallen nicely for the midfielder. As the game drew to a close, the Pilgrims pushed everyone forward in search of an equaliser, including keeper Kuipers when a free kick was won deep into the Carlisle half. But the ball was cleared allowing HACKNEY to run half the length of the pitch before firing home into an unguarded net. After the match Steve Evans said: "It makes Wednesday and Saturday must win games. We have got to win the game in hand and then we've got to win next Saturday. Let's hope Carlisle beat Lincoln on Tuesday night."

United team: Michel Kuipers, Lee Canoville, Austin McCann, Gary Silk (Peter Till 86), Alan White, Chris Holland (Danny Thomas 85), Jamie Clarke, Simon Rusk, Asa Hall (Bradley Maylett 46), Julian Joachim, Lawrie Dudfield. Subs not used: Mark Greaves, Steve Melton.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox 2006.