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Leyton Orient 0-0 Pilgrims

Coca Cola League

After conceding a total of eleven goals in their last four games, Boston's priority was to plug their leaky defence. At an in-form Leyton Orient, the task was always going to be difficult, but with the aid of some superb saves from keeper Nathan Abbey, they managed to keep their first clean sheet since their opening day win against Oxford United. They failed to score themselves, but it was a useful away point, picked up against tough opposition. Manager Steve Evans made a couple of changes to the midfield over the side that had lost to Fulham midweek. Tom Bennett and Paul Gascoigne being replaced by Chris Holland and Matt O'Halloran. It was O'Halloran's first start for the Pilgrims since he joined the club over the summer. Orient dominated the first half and if Abbey hadn't been at his best, they could easily have settled the match. On six minutes a long range effort by Wayne Carlisle required a full length diving save by the keeper who managed to turn the ball behind. Boston's only chance of the half came soon after, when Andy Kirk headed a Matt O'Halloran cross wide of the target. Orient then won a series of corners and from one of these Abbey diverted a goal bound header from Matt Lockwood behind for another corner. A break down the right wing by Carlisle ended in a cross to Andy Scott but once again Abbey was able to make a good save.

Just before half time, Boston's recent signing Dean West was stretchered off, concussed after an accidental clash of heads with Scott. He was replaced by Mark Greaves. The half-time team-talk by Steve Evans clearly had the desired effect, as Boston reduced Orient's chances to a minimum in the second half. Early in the half Abbey had to stretch to palm away a header by Gary Alexander, but apart from that he had little to do. Boston's chances were also few and far between. A long range shot from Courtney Pitt was easily held by Lee Harrison in the Orient goal. Lee Thompson came on for Matt O'Halloran for the last half-hour, but his best effort was a shot that went wide. Orient substitute Jabo Ibehre had a good run that beat two defenders, but his final shot was screwed wide. Last season's match at Orient ended in dramatic fashion with two stoppage time goals that gave Boston a 3-1 victory. This season the match also finished with drama as on ninety minutes Orient's centre-half Alan White was shown the red card after retaliating following a challenge from Jason Lee. But it was all too late to make any difference to the result and the game finished as it had started with no goals to either side.

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Dean West (Mark Greaves 40), Matt O'Halloran (Lee Thompson 62), Paul Ellender, Chris Holland, David Noble, Andy Kirk (Tam McManus 78), Jason Lee, Courtney Pitt. Subs not used: Paul Gascoigne, Simon Rusk.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2004.