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Kettering Town 2-2 Pilgrims

Nationwide Conference

by Barbara Singleton

Back in the fold, David Norris was the derby hero for Boston United. The teenage midfielder, recruited on a month's loan from Bolton Wanderers 10 months after a transfer from York Street, was the Pilgrims' star man in a key Conference clash at Kettering. He was a major presence in the United engine room and also weighed in with the all-important equaliser which saw Boston extend their current run to just one defeat in their last seven league fixtures. Five of those outings have admittedly ended in draws, but the sequence has helped to bolster the Pilgrims' mid-table position. At Kettering, there were early signs that Boston might have had greater dividends to celebrate, remarkably going close twice inside the first minute. First, a long range lob from Ken Charlery dropped over the bar. And then Paul Wilson attempted a replica effort which drifted wide. Kettering's response was decisive when Darren COLLINS was on the mark with a tidy close range finish. Boston got back into the reckoning with Mark RAWLE netting an equaliser on 12 minutes, racing on to a through-ball from Norris before rounding keeper Ian Bowling.

On 37 minutes a Norris shot was well held by Bowling. Then, almost on the stroke of half-time, another Norris effort was parried by the home keeper with Rawle a fraction away from connecting with the rebound. The home side went back in front six minutes into the second half when COLLINS converted an accurate cross from Watkins. Skipper Lee Howarth came to Boston's rescue in the 64th minute when clearing a Brett McNamara effort off the line after a centre from the right by Watkins had proved too difficult for Bastock to grasp. From that point, Boston then gained the upper hand - their midfield department being bolstered by the introduction of Peter Costello. And it was from his cross in the 73rd minute that Norris sent a powerful header inches wide. His 82nd minute corner led to a scramble in the home penalty area with Charlery and Rawle both missing out with the ball bobbling around. Two minutes later Andy Lodge threaded a pass to the loanee midfielder who fired over. But NORRIS rescued a point with a superb diving header into the bottom corner of the net following a terrific run down the left and subsequent cross by Lodge.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Gowshall, 3. Lodge, 4. Hoyle, 5. Howarth, 6. Wilson (Costello 64), 7. Norris, 8. Charlery, 9. Raynor (Fewings 90), 10. Rawle, 11. Dick. Subs (not used): Nuttell, Mills, Conroy (gk).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.