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Chester City 2-2 Pilgrims

Nationwide Conference

by Barbara Singleton

Boston United made the long haul to the north Wales border worthwhile with a hugely creditable share of the spoils. But it could have been an even more rewarding trek as the Pilgrims gave an excellent account of themselves against a Chester side who were protecting a 17-match unbeaten home record. A newly reshaped United outfit played positively and fought back to lead after trailing early in the second half. However, a late equaliser from the Cheshire side ensured that last night's encounter ended all-square - bringing up Boston's 14th draw of the Conference campaign. Early in proceedings, the Pilgrims settled well and carved out a couple of good chances. First, a Ross Weatherstone back header from a Paul Raynor free-kick was well held by home keeper Phil Priestley who, then thwarted Ken Charlery. Jamie Cook was a persistent source of danger for Boston. In the initial phases he saw a drive deflected for a corner and then had another shot flash inches wide. Chester responded with danger man Mark Beesley rifling a 20-yard effort into the clutches of Paul Bastock. The United custodian then did well to turn aside a close range effort from Matt Woods. In an ebb-and-flow encounter, Boston hit back via a Raynor header after Charlery had flicked on a Mark Clifford throw-in. On 26 minutes Woods looked an almost certain scorer when left in a one-to-one confrontation with Bastock, but the Pilgrims' keeper made an important stop.

United hit back again and Simon Weatherstone got on the end of a good lay-off from Nuttell to bring an excellent save from Priestley with a fierce drive. The same player then had a speculative effort hacked off the home line by Mark Beesley after catching Priestley out of position. But it was Chester who went ahead in the 49th minute when WOODS neatly controlled a cross by Mark Beesley before turning and sweeping a drive beyond Bastock. United sought a quick response and Cook went close with a free-kick which flashed over the bar and then had a low drive blocked by Martin Lancaster. Boston's got on level terms in the 57th minute when SIMON WEATHERSTONE crashed home a fierce drive after Nuttell laid the ball into his path. CHARLERY put his experience to good use in the 78th minute when converting from the penalty spot after Cook was tripped by Paul Beesley after racing onto a through ball from Simon Weatherstone. But the United lead lasted just six minutes before home substitute Matt DOUGHTY cut in from the left and buried a shot past Bastock who, seconds later, had to pull off an excellent save to deny a clear-through Jimmy Haarhoff. And the Pilgrims' keeper made two more excellent saves in the dying stages as the visitors hung on for a hard-earned point.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Clifford, 3. Lucas, 4. R Weatherstone (Gowshall 75), 5. Howarth, 6. Diaf, 7. S Weatherstone, 8. Charlery (Hoyle 86), 9. Nuttell, 10. Cook, 11. Raynor. Subs (not used): Lodge, Elding, Conroy (gk).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.