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Macclesfield Town 1-1 Pilgrims

Coca Cola League

Before this match began, not many people were predicting that Boston United would come away with anything from their trip to high flying Macclesfield Town. The Silkmen had won nine of their previous twelve League games, whereas Boston had only won twice in their last twelve. Steve Evans made two changes to his starting line-up over that which had begun against Yeovil on Saturday. Courtney Pitt was given a run out in place of Danny Thomas and Jermaine Easter got his first start at the expense of Daryl Clare. The game began in sparkling fashion with good chances at both ends. Macclesfield keeper Steve Wilson did well to save a shot by Easter. Then Mark Bailey headed just wide after getting on the end of a cross from Matthew Tipton. Boston took the lead on 13 minutes after Easter was fouled as he went into the area and Boston were awarded a penalty. David NOBLE took the spot kick, firmly firing the ball into the bottom left corner out of the reach of Wilson's dive. With both sides missing their top scorers - Macclesfield's Jon Parkin out for three games following his sending off in the previous game and Boston's Kirk away for ever following his transfer to Northampton Town - it wasn't too surprising that both sides lacked the killer punch needed to to get the ball in the net. Boston played some top class football, producing lots of great moves to split open the Macclesfield defence, but somehow they failed to score. Six minutes from half time Alan White saw his header rebound off the post following a corner taken by Courtney Pitt.

Then just before the break Easter blasted over from four yards out after a defensive mix-up provided him with his goal-scoring opportunity. Early in the second half Macclesfield had a penalty appeal turned down when White hauled down Kevin Townson, but the referee decided the foul had taken place just outside the area. On 70 minutes David Noble almost increased Boston's lead when he went on a twisting run, beating two defenders before curling his final shot just wide of the post. With twenty minutes left, Boston brought on Danny Thomas for Easter and he almost made an immediate impact, shooting wide after being found with a well aimed nod on by Jason Lee. Macclesfield got their equaliser in the 84th minute in controversial fashion. A foul by Paul Ellender on the left edge of the area gave Macclesfield a free kick in a dangerous position. John Miles picked out Mark BAILEY with a flighted ball and he headed it goalwards. Simon Rusk appeared to head the ball off the line, but the linesman adjudged that the clearance had been too late and referee Carl Boyeson awarded the goal. After the match Steve Evans commented: "If Brian Horton spends ten minutes of half time in the referee's room after verbally absolutely bashing him in the tunnel, then no wonder he gets decisions at this level."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Brad Maylett (Lee Thompson 89), Alan White, Austin McCann, Paul Ellender, Simon Rusk, David Noble (Stephen O'Donnell 81), Chris Holland, Jason Lee, Jermaine Easter (Danny Thomas 70), Courtney Pitt. Subs not used: Dean West, Daryl Clare.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2005.