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Hayes 1-1 Pilgrims

Nationwide Conference

by Barbara Singleton

Boston United's profitable end-of-season run continued with another useful Conference point added to their tally. A share of the spoils was their reward for a solid and hard-working performance at relegation-threatened Hayes. But on the balance of play, it was the least the Pilgrims deserved. Indeed, better advantage arguably ought to have been made from spells of dominance. And manager Steve Evans was quick to echo that thought. "In all honesty, we should have been two or three ahead at half-time," he said. "We were in control for most of the first half and ought to have added to our early goal. In the second period, we conceded a sloppy goal and I was disappointed that we didn't take all three points." United had made the perfect start with a goal after just six minutes. Ken CHARLERY was on target with his 15th goal of the season in Pilgrims' colours when sweeping home a loose ball after an Andrew Stanhope header from a Jamie Cook right-wing free-kick had rebounded off a post. Later on, another effort from Simon Weatherstone was blocked and scrambled away by the home defence. And in the minutes which led up to the interval, there were three more close calls. First Lee Howarth got on the end of a probing free-kick by Cook, but saw his header hacked off the line by home defender Mark Molesley. Charlery's follow-up was also scrambled away.

In added time, Charlery found space behind the home rearguard and put in a centre which found David Town. However, another goalbound United effort was forced away by a busy home back line. It wasn't all one-way traffic, though, but Hayes' reply attacks didn't quite carry the cutting edge of United's. Shots from Dave Everitt, Jimmy Quinn and Barry Moore all brought Boston keeper Paul Bastock into gathering action, although none of the efforts were remotely as threatening as Quinn's fizzing 28th minute fizzing drive which the United custodian expertly tipped away. After the break United were forced into a defensive reshuffle with Joby Gowshall - injured in a late first half challenge by Quinn (which briefly sparked an unruly melee) - being replaced by Andy Lodge. And his first contribution was to send over a 50th minute free-kick which Charlery headed wide. However, Hayes hit back and levelled the scores on 61 minutes when QUINN netted from the rebound of an Everett shot which Bastock had initially done well to palm aside. Boston almost regained the lead on 68 minutes when Cook latched on to a Weatherstone pass but shot tamely at Matt Hodson. In the dying stages, a cross-shot from Everitt was cleared from near the line by Lucas and then Quinn fired wide before Bastock cut out a late Mark Preston cross as Hayes sought a late winner.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Clifford, 3. Lucas, 4. Gowshall (Lodge 46), 5. Howarth, 6. Costello, 7. Stanhope, 8. Charlery, 9. Town, 10. S Weatherstone (Rusk 89), 11. Cook. Subs (not used): Diaf, Nuttell, Conroy (gk).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.