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Pilgrims 0-0 Chester City

Nationwide Conference

by Barbara Singleton

For the second home match in a row, Boston United were frustrated by massed defensive ranks. The Pilgrims ran into a wall of white shirts lined up by Chester City who clearly - like Forest Green before them - had their sights set on avoiding defeat, and despite repeatedly probing hard for a way through the visitors' rearguard, were unable to grab a winner. But manager Steve Evans remained in positive mood. He said: "We have come up against one of the favourites for the Conference title. And they just strung players behind the ball. They were cock-a-hoop in the dressing room area after the game. It just shows how much teams think about coming here and getting a point. We are not disappointed because this is the best Boston United side seen here for more than a decade. We have played really well in three of our four matches so far and we know we are going to do well." United certainly started off well in last night's clash.

Early on, Miquel De Souza nudged an effort wide of goal as keeper Wayne Brown advanced before Paul Raynor fired a shot inches high. Half-chances for De Souza and Mark Rawle then brought Brown into action again, but it wasn't all one-way traffic. Chester responded with a low drive from Chris Blackburn and Joby Gowshall hacked away a shot from Paul Carden. There was a real flurry of Chester chances just before the break when home keeper Paul Bastock pulled off an heroic triple save. First he parried a piledriver from Blackburn, followed up with a brave save at Mark Beesley's feet and then got up to hold a long-range effort from Andy Evans. After the interval Bastock again saved well from a drive by Martyn Lancaster. But after that it was a case of United exerting pressure without finding the required finishing touch. Following a flurry of bookings, Boston upped the tempo and finished the stronger. Andrew Stanhope and De Souza headed wide while a Raynor drive was clutched by Brown as the visitors held on with a degree of discomfort.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Gowshall, 3. Lucas, 4. Hoyle, 5. Howarth, 6. Lodge (Fewings 84), 7. Stanhope, 8. De Souza, 9. Rawle, 10. Livett, 11. Raynor. Subs (not used): Rennie, Minett, Costello, Martin.