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Gloucester City 2-2 Pilgrims

Dr Martens League

by Barbara Singleton

It wasn't the full reward sought by manager Steve Evans to celebrate his 37th birthday. But at least a share of the spoils cemented Boston United's position at the top of the Dr Martens League Premier Division. The Pilgrims' boss said: "I would have much sooner marked my birthday with a win, but in the longer term picture a point from this match might prove a useful achievement - particularly as other leading sides like Burton and Ilkeston had already lost at Gloucester. Certainly we can reflect on coming through a real test of character. It was really some achievement to come back twice from being a goal down. And if anything, we were the stronger team in the latter stages." At Gloucester, United made much of the early running with home keeper Ryan Gannaway twice doing well to claim hanging crosses from Andrew Stanhope and Paul Wilson, while angled drives from Joby Gowshall and Andrew Stanhope in the 16th and 17th minutes flew over the home bar. It wasn't until the 19th minute that the home side responded with their first real moment of dangers - Mike Wyatt cutting inside Wilson and drilling a low shot at Paul Bastock. After the players returned following a five-minute torrential rain-enforced break, it was largely a tale of Gloucester on the offensive. But United held on well, despite having to survive close calls from Steve Fergusson, Jimmy Cox and Andy Tucker whose efforts all drifted off target.

Then in the 44th minute, it needed a good defensive challenge from Colin Hoyle to deflect a drive by Cox away for a corner. After a first half goal-blank, all four of the match's scores were registered in a 20-minute second half spell. First, the home side went ahead on 52 minutes, COX supplying the finish from a Gary Thorne header after an initial cross from Paul Chenoweth. Boston's response was bright and swift. First Mark Rawle skipped clear, but shot wide with only the keeper to beat. However, on the hour Mickey Nuttell flicked on a Gary Childs' corner for Kevin NOTEMAN to head in his first goal in United colours. But the reprieve was also short-lived as City retook the lead on 67 minutes, albeit with Boston appealing in vain for an offside decision as Cox darted clear. He fed a pass across to Wyatt who in turn helped it on for SMITH to beat Bastock from six yards. Creditably, United refused to be deflated and redressed the balance again in the 71st minute, this time NUTTELL heading home from a Wilson cross. Boston might have even prised out maximum spoils in the game's dying stages, most notably with Gannaway having to produce excellent saves to thwart Rawle and substitute Steve Charles, now back in the Boston fold after a stint with Gainsborough.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Kevin Noteman, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. John Walker, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Gary Childs, 14. Paul Watts, 15. Steve Charles.

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo. Reproduced here with the author's permission.