Vanarama National League North

Boston United

Roberts (15), Hilliard (83) (penalty), Felix (87)

Hednesford Town 

Ngamvoulou (11)

(1) 3

(1) 1



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Kyle Perry


AFC Telford United (A) 26.1.16

An error-strewn second-half display, lacking in self-discipline from both players and manager, condemned the Pitmen to another defeat on the road as they returned from the long trip to Boston pointless this afternoon

Following the disappointment of Tuesday night's big derby clash being called off due to a waterlogged pitch at the New Bucks Head, the Pitmen returned to action with another new face in the ranks after the capture of Oldham Athletic defender Jack Truelove on a month's loan

Boston's form throughout the first half of the season had been consistent, despite losing top scorer Dayle Southwell at Christmas after the striker had broken his foot. Indeed, the Pilgrims named four youth team players amongst their substitutes ahead of the visit of Hednesford, throwing new signing Tommy Cooney straight into action after signing from Brighouse Town

Backed by another healthy York Street crowd, Boston were almost ahead inside the first minute, as Hednesford's defence switched off and allowed John Sands to find space on the right-hand side of the penalty area. His low drive was well saved by Dan Crane, getting down well to his left to turn the shot away

The Pitmen responded through midfield man Sean Williams, with the in-form player firing a free-kick goalwards that required Fabian Spiess in the Boston goal to turn the ball over the crossbar

Back down the other end on eight minutes, and Mark Jones forced Crane into his second save of the afternoon already as Carl Piergianni nodded a Cooney free-kick into the path of the forward

Quick thinking from Williams led to the Pitmen taking a shock lead on eleven minutes after he won a free-kick just outside the Boston penalty area. 

Williams quickly slipped the ball into the path of Shelton Payne, who had made a run in behind the Boston defence. Payne cut the ball back into the path of Stephane Ngamvoulou, who sidefooted the ball home from close range for his second goal in two games

However, the lead lasted a matter of minutes as Boston equalised trough Grant Roberts; A free-kick from Lewis Hilliard from the left was partially headed away by Ben Bailey, falling into the path of the incoming Roberts, who drove home a low shot beyond the reach of Crane from twenty-five yards out

Ngamvoulou continued to impress his new club after a positive debut against Harrogate last week, making several driving runs from deep with the ball and attempting to link the attack and defence. At the back, the Pitmen continued to look shaky, misplacing a number of simple passes across the line

Young loanees Truelove and Jack Fitzwater were finding life difficult against a more experienced side, who had plenty of Conference North know-how going forward

And yet, the Pitmen continued to create openings of their own, with Payne impressing with his pace down the left and Kyle Perry doing a superb job on the normally dominating presence of Piergianni

A great run from Payne on the half-hour mark saw his mazy run and cross inches away from finding Perry, requiring Cooney's intervention to deny the big striker a clear shot on target

A panicky clearance from Scott Garner four minutes later hit the back of Piergianni and almost ended up in his own net, with Spiess scrambling across his goal to watch the ball wide of his left-hand post

The out-of-form Obeng showed just why he is desperate to find the net soon, as he wasted the final chance of the half and a golden opportunity to give the Pitmen the lead once more. Put clean through on goal by Ngamvoulou, the striker appeared to hesitate as he decided what to do and allowed Cooney to track back and tackle the forward. The ball still managed to find it's way back to Obeng, whose scuffed rebound drifted wide of goal

The second half was to prove a memorable one for Boston in particular, full of action and incident as the Pitmen once again allowed themselves to undo all of their good work in the first period

Another long-range effort from Roberts sent out a warning to the Pitmen just three minutes after the restart, crashing a low drive off the foot of Crane's left-hand post with the Hednesford keeper well beaten

A minute later, Truelove had to come to the Pitmen's rescue to hack the ball off the line following a Hilliard corner that had been headed goalwards by Sands

Perry went even closer to giving the Pitmen an unlikely lead once more on fifty-four minutes, stretching to reach a Williams cross and turning the ball goalwards, only to hit the crossbar with his rising shot

Fitzwater's game started to unravel on the hour mark, as he received a yellow card for a foul on Sands. The teenager learnt what was to become a harsh lesson in football to respect the referee, as he turned his back on the official as he was shown the yellow card. More to come on this imminently

Kaine Felix was enjoying a free role down the left wing for Boston, making the life of makeshift right-back Adam Thomas uncomfortable as the half progressed. A great run on sixty-two minutes saw him turn Thomas inside out before firing into the side netting with an angled drive

Payne's influence on the game had been limited during the second half, which saw Sinclair make a tactical change on sixty-three minutes by bringing on Paul Ennis in his place

The Pitmen seemed to weather the storm in the next ten minutes, as the game settled into more of a midfield battle, and indeed looked well-equipped to take a point away with them until another moment of youthful impetuousness from Fitzwater cost the visitors dear with eleven minutes remaining; a foul on Cameron Johnson in midfield saw the West Brom youngster shown a second yellow card, which led to confusion in the ranks as Fitzwater denied having been shown a first yellow. He failed to leave the field until the realisation of his earlier petulance came to the fore and he was forced to walk off to abuse from the Boston crowd

Sinclair - clearly riled by the decision to send Fitzwater off - quickly brought on centre back Matt Regan in place of the ineffective Obeng to protect the point

However, Regan himself was to prove a liability in the ranks with his first act, as Felix picked the ball up and turned Regan just inside the penalty area, with the substitute sticking out a flailing leg and bringing the winger down. A clear penalty kick. Hilliard stepped up and confidently drilled the ball past Crane to put Boston in front

It was all too much for the controversial figure of Sinclair, who himself was sent from the dugout after one choice word too many to the match officials just after the restart

Felix was left to wrap up the three points for the play-off chasers with three minutes remaining, heading home a Liam Marrs cross at the far post to leave the Pitmen pointless once again away from home at the end. The rearranged trip to fellow relegation rivals AFC Telford United will be an interesting test of the side's character when the two sides face each other at the New Bucks Head next Tuesday night. A third successive defeat would certainly leave the Pitmen with an almighty amount to do in their remaining fixtures

Boston United: Spiess, Marrs, Garner, Piergianni, Cooney, Felix, Hilliard, Roberts, Rollins, Jones, Sands (Johnson 62)      Subs Unused: Dykes, Vince, Ross, Payne

Hednesford Town: Crane, Thomas, Truelove, Bailey ©, Fitzwater  ▆ (79), Digie, Obeng (Regan 81), Williams, Perry, Ngamvoulou (Patterson 84), Payne (Ennis 63)      Subs Unused: Ransome, Thorley

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