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Vanarama Conference North

Hednesford Town

Robinson (25)

Boston United

Piergianni (8), Southwell (62) 

(1) 1

(1) 2



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Glenn Walker


North Ferriby United (H) 14.3.15

The Pitmen slip up for the second Saturday in a row, as the odd goal in three sees Boston claim all three points at Keys Park to keep their own play-off hopes alive and drop Rob Smith's side back down into fourth place in the Vanarama Conference North table

Buoyed by Tuesday night's superb win against AFC Fylde, the Pitmen started this second of three successive home games with the same side as the one that had started the game against the Coasters in midweek. Adam Thomas once again played a free role

Boston had spent the majority of the season sitting just outside the play-off spots, with the Pilgrims boosting their ranks by agreeing a deal in the last week to take Sunderland's young Polish keeper Max Stryjek on loan until the end of the season

Marvin Robinson was quickly into his stride for the hosts, looking for another Keys Park goal to add to his season's haul. His low drive at goal in the third minute was easily fielded by the tall figure of Stryjek

A minute later, Glenn Walker whipped in a free-kick from out wide on the Hednesford left-wing which Richard Batchelor headed firmly over the crossbar

Carl Piergianni was to be Boston's key figure in the game, making his first contribution in the sixth minute to smother Batchelor's fierce drive with a diving block

The burly centre back made a bigger contribution at the other end of the pitch two minutes later, as the Hednesford defence turned off at the crucial moment to allow Boston to take an early lead. A huge throw-in from Zak Mills fell perfectly for Piergianni, who had the simple task of heading past Crane without a single Hednesford player around to challenge him

A great run from Walker in the fifteenth minute saw the winger cut the ball back into the penalty area, with Robinson inches away from connecting with the ball before it was cleared by the Boston defence

A succession of corner kicks for both sides failed to yield a goal for either side, but it was another set-piece that did lead to the Pitmen's equaliser on twenty-five minutes. It was a case of 'whatever you can do, we can do better' from the Pitmen, as Ben Bailey's long throw from the right touchline was met at the near post by Robinson, who glanced the ball past Styjek for his seventh goal in thirteen starts this term; six of Robinson's seven goals this term have come in front of his own supporters this, underlining his cult status amongst the Keys Park faithful

Tails up, Hednesford pushed forwards in waves as they looked to take the lead for the first time in the afternoon. James Hurst won a free-kick after being taken down on the edge of the penalty area on the half-hour mark, with Tom Thorley's effort cannoning off the Boston wall before Bailey drove the rebound back into the hands of Stryjek

A great run from Glenn Walker a minute later saw the winger beat three Boston players before firing into the side netting with a low drive

Boston recovered from this spell of pressure from the home side to have a great chance of their own just before half time, as Kyle Dixon headed Kaine Felix's deep cross wide of the far post after Felix had got the better of Walker down the Boston right

Boston started the second period on the front foot, with Dennis Greene's side winning three early corner kicks as they looked for a second goal of the afternoon. Crane came to the Pitmen's rescue on the final kick, punching clear under pressure from Piergianni and other incoming Boston players

After Batchelor had been booked for a crude tackle in midfield, Boston went even closer to re-taking the lead on fifty-four minutes, as Zak Mills headed wide from an excellent position in the penalty area

The Pitmen made a tactical change a minute later, bringing on the pacy, instinctive Nick Rushton in place of the powerful Robinson up top

Thorley's long-range free-kick was well fielded by Stryjek on fifty-nine minutes, as the midfielder curled a shot over the Boston wall and into the grateful hands of the young keeper

Boston took the lead again on sixty-two minutes, as a well-worked move through midfield opened the Pitmen up; Dixon and Mark Jones combined with a quick one-two to slip Dayle Southwell in, with Boston's top scorer taking a moment to compose himself and slot the ball past Crane from twelve yards out

Hednesford responded through Walker, who drove a shot just wide of goal with an angled drive with an attack straight from the restart

On-loan Harrogate midfielder Lloyd Kerry was introduced to the game on sixty-six minutes, coming on in place of Batchelor in midfield

With very little attacking presence in the second half, the Pitmen made a positive substitution with sixteen minutes remaining, as Steve Diggin came on to partner Rushton up front, replacing Andy Todd

Boston's Rene Steer should have sealed the three points for United with twelve minutes left, as he darted clear of the Hednesford defence and rounded Crane after another slick passing move had opened up the Hednesford defence. However, the forward somehow failed to find the net as he fired wide with the goal at his mercy

A frenetic final five minutes saw Hurst drive a shot well wide of goal and the Pitmen force a series of corners, but apart from a penalty claim against Piergianni for a potential handball offence, Boston did well to stave off the Hednesford threat and record a vital win in their search for a play-off place

For the Pitmen, a defeat still leaves them looking for four wins from the final seven games to have any chance of finishing in the top five of this season's competitive league. F.A. Trophy finalists North Ferriby United are next Saturday's opposition for the second time in four games, with the Pitmen looking to get back to winning ways quickly

Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Walker, Bailey, Campion ©, Thorley, Osborne, Todd (Diggin 74), Robinson (Rushton 55), Thomas, Batchelor  (Kerry 66)       Subs Unused: Strain, Westwood

Boston United: Stryjek, Marrs, Steer, Roberts, Garner, Piergianni, Felix, Dixon, Southwell (Walker 88), Jones (Newsham 90), Mills       Subs Unused: Saebe, Hollingsworth, Price

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