AFC TELFORD UNITED 2 BOSTON UNITED 2: Industrious Pilgrims fight back to make a point

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

Boston United fought from 2-0 down to earn a draw at AFC Telford United.

The Bucks held a comfortable and deserved lead at the interval, but the needless sending off of debutant Jake Hibbs allowed the Pilgrims to gain their share of the spoils against the ever-improiving basement side.

The road signs which greet your arrival in Telford describe the town as ‘the home of industry’ - and it was a workmanlike team performance which paid off for Dennis Greene’s side, who have now claimed 10 points from their past four National League North contests.

Robert Paratore and David Hibbert had handed Telford the advantage, but Carl Piergianni and Dayle Southwell levelled things up.

The Bucks began with fizz, just as they did in the opening exchanges at York Street two weeks earlier.

Henrich Ravas was called upon to make a superb early stop when a hopeful drive skipped through the crowded penalty area and at the feet of Hibbert, who only had the Slovakian to beat from eight yards out.

But Ravas got down quick to parry the low drive before Piergianni slid in to clear the danger.

Paratore then saw a drive from 20 yards fly wide before he made amends with a second attempt moments later, handing his side a seventh-minute lead with a neatly-executed curler from the edge of the penalty area.

As United looked to claw their way back into the contest, a well-worked free kick saw Ryan Robbins slip in Southwell, and his square ball found Scott Garner, whose effort was diverted by James Montgomery on the turn.

From the resultant corner Piergianni - who grabbed the only goal of the game as United beat the Bucks earlier this season - saw two headed efforts punched off the line by Montgomery.

Ravas was called into action again to push Jake Hibbs’ hopeful drive around his post.

Piergianni again caused havoc in the hosts’ box from another corner, but as he outjumped his rivals his header clipped the crossbar and away from danger.

And from the resultant goal kick the Bucks doubled their lead, Montgomery’s punt evading all the Pilgrims and allowing Hibbert to unleash a 25-yard dipper which skipped off the wet surface in front of Ravas and beyond the keeper’s reach.

Undeterred, Boston came within a whisker of reducing the arrears almost instantly, but from Dylan McEvoy’s free kick Mark Jones’ header landed the wrong side of the rooted Montgomery’s post.

Eight minutes after the re-start Boston were handed a lifeline by Hibbs.

The debutant, on loan from Halifax, received his marching orders after picking up his second booking for a needless clip on Liam Marrs.

Hibbs may have been applauded off the pitch by the home fans, but his moment of recklessness proved costly as, from the resultant free kick, Piergianni beat Montgomery to McEvoy’s delivery and it was game on once again.

That sending off looked even more perilous after Southwell levelled things up with his 10th goal of the season.

With 63 minutes on the clock Jordan Richards sprinted down the left flank and into the penalty area where his low cross invited the Pilgrims’ leading scorer to finish first time from eight yards out.

Telford had the chance to move in front again when a neat passing move saw Ryan Rowe set free in the penalty area.

But as his left foted curler looked destined for the net, Ravas’ full-stretch fingertips diverted the danger.

TELFORD: Montgomery, Samuels, Campion, McCone, Hutchison (Rowe 68), Rea, Hibbs, Paratore (Ashby 76), Hibbert (Tilt 63), McCarthy, Clancy; Subs (not used): Brownhill, Flint

UNITED: Ravas, Marrs, McEvoy, Richards, Garner, Piergianni, Roberts, Johnson (Walker 56), Southwell, M. Jones, Robbins (Dixon 77); Subs (not used): Sarpong, Alexander.

Ref: Joe Hull.