Boston United went down 1-0 at Alfreton Town. Somehow.
Adam Murray suffered just his second away defeat with the Pilgrims in the National League North, but his side were left cursing some superb defending as they pushed for a late equaliser.
The Reds didn’t look like a side with the worst defensive record in the division, having shipped 76 times to date this campaign.
Indeed, they showed resolve at the back as former Pilgrims stopper Fabian Spiess pulled off a tremendous save and his defence chipped in with three goalline clearances in the space of a minute.
But as the full time whistle blew, Liam Hearn’s goal proved the difference.
Alfreton, unbeaten at home in 11 home matches stretching back to November, saw Wes Atkinson fire an early effort over the bar.
But it was Boston who had the better of the opening exchanges, Louis Briscoe dragging an effort wide and then striking the woodwork with a swerving free kick.
In between those two chances United felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Harry Vince was upended in the home penalty area.
The Reds’ Mark Shelton did the hard bit when he collected a long pass and dinked the ball over the head of Jan Yeomans, but he fluffed his lines by firing over from close range.
But Hearn, who had enjoyed a physical battle with United’s Tom Batchelor, made no mistake when he opened the scoring in the 41st minute, powering home Sam Smith’s cross from close range.
From the re-start Atkinson screwed an effort wide of Durrant’s goal.
Boston broiught some urgency to their game but ex-Pilgrim Spiess coped well with balls into his box and Alex Simmons’ hopeful low drive, before parrying Adam Chapman’s deep and teasing free kick.
The Alfreton keeper then pulled off the save of the night as he beat away a smashed effort from Simmons at the back post, following that up by holding onto Vince’s strike from the edge of the box.
But the plaudits needed to be shared by Andy Monkhouse and Jordan Richards, who made three goalline clearances in the space of a minute.
Monkhouse blocked Mani Dieseruvwe’s drive and headed Josh Robinson’s follow-up over before, from the resultant corner, Brown’s header was hacked off the line by Richards.
ALFRETON: Spiess, Richards, Wilson, Jordan, McGowan, Monkhouse, Shelton, Atkinson, Westcarr (McFadzean 73), Hearn, S. Smith; Subs (not used): Marshall, Brough, Evans.
UNITED: Durrant, Robinson, Yeomans, Vince, Batchelor, Brown, Chapman, Briscoe (Simmons 60), Rollins, Bishop, Hilliard (Dieseruvwe 52); Subs (not used): Clarke, Thomas, Gatter.
Ref: Paul Graham.