BOSTON UNITED 1 AFC TELFORD UNITED 0: Piergainni header and Ravas penalty save sees the Pilgrims beat the Bucks

Henrich Ravas.
Henrich Ravas.

Carl Piergianni headed home the only goal of the game as Boston United sunk AFC Telford.

With just three minutes of the second half gone, the Pilgrims defender rose to meet Zak Mills’ long throw and powered the ball beyond James Montgomery from close range.

Following last Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Nuneaton Town, Dennis Greene stuck with the 4-3-3 formation which had terrorised the Boro.

Perhaps then it was with some irony that the game’s only goal came from a central defender.

But in other ways, this victory was a real team effort.

Goalkeeper Henrich Ravas earned his clean sheet with a tremendous penalty save while the tenacity of Grant Roberts in midfield and a series of timely blocks from defenders Piergianni, Mills and Liam Marrs also played their part.

And then there was Dylan McEvoy.

The 18-year-old loanee only sealed his move from Sunderland’s youth academy yesterday, following the season-ending knee injury picked up by Aaron Greene, but he certainly announced his arrival in exciting style.

McEvoy - who featured for the Black Cats in their 5-0 pre-season victory at the Jakemans Stadium - may have been making his first appearance in senior football, but the teenager certainly didn’t have the look of a nervous newcomer.

There were Cruyff turns on the byline, direct runs at pace and the confidence to whip early crosses into the danger zone.

United came within a whisker of taking the lead from McEvoy’s first telling foray forward but Scott Garner’s header was blocked and Mark Jones’ follow-up met the same fate.

How the first half ended goalless is anyone’s guess as both sides had chances to get off the mark.

For the hosts, Dayle Southwell forced Montgomery into a firm save while Piergianni volleyed over the bar following a game of head tennis in the Bucks’ box.

Telford, themselves, hardly looked a side bottom of the table, without a point on the road and with just one win from 11 National League North matches.

Led by the burly David Hibbert they posed plenty of problems for the hosts.

Ravas had to correct himself before pulling off a superb one-handed save to deny Hibbert’s powerful drive while Kyle Brownhill’s header bounced off the top of the Boston crossbar after taking a deflection off Marrs.

Telford, who were also frustrated by some timely interventions from Zak Mills and brave slides from Piergianni, should have been awarded a penalty when Curtis Tilt went to ground after Marrs had a handful of his shirt, but referee Graeme Fyvie offered nothing other than a shake of the head.

After standing firm for the first half, Telford took just three minutes following the re-start to switch off and allow Boston to take the lead, Piergianni heading home his third of the season as he rose to meet Mills’ long throw.

That advantage could have been doubled seconds later, but Jordan Richards’ drive from distance rose over the bar with Montgomery rooted.

The Bucks were handed a lifeline in the 67th minute after being awarded a penalty, Ryan Rowe going to ground after close attention from Richards.

But Ravas guessed correctly, diving low to his right and pushing away Connor McCarthy’s effort before rising to his feet and denying the striker’s follow-up.

Tilt came within a whisker of salvaging his side’s first point on the road but contrived to force his effort inches wdie when well-placed.

At the other end, Ryan Robbins - making his home debut - struck wide with just Montgomery to beat.

But this fixture, the eighth between United and Telford since their formation in 2004, was the follow the same pattern as before, with no team ever winning by more than a one-goal margin.

UNITED: Ravas, Marrs, McEvoy, Richards, Garner, Piergianni, Roberts, Mills (Dixon 58), Southwell, Jones (Dowie), Robbins; Subs (not used): Walker, Limb, Johnson.

TELFORD: Montgomery, Hutchison, Campion, Paratore (Grogan 54), McCone, Tilt, Ashby (Flint 76), Rea, Hibbert, McCarthy, Brownhill (Rowe 58); Subs (not used): Samuels, Lees.

Ref: Graeme Fyvie.

Att: 1,153 (48).