BOSTON UNITED 1 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 1: Frustrated Pilgrims have to settle for a point

Josh Robinson.
Josh Robinson.

Wasted chances came back to haunt Boston United as they had to settle for a 1-1 Boxing Day draw at home to Gainsborough Trinity.

Josh Robinson struck first for the Pilgrims, but after good opportunities to double the advantage came to nothing, Ioan Evans salvaged a point for the Blues with their only effort on target.

While United - who have won their last four games at home against Gainsborough and haven’t lost a home Boxing Day clash since 2008 - remain unbeaten under Murray, there will be frustrations in the Pilgrims camp that they couldn’t take three points from an out of form opposition who offered little in attack and have picked up just one point in their past five National League North matches.

It was a tale of two Pilgrims loanees as Robinson headed the hosts in front in the 56th minute.

The York City man scored the first goal of his stint with Boston after meeting Jason St Juste’s cross and executing a perfectly-placed looping header which gave George Willis no chance.

But Trinity were gifted an equaliser.

Evans - who spent a month on loan at the Jakemans Stadium from Sheffield United but never got on to the field - restored parity after beating onrushing keeper Ross Durrant to a ball in the box and heading into the unguarded net.

Adam Murray stuck with the starting XI which beat Curzon Ashton 3-1 on Tuesday, but Jay Rollins and Shane Clarke were welcome additions to the bench.

Rollins returned after a hamstring tweak kept him out of the Nash clash, while Clarke was named in the squad for the first time since his summer return and subsequent Achilles problems.

In a quiet first half Lewis Hilliard drilled just wide following a clever one-two with Marcus Marshall on the edge of the Trinity box.

Callum Chippendale looped an effort wide of the mark and Charlie Gatter, with Chippendale’s low cross coming to him at pace, couldn’t divert his effort on target.

And on the stroke of half time Gregg Smith - who was involved in a few heated tussles with Trinity defender Adam Quinn - headed wide.

In response, Trinity enjoyed possession in the Boston final third but Jordan Thewlis’ scuffed effort from the edge of the box was about as good as it got.

The second half began with Hilliard again going close, this time his strike was collected by Willis, before Smith blasted one off target.

But 11 minutes after the re-start Robinson had put the Pilgrims in front.

That lead was almost doubled when Rollins, with his first touch after replacing St Juste, struck the outside of the Trinity post.

Seconds later Rollins teed up Chippendale who, from eight yards out, saw his strike go too close to Willis and the effort was saved.

Those wasted chances appeared costly when Evans headed the Blues level in the 68th minute.

As Boston searched for a winner Hilliard’s free kick was plucked out of the top corner by Willis and Marshall blazed well over.

But Trinity also had an effort to win it, Laurie Wilson seeing a dipping effort fizz just over the bar.

Now the two Lincolnshire rivals will do it all again on New Year’s Day.

UNITED: Durrant, Thomas, Gordon, Robinson, Batchelor, Gatter, St Juste (Rollins 62), Chippendale (Colley 73), Hilliard, Smith, Marshall; Subs (not used): Clappison, Clarke, Emery.

TRINITY: Willis, Lacey, Beatson, Evans, Quinn, L. Wilson, Reid, Chapman (Thornhill 86), Worsfold, Jarman (Burdett 76), Thewlis; Subs (not used): McGovern, Templeton, Hands.

Ref: Martyn Rawcliffe.

Att: 1,602 (56).