BOSTON UNITED 2 CHORLEY 0: Hemmings and Tshimanga on target Pilgrims enjoy best home start in 18 years

Ashley Hemmings.
Ashley Hemmings.

Goals from Ashley Hemmings and Kabongo Tshimanga saw Boston United open their season with back-to-back home wins for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.

Optimists will be pleased to know that campaign ended with the Pilgrims winning the Dr Martens title.

Hopes of a repeat may be a little premature at this stage, but for Adam Murray’s side victory over Chorley brought plenty of positives - the way in which the side bounced back from defeat in Tamworth and the first clean sheet of the National League North season among them.

Hemmings opened the scoring with his first goal for the club from distance, while Tshimanga made it two in as many games on his first start.

Murray made four changs to the team which left Tamworth with a 2-1 defeat in midweek, loan signing Brad McGowan making his debut with Harry Vince, Tyrell Waite and Tshimanga also coming into the starting XI.

Jack Broadhead, Karl Hawley, Mason Warren and Tom Batchelor were due to miss out, with Batchelor recalled after Jack Cowgill was injured in the warm-up.

Kabongoi Tshimanga.

Kabongoi Tshimanga.

Vince was the first to try his luck with a 20-yard effort which was comfortably collected by former Pilgrims trialist Matt Urwin.

Chorley defender Scott Leather’s afternoon came to an abrupt end on 11 minutes, the defender who received his marching orders during his side’s midweek defeat to Harrogate replaced by Dale Whitham after collecting a yellow for a pull on Tshimanga, which could easily have been another red.

The hosts came within a whisker of taking the lead when Tshimanga’s clever flick gave Vince a clear sight of goal, but his low strike was dragged the wrong side of the Magpies’ post.

The young midfielder then found himself in the thick of it at the other end as Chorley were inches away from opening the scoring.

Kieran Charnock’s header struck the Pilgrims’ crossbar and bounced down on the line where Vince controlled the ball and calmly hacked clear.

Urwin was called upon to make a vital save to deny Tshimanga after Jordan Keane’s hooked through ball set him free while, seconds later, Whitham had a good chance for Chorley, hitting his volley into the ground and watching it bounce wide.

Hemmings made the breakthrough in the 37th minute with a long-range strike from the right which eluded all as it curled its way into the Chorley net.

But that only spurred the away side into action, George Willis called upon to collect Josh Wilson’s goalbound header and Terry Gornell’s 20-yarder, which had power but lacked direction.

United could have extended their lead before the break when Keane sent Tshimanga free, but this time he beat Urwin but watched as his effort drifted wide.

But two minutes after the re-start Tshimanga got his goal.

Collecting Adam Chapman’s long throw at his feet with his back to goal, he struck a powerful strike on the swivel from close range to finally get the better of Urwin.

That goal knocked the stuffing out of Chorley as the second half was quiet in comparison to the opening 45 minutes, United going through the motions as the Magpies ran out of ideas.

A late rally saw Jason Walker force Willis into another save with a hopeful header, but that’s as good as the second half got for Chorley with Boston deserved victors.

UNITED: Willis, Clifton, Beatson, Keane, McGowan, Batchelor, Vince (Warren 73), Chapman, Tshimanga, Hemmings (Hare 83), Waite; Subs (not used): Hawley, McGuire, Adams.

CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather (Whitham 11), Charnock, O’Keefe (Carver 64), Wilson, Gornell (Hughes 70), Walker, Cottrell; Subs (not used): Jarvis, Likoy-Elumba.

Att: 934 (67).

Ref: Sam Barrott.