It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t completely effective. But Boston United got back to winning ways with a dogged victory over Worcester City.
The Blues have often been a thorn in the Pilgrims’ side.
In fact, this was just Boston’s third victory over City in 10 attempts. But that didn’t matter a jot to the team in amber and black who ground out the three points in a contest they often made hard work of.
Dennis Greene kept the faith with the starting XI which picked up seven points from their opening three matches, before Monday’s 3-0 defeat at North Ferriby.
And that public backing from the boss got the reaction he wanted... and a result to match.
Boston midfielder Conor Marshall was handed the first real chance of the afternoon, but as he connected with Ian Ross’ corner he couldn’t steer his header on target.
Danny Glover has been City’s lethal weapon in recent years, and he looked to give the visitors the lead with an acrobatic volley. But United keeper Ashley Timms watched on as the 20-yard strike cleared the crossbar.
Marc Newsham had a golden opportunity to put the hosts in front in the 24th minute, after Ricky Miller was adjudged to have been bundled over inside the area by Richard Munday. But a low and weak effort from the striker was comfortably gathered by Jose Veiga.
Newsham’s frustrations lasted less than a minute, however, as he fired the Pilgrims in front. Latching on to Marshall’s through ball he smashed his effort into the back of the net from an acute angle.
Feeling that United had been handed a cheap penalty, Daniel Nti tried evening the scores up, chucking himself to ground when Scott Garner got close to him.
Referee Lee Betts was having none of it, and if anything he did the Boston defender a favour by keeping his cards in his pocket after Garner reacted angrily by shoving the Blues forward.
It took a moment of madness in the Pilgrims defence for Worcester to level four minutes before the interval.
Peter Bore was caught in possession deep into his own half, and as Luke Hubbins skipped away from him he cut inside and squared to Nti, who had the simple task of side-footing into an empty net from eight yards out.
There was more purpose about the Pilgrims after the interval.
Newsham was inches away from getting contact on Netan Sansara’s low driven cross which flashed across the face of the Dragons’ goal.
But Boston were back in front on 52 minutes. Spencer Weir-Daley kept his cool and drove a difficult bouncing ball home through a packed penalty area after Miller’s initial strike had been blocked.
Miller then went close from the edge of the penalty area on two occasions, but Veiga twice held firm.
Boston were thanking their lucky stars when a succession of Worcester attacks failed to find the net - especially when they hit the woodwork twice in one move.
An effort from Nti struck the post and, with Timms grounded, Ashley Walker had the whole goal to aim at. But somehow he looped his header onto the crossbar.
Then Munday came within a whisker of levelling as his volley whistled inches above the United crossbar.
A 2-1 lead was just not enough for Boston to feel secure, and they pushed on looking to extend the gap.
A teasing cross from Weir-Daley was met by Newsham at the back post, but close attention from Ellis Deeney was enough to see the forward fail to hit the target.
Miller created another chance for himself as his cut isnside the penalty area, but a firm hand from Veiga was called upon to deny the powerful effort.
In stoppage time Worcester’s Hubbins cut inside again, and as his strike looked like it may squirm into the net, Garner was on hand to make a vital clearance.
And that was City’s last effort. Three points to United... just.
UNITED: Timms, Bore, Sansara, Marshall, Garner, Piergianni, Ross, Milnes (Reed 62), Miller, Newsham (Fairclough 79), Weir-Daley; Subs (not used): Galinski, Nuttell, Vince.
WORCESTER: Veiga, G. Williams, Deeney, Thorley, Hutchison (Walker 25), Munday (D. Williams 80), Hubbins, Nelson-Addy (Sammons 59), Nti, Glover, A. Williams; Subs (not used): Moore, Sargeant.
Ref: Lee Betts.