Boston United 3 Brackley Town 4: Newsham makes it 30, but Saints claim the points in seven-goal thriller

Nathan Stainfield.
Nathan Stainfield.

Marc Newsham grabbed his 30th goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough to save Boston United from defeat at the hands of Brackley.

In a game of three penalties - two missed, one by a goalkeeper - both sides conjured up a bizarre spectacle.

A touch of magic almost granted Boston United a two-minute lead.

In a move reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne’s Euro 96 goal against Scotland, Spencer Weir-Daley calmly flicked the ball over Eddie Nisevic, only to see his volley turned wide by the leg of keeper Billy Turley.

But then an even better chance went begging.

A loose ball in the Saints penalty area landed at the feet of defender Gary Silk 10 yards from goal, but one heavy touch later and the chance went begging.

And, as if Boston have not learned their lesson all season, yet again missed chances came back to haunt them as Brackley took an 18th-minute lead.

Right back James Clifton cut inside unchallenged and beat Dan Haystead with a thunderous 25-yard drive that skipped just inside the keeper’s left-hand post.

If question marks should have been raised over United’s defending for the first goal, things went from bad to worse for number two.

Six minutes later Nisevic skipped beyond Tom Ward and Anton Foster far too easily before putting in a cross which Haystead missed - the ball striking Steve Diggin and bouncing into the net.

On the half hour mark it was 3-0.

Owen Story’s low strike hit the United post, but Jefferson Louis had time to collect the loose ball between driving through a crowded penalty area, and between Haystead and Ward on the line.

But two minutes later Nathan Stainfield gave the home side a glimmer of hope, heading home Ben Milnes’ corner.

United should have been back in the contest just before half time, the Pilgrims handed a penalty after Greg Mills was brought down by Clifton.

But Newsham - making his 50th competitive start of the season - saw the chance to net his 30th goal of the season go begging as Turley guessed right.

And in time added on, Foster also had an opportunity to reduce the arrears, his effort from close range deflected wide.

Boston picked up where they finished after the interval, but another good stop from Turley saw him divert Milnes’ strike, as Newsham was lurking.

Back came Brackley, who almost added to their advantage when the ball dropped at the feet of substitute Izak Reid, six yards from goal.

But and he, with his back to goal, scooped his effort wide.

However, it was soon 4-1 when fellow sub marvin Robinson netted in the 73rd minute.

The big forward had only been on the pitch a minute when he latched on to a long ball and, with acres of space, placed his effort beyond Haystead.

But United weren’t lying down and pulled another goal back.

After Glenn Walker was adjudged to have handballed in the area, Boston were given their second penalty of the season.

This time Newsham made sure with a low drive.

Brackley were, seconds later, handed awarded a penalty of their own.

Keeper Turley fancied his chances but Dan Haystead smothered his low effort, making him look like more of a turkey than a Turley.

And as the ball went up the other end, Turley was back in his goal just in time to pick out Foster’s 18-yard drive.

Haystead then did fantastically well to tip Diggin’s effort away before, at the other end, Newsham saw a header go over.

Then, at the death, Turley pulled off the save of the match to deny Newsham’s four-yard volley.

And that was it... Brackley hung on to claim the points in a bonkers contest.

UNITED: Haystead, Marshall (Watt 72), Silk, Foster, Ward, Stainfield, Ross, Milnes (Fairclough 65), Weir-Daley (Sanders 65), Newsham, Mills; subs (not used): Reed, Field.

BRACKLEY: Turley, Clifton (Robinson 72), Nisevic, Odihambo, Sharpe, Austin, Story, Solkhon (Walker 65), Diggin, Louis, Mulligan (Reid); subs (not used): McDonald.

Att: 1,108.

Ref: Neil Hair.