BOSTON UNITED 3 HARROGATE TOWN 3: Never-say-die attitude pays off for Pilgrims

Kaine Felix.
Kaine Felix.

Boston United’s never-say-die attitude saw them fight back from behind three times to earn a share of the spoils in a thrilling draw at home to Harrogate Town.

In a game that will last long in the memory of both sets of supporters - who warmly applauded the players from the field - the contest ended all square at 3-3.

But it could have been a lot worse for United who, at 2-1 down, called upon keeper Henrich Ravas to keep them in the game with a tremendous penalty save, his second of the campaign.

On three occasions Simon Weaver’s side edged in front.

But Boston refused to be beaten in this National League North contest and goals from Dayle Southwell, Carl Piergianni and Ryan Robbins earned a deserve draw against a side who had only conceded four times on the road prior to kick off this campaign.

Both teams could have won it at the death, United hitting the woodwork and Ravas making a determined save.

And further good news for the Pilgrims saw the return of Kaine Felix from a lengthy injury, his pace adding an extra dimension to the hosts’ attack.

Dennis Greene made two changes to the side which saw their five-game unbeaten run brought to an end at North Ferriby on Saturday.

Alex Simmons and Nicky Walker took their places in the starting line-up in place of the injured Mark Jones and Ryan Robbins, who dropped to the bench.

Town began the contest in control and should have taken the lead when Jerry Yates got goalside of Grant Roberts, only to rush his effort and place it wide of Henrich Ravas’ far post.

Ravas was then forced into a low save, fingertipping Louie Swain’s volley round his post.

But from the resultant corner Harrogate took a 10th minute lead.

Joe Colbeck’s corner was headed goalwards by Dominic Knowles, where Yates got the final touch on the line.

Dayle Southwell looked to get Boston back on level terms when he cut inside from the left, skipped past two markers but saw his effort saved by Peter Cook.

But that was only a brief escape from the tides of Town pressure.

Ravas made sure that Lloyd Kerry’s 20-yarder landed off target before having to stand firm and beat away Yates’ near-post blaster.

By the half-hour mark the Pilgrim were enjoying their first real spell on top, but they couldn’t make headway as Simmons’ strike was held by Crook, Carl Piergianni headed Zak Mills’ long throw wide and Scott Garner couldn’t get enough purchase on his goalbound effort.

Pressure, however, paid off in the 36th minute as Southwell levelled things up.

Dyaln McEvoy’s free kick was headed across goal by Piergianni, where Southwell was on hand to nod home his 12th of the season.

Harrogate could have led before the interval when a quickly-taken free kick put Yates through, but he dragged his effort wide.

Seconds after the re-start Knowles came within a whisker of putting Harrogate back in front.

Collecting Ravas’ scuffed kick he returned a 25-yard curler which struck the Pilgrims’ post before being cleared.

McEvoy then brought a save from Crook as Boston looked to edge in front.

Greene then made a double change, bringing on Robbins and Felix - back from his long-term ankle injury - for Walker and Simmons.

But it was Harrogate who struck next in the 57th minute, Knowles finishing a route one goal kick and flick on beyond Ravas.

Town were handed the chance to extend their lead from the penalty spot after Piergianni was adjudged to have brought down Lewis Turner, but Ravas guessed right to push away Knowles’ low strike.

It was all level again in the 63rd minute when Piergianni grabbed his fifth goal in as many matches, heading home Garner’s flick on from Jordan Richards’ cross.

The topsy-turvy contest continued with the away side taking the lead for a third time when Swain was set free and slotted beyond Ravas just four minutes later.

But in the 82nd minute United were level for the third time as Robbins chased down Kyle Dixon’s poked through ball and slammed beyond Crook despite the best efforts of Turner.

Boston pushed on for the winner and Richards slammed a drive against the woodwork before seeing another effort deflected wide.

Harrogate, themselves weren’t done and Paul Clayton turned well in the Boston box, only for Ravas to block well.

UNITED: Ravas, Marrs, McEvoy, Richards, Garner, Piergianni, Roberts (Dixon 74), Mills, Southwell, Simmons (Robbins 56) Walker (Felix 56); Subs (not used): Sarpong, Johnson.

TOWN: Crook, Turner, McWilliams, Thirlwell (Nyoni 72), Shiels, Ellis, Colbeck, Kerry, Yates (Clayton 87), Knowles, Swain (THewlis 79); Subs (not used): Bloomer, McGurk.

Ref: Tom Bramall.

Att: 1,074 (40).