FCUM 1 BOSTON UNITED 1: New boss Murray makes a point

Adam Murray.
Adam Murray.

Adam Murray began life as Boston United manager by picking up a point at FC United of Manchester.

Gregg Smith looked to have put the Pilgrims on track for their fifth straight win away against the Red Rebels.

However, George Thomson’s deflected effort levelled things up.

The second half was delayed due to floodlight problems, and further doom and gloom came courtesy of an injury which ended Boston’s Callum Chippendale’s involvement in the first half.

But there were also bright spots in the performance, including some fine saves from 21-year-old keeper Ross Durrant who, along with Burton Albion loanee Charlie Gatter, was handed his debut.

Smith grabbed his ninth goal of the season when he handed the Pilgrims a 24th-minute lead with a trademark finish.

After meeting Chippendale’s cross the big target man looped home a header which offered Dave Carnell little chance.

The Red Rebels levelled with 17 minutes remaining, Thomson collecting a partially-cleared corner on the edge of the Boston box and seeing his strike defelected beyond Durrant.

The early stages of the game saw the two National League North rivals testing each other out with Thomson firing wide of Durrant’s post and, at the other end, Smith nodding off target and Lewis Hilliard seeing an effort well blocked by Tom Brown.

When Marcus Marshall met Hilliard’s corner he thought he had handed Boston their first goal of the Murray era, only for his header to be cleared off the line.

That honour, however, went to Smith just three minutes later.

Boston thought they had doubled their advantage when Jay Rollins found the net, only for a raised flag to deny him pulling level with Smith in the scoring charts.

Back came the Red Rebels with Tom Greaves flashing an effort wide and Ashworth forcing Durrant to show why he was brought to the club with the first of his important saves.

Opposite number one Carnell is no slouch either and proved his worth by denying Smith another header, while FC United ended the half with another good opportunity, only for stoic defending to deny Greaves.

The second half began with Durrant pulling off another save to deny Jason Gilchrist, the keeper also appearing to get a touch to Thomson’s effort which smashed against the post.

After a seven-minute delay due to floodlight failure, Boston resumed with Hilliard firing wide, Gilchrist suffering the same fate when well-placed for the hosts.

However, FC pressure paid off when Thomson levelled.

Boston had the chance to snatch it in stoppage time but Smith’s header was kept out by the combination of Carnell and Jerome Wright, before the same man fired an effort down the throat of the FC keeper.

In the 15th minute of time added on, Thomson saw an effort turned wide.

But that was the last chance of the day as the spoils were shared.

FCUM: Carnell, Williams, Brown (Glynn 93), Winter, Kay, Ashworth, Gilchrist, Sheridan, Greaves (Arnison 90), Wright, Thomson; Subs (not used): Baird, Jones, Kisimba.

UNITED: Durrant, Thomas, Robinson, Maguire, Gordon, Chippendale (Clappison 36), Gatter, Hilliard (Colley 77), Rollins, Smith, Marshall (St Juste 88); Subs (not used): Fairhurst, Emery.

Att: 2,393.