Late leveller frustrates Greene, but he takes the positives from Boston United draw at Nuneaton

Dennis Greene.
Dennis Greene.

Dennis Greene was left rueing a stoppage-time leveller which saw his Boston United side settle for a draw at Nuneaton Town on Saturday.

Goals from Lewis Hilliard and Joe Robinson appeared to set the Pilgrims on their way to a deserved victory.

But a last-gasp piece of magic saw Jordan Nicholson fire high into the net from 20 yards to rescue a point after Kelvin Langmead had reduced the arrears.

Boston looked to have held on for their second away win of the campaign after Dion-Curtis had to pull off a penalty save to keep his side’s one-goal lead in tact.

But in time added on, Nicholson got on the scoresheet.

“The last goal was disappointing, not only was it injury time but it’s come from a throw-in,”Greene said.

“He’s got in a position where there’s five at the back, four in front and he’s shooting from 20 yards with no-one round him.

“That shouldn’t happen, a lack of concentration or desire.”

Greene was back in the dug-out following threats to quit the club the previous week.

And he saw a much-improved performance from the 4-1 defeat to FC Halifax Town.

“It was a great reaction from the players this week, they’ve all got together, done fantastically well and played some great football.

“We were in a commanding lead but, fair play to Nuneaton, they’ve gone for it, put players forward and changed their shape, got a lot of balls into the box and they probably warranted the goals they got.

“But it would have been nice to see it through.

“For an hour it was as good as it’s been all season.

“The encouraging thing is, if we can get all our players back fit, then we would be a really decent side.

“Today we were very, very good. but we had nothing on the bench to change it.”

Nat Brown, making his first appearance of the season after finally overcoming his thigh injury, reminded the amber and black support exactly what they have been missing with a truly brilliant performance in the heart of defence - a calming presence, a ballwinner and leader.

Boston made four changes to the side which lost to Halifax.

Brown, Courtney Wildin, Callum Chippendale and Waide Fairhurst returning to the first XI.

Ex-Nuneaton skipper Joe Maguire and striker Gregg Smith were suspended while Liam Agnew and Kalern Thomas were ruled out through injury, meaning the Pilgrims had a total of eight unavailable players.

Cameron Johnson did, however, return to the squad from injury, being named on the bench.

Boston started the stronger and saw chances from Jay Rollins and Hilliard powered over the bar.

Nuneaton’s early attacks came to little due to some poor final balls and David Moli inviting the refereee’s assistant to raise his flag far too regularly.

But with 27 minutes gone, Nicholson’s tricky run offered him a clear sight of goal, only for a deflection to take the sting out of the effort and allow Henry to collect comfortably.

Four minutes later and United got the goal their persistence deserved as Hilliard met Fairhurst’s lay-off and drove a strike high and beyond the reach of former Pilgrim Christian Dibble from the edge of the penalty area.

Seconds later and there was almost a repeat but, from almost the same position, Dibble turned Hilliard’s strike wide.

From the resultant corner Marcus Marshall flicked Brown’s knock down over from close range.

But Nuneaton had the final say of the half, James Clifton firing into the arms of Henry.

Moli should have pulled the hosts level seconds after the re-start, evading Ben Gordon and Joe Robinson too easily but seeing Henry smother the ball as he was about to pull the trigger.

Boston then saw chances go begging as Hilliard and Chipperfield’s efforts sailed over.

Hilliard then saw a teasing free kick fly inches wide before sending in the delivery which doubled the lead, Robinson heading his first Pilgrims goal on the hour mark.

But eight minutes later Langmead gave the hosts hope as he nodded home from a Boro corner.

Nuneaton were given a golden chance to level from the penalty spot after Wildin lunged in on Clifton and referee Matthew Donohue pointed straight to the spot.

But Henry got down low to smother David Morgan’s strike and keep his side in front. Just.

Hilliard once again saw a free kick fly just away from goal while Nuneaton’s Moli flashed a header wide.

But into stoppage time that leveller arrived, Nicholson’s sweet 20 yarder finding the net.

NUNEATON: Dibble, Clifton, Higham (Ironside 64), Morgan, Langmead, Anderson, Daniels (Cartwright 64), Tempest, Moli, Williams, Nicholson; Subs (not used): Elliott, Demkiv, Wright.

UNITED: Henry, Gordon, Robinson, Brown, Wildin, Marshall, Chippendale, Hilliard, St Juste, Rollins, Fairhurst (Johnson 72); Subs (not used): Adams, Colley, Couzens, Emery.

Ref: Matthew Donohue.