MARC Newsham forced home a stoppage time winner for Boston United at Bishop’s Stortford – but manager Jason Lee has demanded better from his side.
In the seventh minute of stoppage time Newsham grabbed a trademark poacher’s goal with a close-range flick to steal all the points in Hertfordshire.
But had it not been for the heroics of Pilgrims’ veteran keeper Paul Bastock then the home side would have wrapped up victory within the first half hour.
Stortford’s bad day didn’t finish their either, as Phil Anderson was sent off for his part in a scuffle with Ryan Semple.
“We’re delighted with the three points, I didn’t think it would come,” Lee said.
“When they went down to 10 men everybody expects you to put in a decent performance.
“But to be fair to them they kept the ball well, better than us, and our quality was poor.
“I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed with our overall performance.
“But you’ve got to be happy with points and those points could be valuable.”
The winning goal came deep into time added on and was not the prettiest goal Newsham will ever score, but he celebrated it with gusto.
Ben Milnes’ long freee kick was nodded on by Mickey Stones for Alan White to flick into the path of Newsham.
The striker, with his back to goal, still had plenty of work to do.
But he found the net before being mobbed by his teammates by the corner flag.
“We didn’t play very well throughout the game but we kept plugging away and had a few free kicks - thankfully we made that one count,” Newsham said.
While Nesham’s name goes down as the matchwinner, that accolade really belongs to Bastock, who kept United in the game with a number of fine saves.
Early on he tipped Dwight Gayle’s curler off target before twice more denying the lively striker from good positions.
But his best save was a reaction lunge that saw him firmly beat away Junior Dadson’s 10-yard strike, when the attacker was unmarked in the penalty area.
“It’s nice to make the saves, but I don’t really want to be that busy,” said Bastock, who kept his third consecutive clean sheet.
With 20 minutes left, Anderson saw red after tussling with Semple.
As the pair tumbled to the ground, the Stortford defender pinned down the Boston winger and was adjudged to have taken a swing at the man on the ground.
Semple was booked for his provocation.
But with the extra man, United didn’t look likely to make their advantage count... until Newsham did just that at the death.
STORTFORD: Eyre, Jones, Anderson, Shulton, Habu, Essam, Cole (Hahn 57), Prestedge, Gayle, Bakare (Read 79), Dadson (Rance 64); Subs (not used): Abdullahi, Davison.
UNITED: Bastock, Fairclough, Jelleyman, Hall (Milnes 63), Ward, White, Semple (Wilkinson 80), Sleath, Stones, Newsham, Holsgrove (Suarez 57); Subs (not used): Austin, Field.
Ref: Ian Crouch.