Lacklustre half costs Poachers

Alex Beck.

Alex Beck.

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Boston Town squandered two points in Saturday’s crunch battle with fellow strugglers Northampton Sileby Rangers, writes Pat Megginson.

A lacklustre second half proved crucial as the Poachers were clawed back from a two goal lead.

Boston started brightly, with youngster Fraser Bayliss shooting wide.

The seventh minute saw Jack Dykes thread a perfect diagonal ball through the Rangers half which was cleared straight to Richard Ford, his goal bound shot being blocked by the hapless Craig Parker.

On nine minutes Beck improvised an overhead kick floated just over Aaron Higgs’ crossbar.

Michael Wood nearly profited from Higgs’ spill from Parker’s corner.

The luckless winger again tested the visiting keeper on 26 minutes, watching his free kick palmed away.

But a minute later Town broke the deadlock. Richard Ford won the ball back in midfield and found Parker, whose toe poke freed Beck to slot the ball past Higgs.

The visitors nearly leveled things three minutes later but missed an open goal.

Beck, looking particularly sharp, pounced on a Sileby mistake on 33 minutes, only to fire over.

Just before the half was up, Parker won a header which was latched on to by Dykes, his shot also blocked.

Town started the second period with the same fervour. The shot happy Dykes saw a long range effort go wide before Beck forced a fine save from Higgs.

On 53 minutes the Poachers doubled their advantage, Ford winning yet another challenge and finding Parker, who slid the ball inside to Beck for his 21st goal of the season.

Town thought they had a third but the referee ruled out the goal seemingly for an illegal challenge by the incredulous Simon Ashton on the keeper.

This seemed to deflate Boston and they retreated.

Brian Farrell would make them pay, weaving through a hesitant Town defense on 61 minutes to notch a fine individual goal.

To add insult to injury, the referee - who infuriated the home bench after Dykes appeared to have been elbowed, with the aggressor only receiving yellow - awarded the visitors a penalty on 87 minutes after Parker was struck at point blank range in the area.

The grateful Farrell slotted the spot kick home for a draw.

TOWN: Doughty, Stevens, Field (Callaby), Ford, Wood, S Ashton, Dykes, Bayliss (Parnell), Beck, Fleming, Parker.