Goals at the end of both halves eliminated the Pilgrims from the FA Cup for another season on Saturday afternoon.
That was only half of the story though as Joe Maguire’s 22nd-minute red card dominated the post-match inquest carried out by Dennis Greene following the reversal to Southern League Premier Division side Kettering Town.
The Pilgrims were hoping to end a 14-season wait to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup as a non-league club, but they were denied the opportunity of moving within one win of the competition proper after suffering what they deemed as a first-half injustice.
Twice Maguire challenged ex-Pilgrim Spencer Weir-Daley and twice referee Robert Massey-Ellis waved yellow cards, followed by a red card on the second occasion, as the game swung decisively in the hosts’ favour.
United struggled to overcome their numerical disadvantage and quite honestly once they had fallen behind to Liam Canavan’s 43rd-minute opener, there appeared to be no way back.
That prophecy was proved correct a minute into added time at the end of the game when Wilson Carvalho added a driven second to seal the Poppies’ progress.
Dennis Greene pointed to Maguire’s harsh dismissal as the catalyst for United’s exit and it was hard to disagree. While his second yellow card could be justified, his first was as soft as you will ever see.
Kettering attempted to take immediate advantage, but found the Pilgrims in resolute mood throughout the remainder of the first half.
Their breakthrough did arrive two minutes before the break though when Dominic Langdon pulled the ball back from the left and Canavan swept it home from close-range.
Greene maintained a brave 4-2-3 approach after the break, but the Pilgrims rarely threatened and Kettering carved out the best openings with Michael Emery denying Anthony Howell and Nathan Hicks blasting wide from distance.
They killed off the contest when Carvalho latched on to James Brighton’s assist to run on and finish well past a helpless Emery.
Boston: Emery, Thomas (Hilliard 46), Gordon, Marshall, Maguire, Robinson, Rollins, Agnew, Fairhurst (Burgess 46), Smith, St Juste. Subs (not used): Colley, Wildin, Adams, Price, Payne.
Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis.