WALSHAM LE WILLOWS 1 BOSTON TOWN 3: Kennedy nets twice to set up Tigers tie

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Boston Town booked their place in the FA Cup preliminary round following last night’s 3-1 victory at Walsham Le Willows.

Matt Kennedy netted a brace and Jordan Nuttell was also on target as Nathan Collins’ side pocketed £1,500 in prize money after winning their replay.

The victory sets up a mouthwatering Lincolnshire derby against UCL Premier rivals Holbeach United in the next round, which will be played on August 30.

After an even start to the tie, in which Danny Barrett curled a free-kick narrowly over for the visitors and Willows’ Andrew Wood spurned a good opportunity, it was Boston who broke the deadlock in the 28th minute.

Kennedy latched on to an angled drive over the top, before keeping his cool to deceive the onrushing Lee Pacey and smartly flick the ball into the net, despite the best efforts of Dan Easlea on the line.

The home side responded strongly and came inches away from levelling 11 minutes later, but Wood could only watch on as his low drive came crashing back off the left upright.

However, Walsham went into the interval on level terms as Nathan Burch rose highest to head home Easlea’s corner just a minute before the break.

Town and their Eastern League Premier Division opponents finished all square at 1-1 on Saturday, but the Poachers weren’t prepared to let the contest reach extra time.

The visitors started the second-half galvanised and should have regained their lead twice in as many minutes, but Jack Burrows could not capitalise, firing golden opportunities wide of the mark on both occasions.

Nuttell then spurned another clear chance, dragging his shot wide before the striker eventually put Boston back ahead in the 82nd minute as he brilliantly beat Burch before lofting the ball over Pacey.

Kennedy then spurned further opportunities to calm any Boston nerves before the visitors were given a let off of their own in the 90th minute as Easlea’s dipping 25-yard free-kick came back off the crossbar.

However, with the Willows pouring men forward, Kennedy raced clear with seconds remaining before nonchalantly lifting the ball over Pacey to seal the visitors progression into the next round.