ALTRINCHAM 0 BOSTON UNITED 1: Agnew’s strike proves decisive for five-star Pilgrims

Liam Agnew.
Liam Agnew.

Skipper Liam Agnew fired home his third goal of the season as Boston United left Altrincham with a 1-0 victory.

With 20 minutes left on the clock substitute Waide Fairhurst, hovering on the edge of the Robins’ penalty area, collected the ball and set his captain through on goal with a clever reverse-pass flick.

Agnew, who had missed the target with a delicate finish in the first half, wasn’t making the same mistake twice and smashed his effort beyond the finally defeated Andrew Daubney.

After a goalless draw and those forgettable 6-1 and 7-1 drubbings, Boston finally left the J. Davidson Stadium with something to cheer, stretching their unbeaten run to five in the process.

In the cold light of day the final scoreline may be the only statistic that truly matters, but how this match finished with just one goal is anyone’s guess.

At times, particularly in the opening 45, it was end-to-end breathless fun as both attacks ran the defences ragged, even if they failed to put the ball in the net.

But as both teams left the pitch, Agnew’s strike won it, but Boston were indebted to keeper Dion-Curtis Henry for keeping them in it with a series of fine saves.

The on-loan Posh teenager - returning to the starting XI alongside Marcus Marshall, Lamin Colley and debutant Ben Gordon - was called upon to turn Gregory Wilkinson’s low strike round his post, before again frustrating the Robins man by holding onto another long-range effort.

Damian Reeves should have had his name on the scoresheet following a near-post flick which was guided wide of the mark, and again failed to test the Pilgrims keeper with a header.

For Boston, Colley - making his first start in eight contests - saw two headers saved by Dawber, the first from the keeper’s shins as the majority of his body was falling behind the goalline, and also a drive well held.

Agnew beat the home keeper with a clever chip but the ball bounced in to the side netting, while Gregg Smith’s looping header fell the wrong side of Dawber’s post.

The second half began with Altrincham on top, Moult, Wilkinson and Craig Hobson trying their luck from distance before Hobson somehow flicked a header wide when well placed.

But as chances went begging, Henry again pulling off a fine block to deny James Lawrie, Boston’s confidence grew.

With 70 minutes on the clock Fairhurst’s clever flick teed up Agnew and the hosts were in front.

Normal service resumed minutes later as Henry again denied Lawrie, bravely sliding in and being clattered in the meantime.

But he got up and earned his clean sheet with a late dive to parry Wilkinson’s drive as the hosts tried, in vain, to pull level.

ALTRINCHAM: Dawber, Patterson, Doherty, Moult, Cyrus, Goodall, Lawrie, Wilkinson, Hobson (Heathcote 76), Reeves, Miller (Cain 70); Subs (not used): Hannigan, Hattersley, Deasy.

BUFC: Henry, Thomas, Maguire, Robinson, Gordon, Marshall, Agnew, St Juste (Burgess 88), Rollins, Colley (Fairhurst 56), Smith; Subs (not used): Hilliard, Wildin, Johnson.

Ref: Paul Newhouse.

Att: 918 (62).