BOSTON UNITED 0 ALFRETON TOWN 1: Reds claim first-ever win at York Street

George Willis.
George Willis.

Reece Styche continued his scoring streak at Boston United’s expense as Alfreton Town earned their first-ever win at York Street.

After 11 defeats and two draws the Reds finally picked up three points in Boston as the hosts suffered their first home Boxing Day defeat in a decade.

And it had to be Styche who made the difference, the same man who netted against the Pilgrims for both Tamworth and Darlington last season.

He would have had more were it not for the woodwork and an unbelievable save from George Willis.

But Boston only had themselves to blame for the defeat as opportunities were squandered.

United suffered a blow in the morning as big striker Gavin Allott was ruled out due to illness. Liam Agnew was also missing from the side as his loan spell from Harrogate Town ended, the midfielder linking up with York City at Darlington.

For Alfreton, former Pilgrims Adam Curry and James Clifton were among the starting XI.

Reece Styche has a habit of scoring against the Pilgrims and the attacker continued where he left off by giving the Reds a sixth-minute lead, hooking beyond Willis when a long ball into the box fell kindly for him.

As Alfreton got a foothold in the game Willis pulled off two fantastic saves to stop them doubling their advantage.

The first had onlookers rubbing their eyes in disbelief as Styche’s header from six yards out looked destined for the unguarded net, only for the Boston skipper to scramble across his goal and somehow divert the ball away off his thigh.

And when Curtis Bateson burst clear Willis made himself big and blocked his prodded effort.

Chances were few and far between for Boston in the first half, Ben Davies curling a free kick inches wide of the Town frame and Nicky Walker seeing a hopeful strike glide into the arms of Sam Ramsbottom before Jordan Slew had their best opportunity in added time.

But as the angle became tighter as he chased down the through ball he blasted into the side netting.

The second half began with danger man Styche chasing down a long ball on the left and beating the stranded Willis with a floated lob, only for the crossbar to come to the keeper’s rescue.

Slew should have levelled when handed a golden opportunity courtesy of Max Wright’s low cross but, at full stretch from eight yards out, he forced the ball over.

Boston suddenly had the wind in their sails and Andi Thanoj saw a 20-yarder fizz wide before Ramsbottom parried Walker’s stinger, defender Josh Wilde getting a telling touch as Wright looked set to pounce on the loose ball.

UNITED: Willis, Davies, Jackson, Thanoj, Harris, Qualter, Wright, Abbott, Slew (Rollins 70), Walker, Wafula (Rowe 85); Subs: Gibbens, Malkowski.

ALFRETON: Ramsbottom, Clifton, Wilde, Lynch, Curry (Hotte 75), Shiels, Styche (Sinnott 83), Platt, Peniket, Bateson, Allan; Subs: Chettle, Hobson, Nicholson.

REF: Tom Parsons.

ATT: 1,393.

STAR MAN: George Willis - two superb saves from the keeper.

GOALS: ALFRETON - Reece Styche (6).

BOOKINGS: UNITED - Ashley Jackson (19), Jonathan Wafula (77), Brad Abbott (90); ALFRETON - Luke Shiels (8), Josh Wilde (13), Adam Curry (58), Reece Styche (76), David Lynch (82), Curtis Bateson (84).