BOSTON UNITED 0 LEAMINGTON 1: Unbeaten run ended in a game of two red cards

Reece Thompson.
Reece Thompson.

Boston United’s unbeaten run was ended by Leamington in a contest surrounded in controversy.

Both sides had a man dismissed by referee Simon Mather, who also handed out seven yellow cards and also pulled back play when United looked through on goal and set to level.

But after 100 minutes of football - 10 minutes added in a game which never hit any real flow - it was the Brakes who ended the hosts’ unbeaten run at nine games, courtesy of Ahmed Obeng’s finish.

Back in November Leamington were seven unbeaten when Boston left with a 2-0 victory.

You could call this poetic justice, but the truth is that Boston gifted their opponents the victory courtesy of Wes Atkinson’s poor back pass.

The stop-start first half was forgettable stuff, dominated by niggly fouls, needless bookings and some odd decisions by referee Mather and his assistants.

Leamington, with just one win in their past 10 matches, set up to frustrate, but offered a constant threat through the athletic duo of Daniel Udoh and Obeng.

And had their finishing been less sloppy they would have entered the interval in front, Callum Gittings’ free header and strikes from Kieran Dunbar and Connor Gudger wastefully off target.

Brakes keeper Tony Breeden was the busier of the two number ones, but two efforts from Jay Rollins and a hopeful 30-yarder from Gregg Smith were all comfortably held.

But the biggest frustration for the Pilgrims was losing captain Jordan Keane to a foot injury after half an hour, Taron Hare replacing him in the heart of defence.

The Brakes were gifted the lead in the 53rd minute when Wes Atkinson’s weak header back to keeper Stewart allowed Obeng to run in between the two and slot home from a tight angle.

Referee Mather then found himself caught up in a series of controversies.

Junior English was booked for an arm in the face of Reece

Thompson, similar the incident which saw the same referee dismiss Smith on the opening day of the season.

A second foul from the same player moments later brought no punishment, but as a quick Boston free kick saw Jamie McGuire round Breeden and get shoved to the floor in the box the official whistled to bring play back.

As frustrations boiled over Thompson was dismissed in the 78th minute for two bookings from the same incident, fouling Gittings and then throwing the ball at his opponent.

But the Brakes were down to 10 less than 120 seconds later when substitute Joe Magunda - who had been on the pitch less than four minutes - received his marching orders for a two-footed lunge on Abbott.

In between the madness, Stephen Brogan rattled the Brakes bar with a free kick.

Craig Elliott thew on striker Benny Igiehon for his debut, but the big attacker, like his teammates, failed to offer any real threat on the Brakes goal.

UNITED: Stewart, Atkinson (McGuire 67), Brogan, Thanoj (Igiehon 75), Keane (Hare 30), Qualter, Rollins, Abbott, Thompson, Smith, Hemmings; Subs: Tshimanga, Willis.

LEAMINGTON: Breeden, Taundry (Hood 86), Gudger, Clarke, Mace, English, Dodd (Magunda 76), Dunbar, Udoh (Moore 90), Gittings, Obeng; Subs: Revan, Canavan.

Ref: Simon Mather.

Att: 1,107.