BOSTON UNITED 0 LINCOLN CITY 0: Red Imps progress 4-1 on penalties in county cup

Mark Jones.
Mark Jones.

Boston United were knocked out of the county cup after suffering back to back penalty defeats.

Today’s loss was by no means comparable to the final game of last season, which saw the Pilgrims’ play-off dreams ended by Chorley after spot kicks.

But it was Lincoln City who progressed to the Bluefin Sport Lincolnshire Senior Cup semi-finals at Scunthorpe United, after the Iron beat Lincoln United 5-2 earlier today.

Mark Jones was the only United player to convert from 12 yards as the Red Imps ran out 4-1 victors, after a goalless 90 minutes.

Peterborough United’s 17-year-old Slovakian youth international Henrich Ravas took his place between the sticks for United, the 6ft 6ins teenager hoping to impress and earn a loan deal at the Jakemans Stadium.

And he didn’t do himself any harm with a fine first-half save to push Matt Rhead’s 20-yarder over his bar.

Matt Urwin, who has been wearing the number one shirt in pre-season, wasn’t named on the team sheet prior to kick off, neither was fellow trialist Julian Bennett.

However, Boston did welcome Grant Roberts and Dayle Southwell back into their starting line-up following recent injury setbacks.

Lincoln’s team featured former Pilgrims Paul Farman, Greg Tempest and Lee Beevers, but there was no place in the Red Imps’ squad for old boys Alex Simmons and Conner Robinson.

Rule changes to the competition have allowed both teams to use up to seven substitutes and also name trialists in the squad.

But despite those differences allowing the competition to have more of a pre-season feel, that certainly wasn’t the case on the pitch.

These two county rivals weren’t afraid to hold back, with Scott Garner and Rhead clashing repeatedly throughout the first half and Rob Atkin dishing out four bookings.

Jack Muldoon came close to opening the scoring for the away side in the 10th minute when his cross beat Ravas before striking his far post and rebounding back into play.

Boston’s first sight of goal came when Zak Mills’ long throw caught out Farman, but Mark Jones’ looping header could only land on top of the goal net.

Jones then turned provider for strike partner Southwell, but the United forward could only hurry his effort off target.

As United came more into the game Farman got down well to deflect Kaine Felix’s effort, with Chris Bush clearing the stray ball off the goalline.

But it was the Imps who ended the first 45 the stronger, Rhead’s top corner-bound thumper somehow tipped over by Ravas at full stretch, and the same man latching onto Carl Piergianni’s back pass but unable to guide his lob on target.

And when Muldoon had a sight of goal a hopeful swipe from the grounded Garner somehow hooked the ball away from his opponent’s boot.

Ravas began the second half as he had begun the first, with a save. This time, however, he routinely gathered Liam Hearn’s free kick, which was struck close to his body.

Lincoln sub Nick Bignall flashed a header wide and Craig Stanley saw a snapshot fly over the bar as the away side comtinued to apply pressure.

Boston spent the second half getting into good positions but failing to threaten Farman’s goal, although Jamie McGhee struck wide from distance with minutes left on the clock.

And it was onto penalties.

Bradley Wood converted for Lincoln but Mills’ effort was saved by Farman.

Matt Sparrow slotted home and McGhee’s effort was also saved.

Rhead made it 3-0 with a low effort but Jones kept Boston’s hopes alive by finding the net.

However, Shaun Harrad ensured Lincoln progressed with a 4-1 success after also beating Ravas.

UNITED: Ravas, Mills, Marrs, Roberts (McGhee 72), Garner, Piergianni, Felix (Rollins 82), Dixon, Southwell (Friend 65), Jones, Deacey; Subs (not used): Sheridan, Vince.

CITY: Farman, Wood, Tempest (Stanley HT), Beevers, Sparrow, Bush (Waterfall 52), Muldoon (Harrad 68), Brown, Rhead, Hearn (Bignall 62), Nolan (Power HT); Subs (not used): Walton, Howe.

Ref: Rob Atkin.

Att: 877 (184).