Boston United’s FA Trophy dreams were ended for another season following this evening’s 1-0 defeat to North Ferriby.
With home advantage, £5,000 at stake, a kind second-round draw against Hyde awaiting the victors and every chance of progressing against the Villagers, the Pilgrims contrived to do what they historically seem to most times a cup tie appears to be winnable... they lost.
In fairness, the hosts enjoyed the better possession and better chances and were the better side for most of the match.
But just 10 days before Christmas they gift wrapped victory for Ferriby, with Liam Marrs’ weak back pass allowing Jason St Juste in to score.
As the two sides prepared to lock horns for the second time in four days, following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Grange Lane, Dennis Greene named an unchanged starting XI for the replay.
However, 13-goal striker Dayle Southwell returned to the bench following his recent hamstring injury, with Ollie Price dropping out.
Ferriby’s only change saw Russell Fry replace the injured Jonathan D’Laryea.
The contest started at a slow pace with both sides perhaps a little familiar with what the opposition could do in attack and therefore tentative.
Ferriby’s Nathan Jarman fired over and Adam Bolder couldn’t get a touch on Jamie Yates’ teasing cross.
For Boston, Kaine Felix couldn’t get enough lift on his strike when Villagers stopper Adam Nicklin was caught in no-man’s land.
Nicklin, who pulled off a superb penalty save to deny Scott Garner on Saturday, was at it again tonight, reacting well to tip Greg Tempest’s acrobatic volley over the bar.
Yates had a chance to score yet again on his old stamping ground, but his near-post drive was well held by Joel Dixon, after the keeper did well to correct his feet.
Marc Newsham, who put Boston ahead at the weekend, almost netted his third goal in as many games when he cut inside on the left, but Nicklin did well to parry his low drive.
After the break Boston saw wayward strikes from Felix and Kyle Dixon fail to trouble Nicklin, before the hosts somehow scrambled Zak Mills’ back-post effort away from danger.
For the away side, St Juste’s positive running created a chance for Jarman, but Rene Steer reacted well to clear while the ball was stuck under the forward’s feet.
And it was St Juste who put Ferriby in front in the 72nd minute.
Capitalising on Liam Marrs’ weak back pass he rounded Dixon before slotting into the unguarded net.
The mistake was harsh on Marrs who had been a solid part of the United backline until that point.
But that pass was a game changer.
Deep into stoppage time Ryan Kendall added Ferriby’s second.
Breaking through the Pilgrims back line he tucked away at the second opportunity following Dixon’s save.
As the final whistle blew, Ferriby were looking forward to January 10’s home tie against Hyde.
The Pilgrims, on the other hand, were left rueing what might have been.
UNITED: J. Dixon, Mills, Steer, K. Dixon, Garner, Piergianni, Marrs, Tempest (Southwell 76), Newsham, Jones, Felix; Subs (not used): McGhee, Fallah, Hollingsworth, Vince.
FERRIBY: Nicklin, Yates (Black HT (Peat 80)), Wilde, King, Gray, Hone, Bolder (Kendall 64), Fry, Denton, Jarman, St Juste; Subs (not used): Anderson, Nicholson.
Ref: Neil Hair.