BOSTON UNITED 1 AFC TELFORD UNITED 0: No play-offs, but Pilgrims end on a high

Ashley Hemmings.
Ashley Hemmings.

Mission: Impossible proved to be just that as Boston United’s slim chance of making the National League North play-offs were finally ended.

The Pilgrims concluded their season with a 1-0 victory against AFC Telford United, but that was not enough for a side who needed four results to go their way, plus a 10-goal swing.

Ashley Hemmings netted the decisive goal, his 16th strike of the season seeing him move one ahead of Kabongo Tshimanga in the scoring charts and ensuring the Jakemans Stadium didn’t see a goalless draw all season.

And that was enough for Craig Elliott’s side - without Jake Beesley, who was recalled by Salford - to finish ninth in the table, their highest league position all campaign.

There was also the sidenote that this result saw the Pilgrims end a match, their final of the season, with an overall positive goal difference for the first time.

An evenly-matched but drab first half saw both sides failing to create clear-cut chances, Boston’s Tshimanga going closest with two hopeful efforts from distance.

At half time the results were going United’s way, the Pilgrims just needing nine unanswered goals.

The dream was all-but over, but the hosts did begin the second half with more purpose, Reece Thompson heading against the inside of the post and Andi Thanoj forcing Ben Wilson into an acrobatic save from his swerving 20-yarder.

United took a 59th-minute lead from the penalty spot, Hemmings sending Wilson the wrong way following a series of appeals for handball as the ball bounced about in the Bucks’ box.

Chances returned to a premium after that, although Tshimanga saw his final chance to draw level with Hemmings blocked.

Telford failed to test George Willis all game, although Ellis Deeney put a free kick over in stoppage time.

UNITED: Willis, Middleton, Brogan, Thanoj, Keane, Qualter, Clifton (Wafula 71), Abbott, Thompson (McGuire 90), Tshimanga (Smith 85), Hemmings; Subs (not used): Withers, Stewart.

TELFORD: Wilson, White, Harris, Smith, Sutton, Deeney, Lussey (McAtee 73), Royle (Murphy 86), Morgan-Smith, Dinanga, Newby (Marsden 65): Subs (not used): Richards, Singh.

Ref: Ricky Wootton.

Att: 1,075 (62).