BOSTON UNITED 1 CHESTERFIELD 1: All square as Pilgrims and Spireites can’t be separated

Adam Marriot with manager Craig Elliott.
Adam Marriot with manager Craig Elliott.

It was honours even as Boston United and Chesterfield played out a 1-1 draw at the Jakemans Stadium.

In a hit-and-miss contest which had that early pre-season feel from beginning to end, 43 players huffed and puffed as they attempted to regain the match fitness lost over the close season.

Adam Marriott announced himself to Pilgrims fans in style, netting his first goal for the club just two-and-a-half hours after signing his one-year deal.

Collecting the ball outside the Chesterfield box, the former Cambridge United and Lincoln City striker set himself and drilled a rising strike beyond the dive of Joe Anyon and into the top corner to hand Craig Elliott’s side a 28th-minute lead.

That lead was to last just five minutes, Zavon Hines restoring parity as he beat John McCombe to a loose ball and hammered a low effort home from 20-yards out.

Former Boston full back Sam Muggleton was one of the trialists listed on the Spireites team sheet, and he caused the hosts a few problems with that long throw-in that had been utilised at the Jakemans Stadium often enough last season.

United’s George Willis and opposite number one Anyon both stood firm to repel efforts from opposing trialists, while Boston’s Nathan Arnold and Marriott both saw efforts fail to hit the target.

The second half signalled the beginning of both sides making waves of changes, the match losing its way.

One of those substitutes, former Chesterfield keeper Dylan Parkin, made important blocks to deny Joe Rowley and Gozie Ugwu.

And when Charlie Carter did beat the teenager his effort lacked the curl to land the right side of the post.

Ashley Jackson and Jonny Margetts tried their luck from distance late on, but neither had the beating of Shwan Jalal, who the Pilgrims had courted last summer.

UNITED (first half): Willis, Middleton, Gough, Thanoj, McCombe, Qualter, Wafula, Abbott, Trialist, Marriott, Arnold (Trialist 66); (second half): Parkin, Trialist, McCombe, Middleton, Jackson, Roberts, Trialist, Harris, Trialist, Arnold, Marriott (Margetts 59).

CHESTERFIELD: Anyon (Jalal 59), Wedgbury (Weston 59), Evans (Maguire HT), Hines (Smith HT), Nelson (Sharman 80), Rowley (Weir 59), Trialist (Binnion-Williams HT (Carter 53 (Rawson 71))), Trialist (Ugwu 59), Ofoegbu (Barry 59), Wakefield, Trialist (Trialist HT). Subs (not used).

Ref: Declan Bourne.

Att: 429.