BOSTON UNITED 1 DARLINGTON 1: Tshimanga rescues a point in a tale of two penalties

Kabongo Tshimanga.
Kabongo Tshimanga.

Kabongo Tshimanga came off the bench to rescue a point for Boston United as they held Darlington to a 1-1 draw at the Jakemans Stadium.

With 12 minutes to go the substitute squeezed home a tight-angled effort to secure a deserved share of the spoils.

Prior to that the contest was a tale of two penalties, with United’s James Clifton seeing a tame effort saved by Adam Bartlett, before Stephen Thompson drilled the Quakers in front from 12 yards.

Although having to end the day with a solitary point, Boston should be happy with one of their better performances of the season.

The side resembled a team rather than a collection of individuals, with Jack Thomas the stand-out performer in a game where plenty of others also held their own.

Adam Murray kept the faith with the starting XI which left Haughmond with a comfortable 5-0 FA Cup replay win in midweek, meaning skipper Adam Chapman ended his run of being the only outfield player to start every league game this season.

Darlo’s team included former United defenders Liam Marrs and David Ferguson.

Boston began the brighter of the two with Thomas’ trickery giving the visitors a few scares down the right wing.

The pace of Jay Rollins, however, created the first chance of the afternoon, the attacker collecting George Willis’ kick and beating former teammate Marrs for pace, only to see his strike deflected over as Joe Wheatley bravely threw his body in the way.

A golden opportunity for the hosts to take the leads then went begging when Marrs mistimed a clearance and upended Thomas in the penalty area.

But from the spot skipper Clifton, who netted twice on Tuesday, failed to hit his low strike with any real conviction and Bartlett made a comfortable save.

Clifton came close to making amends but saw a looping header land over the Quakers’ crossbar and a volley deflected wide, bringing an end to an opening 45 minutes in which Darlington’s best hopes of getting on the scoresheet came from some tricky Adam Dawson crosses.

Within minutes of the re-start the impressive Dawson had clipped the ball over Willis and into the Boston net, but only after he had run the ball out of play.

The hosts had two further penalty appeals turned down by referee Dean Watson - one for handball and another for a foul on Rollins - while Jack Broadhead saw a close-range effort on the turn saved by Bartlett in between the two calls.

After Nathan Cartman had lashed a 20-yard effort wide, the Quakers took the lead with a penalty of their own with an hour played, Thompson smashing home after Jordan Keane had tripped Harvey Saunders.

One shot on target. One-nil.

The opener seemed to change the complexion of the game with the wind knocked out of Boston’s sails and the visitors growing in confidence.

But that all changed with a moment of Tshimanga magic.

The substitute had only been on the pitch nine minutes before a tricky run took him to their byline.

But with a lack of support he decided to go its alone, squeezing home from the tightest of angles.

Ashley Hemmings came within a whisker of giving the hosts the lad with a powerful drive which was equalled by the powerful hand of Bartlett, diverting the goalbound piledriver.

But that was the closest United came to leading.

UNITED: Willis, Wakefield, Yeomans, McGuire, Keane, McGowan, Rollins, Broadhead (Tshimanga 69), Smith (Hawley 81), Thomas, Clifton (Hemmings 73); Subs (not used): Chapman, Beatson.

DARLO: Bartlett, Marrs, Ferguson, Turnbull (Scott 64), Collins, Galbraith, Thompson, Wheatley, Caton (Saunders 44), Cartman, Dawson (Vaulks 76); Subs (not used): Gillies, Wilczynski.

Ref: Dean Watson.

Att: 1,051 (141