BOSTON UNITED 1 HAUGHMOND 1: Minnows hold Pilgrims to an FA Cup replay

Jan Yeomans.
Jan Yeomans.

Boston United and Haughmond will have to do it again as a late Scott Ryan goal earned the Midland Football League minnows a replay.

The Pilgrims dominated proceedings against the side three divisions below them in the pyramid, but the failure to convert chances cost them the opportunity to progress at the first time of asking.

Jan Yeomans had given the hosts the lead, but a combination of brave defending and poor decision making ensured the two sides will meet again on Tuesday night.

Mansfield Town loanee Jack Thomas was handed his debut in the United midfield while fellow new boy Liam Wakefield was named on the bench. Gregg Smith started in attack after returning from his four-game ban.

But Boston were without Jack Cowgill, who quit the club this week, and the suspended Harry Vince.

Kabongo Tshimanga came within a whisker of opening the scoring with 10 minutes gone.

United’s bright start culminated in the early chance, Tshimanga getting goalside of Academicals keeper Sam Jones but slipping at the vital moment, Jones recovering and getting just enough to divert the ball wide as the forward got his shot off.

Ashley Hemmings then saw a free kick deflected wide and Jay Rollins dragged an effort the wrong side of the post as the Pilgrims dominated the early chances.

And when Hemmings did beat keeper Jones, after meeting Smith’s knock down, a superb diving header from Jack Griffiths cleared the ball off the line and over the bar.

As the pressure continued Boston should have been given a penalty as Griffiths clattered into the back of Rollins.

Referee Tom Hancock agreed initially, putting the whistle to his mouth. But when assistant Andrew Hitchcock failed to raise his flag, the official didn’t have the confirmation he was seeking and changed his mind.

As the first half drew to a close Hemmings put a header over and Tshimanga saw an effort, on the turn, smash against the outside of the Haughmond post.

The second half began with keeper Jones in the thick of the action, holding onto Smith’s diving header, using his body to block Tshimanga’s effort from point-blank range and gathering Jordan Keane’s hopeful strike.

The pressure finally paid off in the 54th minute as Yeomans met Hemmings’ corner at the back post and forced his header beyond the helpless Jones and into the back of the net.

Alas, Smith was again denied by Jones when the stopper got down well to deny the striker at his near post. And when the number one was beaten, Smith saw his powerful volley denied as Simms was again in the right place at the right time.

But it was all square with 11 minutes to go as substitute Ryan collected a corner at the back post and drilled a low strike home from the tightest of angles.

As the away side grew in confidence, Brad McGowan was called upon to hack clear a low cross and George Willis pulled off a superb instinctive save to fingertip a long throw, flicked on by Steve Hole, away from danger.

Haughmond should have had a penalty when Carl Rogers’ free kick was handled in the wall, but again referee Hancock let play continue.

James Clifton and Rollins both had late chanceds for Boston, but again Jones was the hero.

UNITED: Willis, Clifton, Yeomans, Thomas, Keane (Wakefield 66), McGowan, Rollins, Chapman, Smith (Waite 78), Hemmings, Tshimanga (Hawley 68); Subs: McGuire, Beatson, Broadhead, Payne.

HAUGHMOND: Sam Jones, Carpenter, Fletcher, Simms, Griffiths, Rogers, Andy Jones (Ryan 73), Howells (Phillips 62), Parry (Owen 89), Hole, Renshaw; Subs: Hewitt, Williams, Thomas, Sean Jones.

Ref: Tom Hancock.

Att: 726 (61).