BOSTON UNITED 1 WORCESTER CITY 1: Pilgrims have to settle for a point, but move up to third

Fabian Spiess.
Fabian Spiess.

The Rollins roll continues, but the Pilgrims had to settle for a point. For the second time in four days Jay Rollins found the net to put Boston United in front, but this afternoon a frustrating deflection robbed Dennis Greene’s side of victory.

In an day where Nuneaton were the only team in the National League North to record a win, United may see their draw with Worcester City as an opportunity wasted.

However, the silver lining in this particular cloud was North Ferriby United’s defeat at FC United of Manchester, which meant Boston moved up to third in the standings.

The Pilgrims, who had won their previous two Jakemans Stadium matches against City, stuck with the starting XI which returned to winning ways and looked like it may be back to back wins when they took the lead.

But a deflected leveller combined with a series of saves by Worcester keeper Nathan Vaughan kept the hosts at bay, not even the late sending off of Amadoiu Bakayoko aiding United who had to rely on a stoppage-time double save from Fabian Spiess to ensure parity.

Rollins picked up where he left off at Bradford Park Avenue in midweek, handing the Pilgrims a 36th-minute lead in a move which turned routine defence into clinical attack.

Scott Garner’s headed clearance was helped on by Grant Roberts, leaving Rollins to outpace Connor Gater and poke his effort beyond Nathan Vaughan.

But a huge slice of luck drew City level with the final attack of the first half.

As Garner and Roberts left a routine clearance for another to deal with, Bakayoko’s effort didn’t appear to trouble Spiess in the United goal, until the ball deflected off Jordan Murphy and screwed beyond the wrong-footed keeper.

The first half began as a battle of wills between Dayle Southwell and opposition striker Bakayoko.

While Southwell saw three efforts saved by Vaughan and a further one lashed off target after being slipped in by John Sands, the Worcester number nine blazed a strike over the Pilgrims bar and made Spiess turn a further attempt round his post.

The Blues also threatened through Gater’s drive, which whizzed wide of the mark.

Goalmouth action was hard to come by in the opening 20 minuites of the second half, altough Worcester defender Wayne Thomas picked up a booking for a nasty challenge on Southwell.

When the action resumed, Vaughan continued to frustrate the hosts, getting down well to tip Sands’ header away and using his knees to deny Roberts from a tight angle.

Bakayoko then received his marching orders for a kick at Liam Marrs off trhe ball in the 88th minute.

But the extra man proved no advantage, in fact it was Worcester who finished with the final chance.

Shaun Donellan’s free kick on the edge of the box was tipped onto the bar by Spiess but, with the keeper floored, Lee Hughes looked set to guide the ball into the net.

However, the Boston stopper did enough to smother the ball and save some blushes.

UNITED: Spiess, Marrs, Piergianni, Garner, McEvoy, Hilliard (Felix 74), Roberts, Ngamvoulou, Rollins, Southwell (Jones 85), Sands (Johnson 74). Subs: Burgess, Evans.

WORCESTER: Vaughan, Minihan, Gudger, Sharpe, Thomas, Jackman (Hughes 74), Nti, Donnellan, Bakayoko, Gater, Murphy; Subs: Burton, Ologu, Waldron, Ross.

Ref: Robert Massey-Ellis.

Att: 1,228 (17).