Jay Rollins is back with a bang! The striker scored his first goals since his return to Boston United as the Pilgrims claimed a stoppage-time victory over North Ferriby.
His inch-perfect 20-yard curler cancelled out Joe Pugh’s earlier effort, before he met Karl Hawley’s pass with 45 seconds of time added on remaining to claim the points.
Victory ended Boston’s four-game winless run, but it came at a cost as the hosts picked up their fifth red card of the campaign as Harry Vince was shown a straight red just six minutes after his introduction from the bench.
In the 16 months since these two rivals last met in that play-off semi-final north of the Humber - where the Villagers held their nerve and the Pilgrims lost theirs - both clubs have suffered a dip in fortunes.
Ferriby suffered a relegation and swift return to the division, while Boston haven’t found themselves in the top half of the National League North since.
And while the management and playing staff of both clubs have altered drastically, the importance of the contest hasn’t changed.
As always, victory was vital for both teams. But at the end of the day, it was Boston who scooped the points to move up to 16th and leave the Villagers rooted to the bottom of the table.
Adam Murray kept the faith with the squad which earned a 1-1 draw at Kidderminster on Saturday while the Villagers’ squad included former Pilgrims Kyle Dixon, Ross Durrant and Pugh.
And it was two of those players who had the biggest impact on the opening half.
As the Pilgrims dominated possession Durrant was called upon to use his body to deny Ashley Hemmings and react quickly to block James Clifton’s goalbound cross as he evaded the pack.
Routine saves denied Jack Cowgill and Hemmings, with Durrant also helping Jordon Cooke’s sliced clearance from creeping into his own net.
And when Durrant was beaten, Kabongo Tshimanga’s curler and Jack Broadhead’s header both landed inches the wrong side of his goal.
Against the run of play the Villagers led at the interval courtesy of Pugh’s 38th-minute finish.
Ferriby’s first effort at goal rattled George Willis’ crossbar and Pugh was in the right place, falling as he struck the ball, to guide the rebound towards goal, watching as it trickled over the line.
Parity was restored three minutes after the re-start as Rollins netted his first Pilgrims goal since his return.
Beating Durrant to the chase for a long ball he composed himself, turned towards goal and sent a curling effort over the stranded keeper and into the net.
Sensing blood United moved up a gear, Durrant getting down well to deny Clifton and tipping Hemmings’ piledriver away.
Broadhead then came within a whisker of giving Boston the lead for the first time in five matches, but as he looked to be diverting Clifton’s corner into the net Durrant somehow scooped the ball away.
At the other end a rare Ferriby break saw Curtis Bateson scuff wide when well placed.
Harry Vince, a 72nd-minute substitute, was back in the dressing room six minutes later, shown a straight red card for a lunge on Dixon.
That challenge was the catalyst for both sides and dug-outs to get involved in a shoving match which also led to Villagers assistant Darryn Stamp been sent from the touchline.
Broadhead again went close with a left-footed drive from distance before Boston struck at the death.
Jordan Keane cut out a Ferriby attack, sent a long cross-field pass to Hawley who slipped in Rollins to dink over the helpless Durrant.
There was still time for the away side to have a final effort, Mark Gray’s header blocked on the line by Brad Beatson.
UNITED: Willis, Clifton, Yeomans, Beatson, Keane, Cowgill, Rollins, Chapman, Tshimanga (Hawley 58), Hemmings (Vince 72), Broadhead; Subs (not used): Hare, Waite, McGuire.
FERRIBY: Durrant, Cooke, Dixon, Johnson, Gray, Picton, Russell, Bateson, Pugh (Seidi 66),Hutchinson (Ambalu 77), Rzonca; Subs (not used): Skelton, Barrows.
Ref: James Bell
Att: 859 (13).