BOSTON UNITED 2 NUNEATON TOWN 1: Felix smashes in a stunner as Pilgrims are one win away from play-offs

Kaine Felix.
Kaine Felix.

Boston United are one win away from the National League North play-offs.

A stunning 25-yard volley from Kaine Felix and Jay Rollins’ left-footed thumper saw the Pilgrims come from behind to sink closest rivals Nuneaton Town 2-1.

Boston didn’t have things all their own was as Vamara Sanogo headed the Boro into an early lead, but the Pilgrims showed character to finish the day fifth in the standings.

Nuneaton - who have a game in hand, Wednesday’s visit to Bradford Park Avenue - are four points behind United with a superior goal difference.

But victory for Dennis Greene’s side at Stalybridge Celtic next weekend will secure a top-five finish.

Boston have a strong tradition of signing off their final home match of the season in style.

With the exception of the 4-3 reverse against Brackley in 2013, the last time they ended their home league campaign in defeat was 21 years ago, a 3-2 loss against Spennymoor in a UniBond Premier contest which featured the likes of Paul Casey and Mel Sterland.

And with the sun out, United - beginning with the XI which drew at Harrogate last weekend - again began to shine.

With less than a minute on the clock Nuneaton’s Sanogo made the most of Carl Piergianni’s slip, but as he sprinted down on goal Fabian Spiess turned his low drive wide at his near post.

The Boro, whose appeal against their three-point deduction for fielding an inelligible player was thrown yesterday, certainly didn’t set up for the draw which would be advantageous given their game in hand, taking the match to the hosts early on.

Zak Mills made sure Rob Duffy’s header wasn’t going anywhere near the target while a mix-up between the right back and Spiess saw the keeper having to scramble the ball wide.

In between those early attacks of blue and white, Boston’s Nat Bown met a long Mills throw, only to see his effort diverted away off the head of Lathaniel Rowe-Turner.

Pressure paid off as Sanogo headed Nuneaton in front in the 19th minute.

Scott Garner’s late challenge left Elliott Whitehouse in a crumpled heap after the Nuneaton striker sold the Pilgrims skipper a dummy, and from the resultant free kick on the flank it was first blood The Boro.

The Town End was left collectively gasping as, almost immediately from the re-start, Garner saw a header rattle the crossbar.

A timely deflection from Mills then saw the defender use his chest to force Whitehouse’s goalbound volley over the crossbar before the tide started to turn.

Boston earned a series of corner’s and Piergianni twice saw headers whizz off target before Felix levelled things up with a stunning 25-yard volley.

Lewis Hilliard’s delivery from the quadrant was headed out by the Boro defence, only for the winger to find the net with a blistering strike which swerved away from Jordan Smith between the sticks.

Thirty-nine minutes gone, and everything to play for.

The second half began with Smith clutching Hilliard’s 20-yarder at the second attempt, but it was soon 2-1 as Rollins thumped the Pilgrims in front.

With 49 minutes on the clock Dayle Southwell slipped the wideman through on goal, Rollins smashing his left-footer high into the roof of the net.

As Felix burst down on goal he fell to the floor after his legs tangled with Rowe-Turner’s but referee Lloyd Wood signalled for play to continue.

Nuneaton seemed to have lost their fizz, but it took a goalmouth scramble to keep Joe Maguire’s close-range effort, following a corner, out.

Smith then came to his side’s rescue twice in as many minutes, tipping Rollins’ drive over and collecting Garner’s close-range header.

One game to go. Three points the aim. All to play for.

UNITED: Spiess, Mills, Brown, Piergianni, McEvoy, Garner, Roberts, Hilliard, Felix, Southwell (Burgess 85), Rollins (M. Jones 78); Subs (not used): Robinson, Lavelle-Moore, Johnson.

NUNEATON: : Smith, Warburton, Maguire, Rowe-Turner, C. Keane (Reid 86), Morgan, Byrne, Scott, Whitehouse, Duffy (Ironside 68), Sanogo (Waite 88); Subs (not used): Lane, De La Paz.

Ref: Lloyd Wood.

Att: 2,037 (170).