BOSTON UNITED 2 STOCKPORT COUNTY 2: Stoppage-time controversy costs Pilgrims

Gregg Smith.
Gregg Smith.

James Ball headed home a leveller in the sixth minute of time added on to rob Boston United of their first back-to-back wins off the season.

Referee Sam Mulhall and his assistants left the pitch to a chorus of boos at full time with the home support feeling their team had the three points which would have lifted them out of the bottom three taken from them.

Gregg Smith and Jay Rollins put the Pilgrims 2-0 up before Matty Warburton reduced the arrears.

The home fans left as many had arrived - frustrated.

Much of the first half saw a group chanting in protest at the club’s decision to accommodate the away support in the Town End for security reasons, following discussions with the police.

“We’re supposed to be at home” the pick of the songs from those in exile.

Hawley made one change to the side which left Leamington with their first away win of the season, Jan Yeomans slotting in at right back as full backs James Clifton (groin) and Liam Wakefield (ankle) were both ruled out.

Tyrell Waite, recalled from his loan at Matlock, was named on the bench.

Smith’s header proved the difference in a first half which boasted little goalmouth action.

Once again Sam Muggleton was the provider, his long throw being powered home by the striker, who got his name on the scoresheet for the fourth time this campaign.

Rollins, currently enjoying some of his best form this term, drove a low, tight-angled effort wide of Ben Hinchcliffe’s goal while, for County, Kallum Mantack saw his strike beaten away by George Willis.

Rollins doubled the advantage nine minutes after the re-start, slamming home at the back post after another Muggleton throw had caused chaos.

But Warburton dragged County back into contention eight minutes later, curling an inch-perfect free kick round the Pilgrims wall and beyond the dive of Willis.

Smith could have restored that two-goal cushion but saw a strike fly wide of the mark and, deep into time added on, slid onto Waite’s clever pass but prodded over.

Mulhall indicated a minimum of five additional minutes, hew played more than seven.

And in that time Ball levelled.

UNITED: Willis, Yeomans, Muggleton, McGuire, Beatson, McGowan, Hemmings, Keane, Smith, Rollins (Waite 89), Vince (Broadhead 85); Subs (not used): Tshimanga, Penfold, Adams.

COUNTY: Hinchliffe, Cowan, Duxbury, Ball, Clarke, O'Halloran (Thomas 77), Mantack (Smalley 82), Stopforth, Oswell, Dixon (Stephenson 77), Warburton; Subs (not used): Walker, Ormson.

Ref: Sam Mulhall.

Att: 1,211 (174).