BOSTON UNITED 2 WORCESTER CITY 0: Deadly duo do the damage... yet again

Mark Jones.
Mark Jones.

Boston United’s deadly duo of Mark Jones and Dayle Southwell netted to sink Worcester City - and keep the Pilgrims very much in the Vanarama North’s play-off spots.

“We are going up,” sang the Town End as Southwell’s 88th minute strike - his 26th of the season - settled the nerves.

The forward finally got his name on gthe scoresheet after a frustrating afternoon where Ryan Boot appeared to block everything the United marksman struck on target.

Jones netted his 11th goal in 12 games early on, but Boston really should have scored more.

With Chorley beating Tamworth 5-0, they leapfrogged the Pilgrims on goal difference, but United remain in fifth with their destiny in their own hands.

Worcester have been a thorn in the Pilgrims’ side since they dropped out of the Football League in 2007, City winning seven and drawing two of the 12 meetings prior to kick off.

But today belonged to United.

Dennis Greene made two changes from the side which beat Gainsborough Trinity 2-1 the previous weekend, with Zak Mills returning from injury and recent acquisition Jake Sheridan making his first start.

That meant Grant Roberts and Nicky Walker dropped to the bench while Jake Hall - re-signed in midweek - was not involved.

It took just eight minutes for Jones to head the Pilgrims in front.

Southwell used his strength and turn of pace to create enough space to tee up a cross from the left flank as Jones timed his run to perfection to power beyond Ryan Boot, his 11th goal in 12 matches.

Southwell then had a chance of getting his name on the scoresheet as he bustled his way beyond City defender Anthony Charles, only for Boot to block well with his chest.

Try as he might, Southwell was having a frustrating first half in front of goal as a looping header landed on top of the crossbar... before an even better chance went begging.

Kaine Felix’s right wing cross was met at the near post by Jones, whose low strike was saved by Boot.

Southwell’s follow-up rebounded off the crossbar before Sheridan blazed the loose ball well over with the goal at his mercy.

It was to be Sheridan’s last action of the match as stretching for that ball seemed to have tweaked his hamstring, Walker replacing him on 27 minutes.

Boot again came to City’s rescue as he palmed Carl Piergianni’s powerful header round his post, United having to settle for the narrowest of leads at the interval.

It was more of the same after the break as Boot got down well to stop Walker’s powerful low drive.

City’s first real shot in anger followed during the away side’s first real period of sustained pressure, but Jay Denny’s effort from distance was well wide.

Southwell’s frustrations continued when Walker’s square ball set him through on goal, but yet another block from Boot kept the advantage to a minimum.

United believed they should have been awarded aspot kick when Jones went down in the penalty area, but the forward was booked by referee Ricky Wootton, who deemed the Boston man had dived.

Yet another chance for Boston to give themselves some breathing space went begging when Walker’s strike from Jones’ cross rebounded off the crossbar.

That narrow lead ensured things remained nervy for the Pilgrims, and when Daniel Nti met the ball from City’s first corner on 83 minutes it was a heart-in-mouth moment for Boston... but the ball sailed over.

But five minutes later the contest was all but over.

Worcester failed to clear their lines and Southwell was presented with his final chance.

This time neither Boot noe the woodwork were getting the better of him.

UNITED: Stryjek, Marrs, Steer, Mills, Garner, Piergianni, Felix, Dixon, Southwell, Jones, Sheridan (Walker 27); Subs (not used): Newsham, Saebe, Roberts, Vince.

WORCESTER: Boot, Rowe, Weir (Sousa 81), Elvins, Denny, Charles, Haynes, Deeney (Dunkley 66), Symons (Brown 58), Geddes, Nti; Subs (not used): Taylor, Sousa, Veiga.

Ref: Ricky Wootton.

Att: 1,357 (36).