BOSTON UNITED 2 YORK CITY 1: Willis shines as Pilgrims come from behind to seal important win

George Willis.
George Willis.

Craig Elliott earned his first win as Boston United manager as the Pilgrims came from behind to topple eighth-placed York City.

Adriano Moke had put the Minstermen in front with a splendid strike, but Jordan Keane’s effort and Ashley Hemmings’ penalty completed the turnaround.

It was United’s first home win in the National League North since September 5, and while the side’s refusal to give up must be commended, keeper George Willis should also take credit for a series of vital saves.

The result may leave Boston second-bottom, but a healthy victory over Southport on Saturday would see them leapfrog their next opponents.

The Pilgrims began brightly with James Clifton’s free kick and Hemmings’ hopeful lob landing inches wide of Adam Bartlett’s goal.

But City were making headway at the other end, George Willis firmly blocking James Gray’s strike after he had outmuscled Brad Beatson.

There was nothing the Boston stopper could do about Moke’s 19th-minute strike, the ball powerfully rising into the net from 25 yards out.

That lead would have been doubled were it not for Adam Curry’s last-ditch tackle, taking the ball off the toes of Amari Morgan-Smith as he looked set to finish into the unguarded net from close range.

Keane levelled things up with his second of the season nine minutes into the second half.

Hemmings appeared to scuff his corner but the ball bounced kindly and Keane, back from suspension, reacted first to blast home on the swivel.

An acrobatic volley from Gregg Smith brought another routine save from Bartlett before Willis maintained parity with a fantastic reaction save to deny Morgan-Smith’s close-range volley.

And there was more of the same as the Pilgrims stopper stood firm to deny Aidan Connolly, a vital intervention as Hemmings put United ahead in the 72nd minute.

After James Clifton surged into the box and was upended by David Ferguson, Hemmings stepped up and calmly stroked the ball beyond Bartlett.

UNITED: Willis, Clifton, Curry, McGuire (Walker 72), Beatson, McGowan, Rollins, Keane, Smith (Tshimanga 84), Thompson, Hemmings; Subs (not used): Vince, Waite, Stabana.

YORK: Bartlett, Parslow, Ferguson, Bencherif, Burn, Moke (Muggleton 75), Newton, Rowe, Parkin, Morgan-Smith (Connolly 65), Gray (Smith 75); Subs (not used): Law, Simpson.

Ref: Sam Barrott.

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