Boston United 3 Oxford City 1: United close in on top five with Drury’s first victory

United clear an Oxford cross.
United clear an Oxford cross.

Goals from Marc Newsham and a brace from super sub Mark Jones earned Graham Drury his first victory as Boston United boss - as the Pilgrims defeated Oxford City 3-1.

The win moved Boston to within three points of the play-off spots.

Both strikers grabbed tap-ins, but nobody in the home dressing room will care.

Boston’s only real shortcoming in Drury’s first match as manager was their inability to turn pressure into goals, drawing 1-1 with Corby Town.

Against Oxford there appeared to be no such worry with Marc Newsham prodding home his 21st of the season after just seven minutes.

Spencer Weir-Daley’s low strike looked goalbound, despite keeper Matt Ingram getting his fingertips to the ball, but the heavy mud held things up.

That was until Newsham was first on the scene, reacting first and forcing the ball home from almost on the goalline.

But in the 32nd minute, United’s defensive frailties were exposed once more as Adam Learoyd headed City level.

Given too much space in the penalty area, he looped Pilgrims old boy Jamie Cook’s cross beyond the helpless Dan Haystead.

But conceding only semed to spur the Pilgrims on.

It took a superb point-blank save from ingram to prevent Spencer Weir-Daley putting United ahead once more, after he had latched onto Gareth Jelleyman’s cross.

After the break, United picked up where thery had left off, with both Ian Ross and Ben Fairclough seeing efforts fire wide.

Another strike from distance by Ross saw Ingram get down well to smother the effort.

With 63 minutes on the clock, Drury made a change... and it paid of within seconds.

Jones replaced Weir-Daley, and his first touch saw him tap home Marc Newsham’s square ball from point-blank range.

The move owed plenty to the clever inter-play between Newsham and Jordan Smith - making his first start for the club - although Drury will claim the substitution as a masterstroke.

Ben Milnes almost added to the Boston scoreline with a 30-yard strike.

But despite Ingram left rooted to the spot, the ball fizzed off target.

As the game reached its final minutes, Oxford continued with their game plan of hitting long balls into the Pilgrims’ area.

but despite a few scrappy moments, United held on, almost earning a third as Nathan Stainfield’s header flashed across goal late on.

That third goal, however, did come in the fifth minute iof time added on.

Ben Milnes’ through ball saw Jones confidently slot below Ingram.

Game over.

UNITED: Haystead, Marshall, Jelleyman, Silk, Ward, Ross, Fairclough (Stokes 76), Milnes, Newsham (Stainfield 83), Weir-Daley (Jones 63), J. Smith; Subs (not used): Reed, K. Smith.

OXFORD: Ingram, Gunn, Stonehouse, Ballard, Learoyd, Willmott, Mulvany (Benjami HT), Pond, Holgate (Basham 77), Barcelos (Janes 63), Cook; Subs (not used): McEachran, Stanley.

Att: 871.

Ref: Matthew Walsh.