BOSTON UNITED 3 TAMWORTH 1: Hemmings brace lifts in-form Pilgrims up to 12th

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Boston United moved up to 12th in the National League North following a 3-1 victory over Tamworth.

Ashley Hemmings took his season’s tally into double figures with a second-half brace while Reece Thompson grabbed his second in as many matches as the Lambs are yet to record a victory at York Street in their 10 visits.

The result maintains Craig Elliott’s unbeaten home record as Pilgrims boss, with United picking up 16 points from their last six contests.

Elliott handed debuts to keeper Jon Stewart and defender Ryan Qualter, while Taron Hare made his first start since August 22.

Stephen Brogan was ruled out with a groin injury while Paul Walker and George Willis - previously an ever-present this season - dropped out of the starting XI.

Luke Jones’ afternoon lasted less than for minutes, the Lambs centre back replaced by Bradley Reid after a clash of heads with Lee Bennett left him unable to continue.

And with Tamworth having the shuffle their pack, the host carved out two early chances from distance via Hemmings and Jordan Keane.

Callum Powell created Tamworth’s first chance as he skipped into the United box but bent his strike wide of Stewart’s post.

Persistence paid off for the Pilgrims as Thompson opened the scoring in the 23rd minute.

Hemmings’ free kick was met by Ben Middleton before Bennett sent the ball goalwards on the turn, Thompson getting the deciding touch from close range.

Boston, sensing blood, began chasing a second.

Thompson and Andi Thanoj saw efforts lashed wide while the former was inches away from converting Jay Rollins’ low cross.

Tamworth then enjoyed their first real spell of pressure, Stewart parrying Reid’s long ranger and then pulling off a fine full-stretch stop to deny Joel Kettle.

And when Darryl Knights looked set to level, Middleton’s timely block ensured United went into the break in front.

Hemmings scored twice for the Pilgrims within the opening 17 minutes of the second half.

His first owed everything to a never-say-die spirit, stealing the ball back from Andy Burns on the edge of the Tamworth box and drilling a low effort home in the 52nd minute.

The second, the goal which took his season’s tally into double figures, arrived from the spot in the 62nd minute after Thompson was fouled by Stephen Morley.

Reid netted a consolation for the Lambs in the 74th minute, firing home Aman Verma’s low cross from close range.

Thompson had a late chance but as he loomed in on goal he couldn’t lift his effort over Dan Jezeph.

UNITED: Stewart, Middleton, Hare, Thanoj, Keane, Qualter, Rollins, Abbott, Thompson, Bennett, Hemmings; Subs (not used): McGuire, Tshimanga, Beatson, Smith, Willis.

TAMWORTH: Jezeph, Burns, Morley, Wharton, Jones (Reid 4), Kettle, Powell (Kotwica 60), Verma, Taylor, Ricketts, Knights (Shaw 78); Subs (not used): Walters, Aldhouse.

Ref: Anthony Tankard.

Att: 1,050 (37).