BOSTON UNITED 4 FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 4: Pilgrims let a three-goal lead slip as they have to settle for a point

Jamie McGuiore.
Jamie McGuiore.

Boston United saw a 3-0 lead slip as they drew 4-4 with FC United of Manchester.

The Red Rebels - who had not scored in their previous five league games - netted four times in the second half to stretch the Pilgrims’ winless run to four matches.

Jamie McGuire marked his return to the Boston starting XI with a goal and an assist in the opening eight minutes.

The midfielder, whose last start came against York City on December 2, ended his frustrating period on the sidelines in good early style.

After setting Reece Thompson free to begin the scoring McGuire opened his Pilgrims account with the help of a deflection.

Ashley Hemmings’ brace saw him edge beyond Kabongo Tshimanga as the club’s leading scorer charts while the Red Rebels picked up a point thanks to Craig Linfield’s double and finishes from Jeff King and Gerard Garner.

After failing to score in their previous two contests, the Pilgrims stormed into a 2-0 lead with less than eight minutes on the clock.

Jay Rollins had already blasted a good effort over the bar before Thompson marked his return from suspension with a goal.

Latching onto McGuire’s high through ball he controlled, cut inside and beat Lloyd Allinson with a low strike which found the net via the inside of the post with less than three minutes played.

McGuire doubled the advantage when a partially-cleared corner landed in his path 25 yards from goal, the midfielder’s strike taking a deflection off Danny Racchi and screwing beyond the dive of the Red Rebels’ number one.

Number three arrived on the half-hour mark, Hemmings slotting home his 13th goal of the season - and 11th penalty - from the spot after Sam Baird tripped Jake Beesley in the box.

Linfield ended the Rebels’ scoring drought seven minutes into the second half, flicking the ball beyond Jordan Keane and spinning round to volley beyond the helpless Jon Stewart on the turn.

Sub Jeff King reduced the arrears further in the 71st minute.

Jamal Crawford’s square ball found Lindfield, who selflessly teed up King to slot into the unguarded net.

Any thoughts of a comeback should have been ended two minutes later when Hemmings curled a free kick beyond Allinson into the top corner, but Gerard Garner’s looping effort in the 88th minute ensured a grandstand finish.

And Lindfield levelled the scores in stoppage time, forcing home a corner from close range.

Boston should have added to their tally but Rollins and Thompson were both guilty of firing wide when well positioned, while Brad Abbott and Ryan Qualter both saw efforts fizz inches off target.

But nobody went as close as Beesley, whose firm drive rattled the FC United bar.

For the visitors Luke Higham brought a save from Stewart, who also diverted Lindfield’s low effort wide before the equalising goal.

UNITED: Stewart, Atkinson, Brogan, McGuire, Keane, Qualter, Rollins (Wafula 75), Abbott, Thompson, Beesley, Hemmings (Smith 85); Subs: Tshimanga, Igiehon, Willis.

FCUM: Allinson, Senior, Higham, Kay, Hughes, Baird (Crawford HT), McCarthy (King 68), Racchi (Garner 83), Greaves, Irwin, Lindfield; Subs: Glynn, Fagbola.

Ref: Declan Bourne.

Att: 1,052 (175).