JASON Lee has backed Marc Newsham to continue banging in the goals for Boston United despite his last-gasp penalty miss on Saturday.
With the last kick of the game, the Pilgrims’ leading scorer had the chance to earn his side a point at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday.
But the forward – who had previously never missed in United’s colours – saw Tim Deasy guess the right way to pull off a great stop
But despite going home empty handed, manager Lee believes Newsham will bounce back stronger.
He said: “Nine times out of 10, Newsh puts it away.
“He’s my main man and I’ve got a lot of faith in him.
“I’ve told him to forget about that as he’ll score plenty more.
“You put your house on him, but better players have missed penalties.”
When Kallum Smith was tripped in the penalty area in the fifth minute of stoppage time, it seemed as if Boston would salvage something from their clash at the Horsfall Stadium.
But, in honesty, the hosts deserved their victory in a contest were United created their own downfall.
Nathan Hotte handed Park Avenue the lead with the simplest of tap-ins, after Pilgrims stopper Dan Haystead did magnificently to deny Jordan Deacey’s diving header.
However, Mark Jones fortuitously pulled the Pilgrims level after the break.
That never-say-die attitude from Ben Fairclough saw him chase down a nothing ball, forcing keeper Deasy into a poor clearance.
And United’s big forward - making his first start in four matches due to Spencer Weir-Daley’s injury - gratefully curled home into an unguarded net from the edge of the penalty area.
Now, with the wind behind their backs and momentum in their favour, United looked odds on favourites to go on and win the match.
But flat-footed defending saw the back line stand and watch as Matty James latched onto a low pass from midfield, taking a touch before slotting between the legs of the furious and helpless Haystead.
Despite the blustery conditions, both sides fought out an entertaining match.
The last time United visited Cemetery Road they came from behind to win the UniBond Premier play-off final.
But like their previous visits, Boston frustratingly created great chances they just couldn’t finish.
Jones played a neat one-two with Newsham but his low drive was palmed away by Deasy.
Ian Ross then set Newsham up with a superb defence-splitting pass, but as the striker was forced to control on his chest, the Bradford keeper was out and at his feet to make the save.
Newsham connected with Smith’s cross to head against the post while the substitute’s cross looked destined to be tapped in opn the line by Conor Marshall, until Martin Drury’s sliding intervention.
But United didn’t have all the play and Bradford could have run away with victory were it not for Haystead’s heroics.
The keeper had to be at his best to stop Liam Needham’s drive, also expertly tipping James Knowles’ header away from his goal.
Danny Holland saw a snaphsot go wide from the edge of the penalty area as Haystead and his defence were rooted to the spot.
But once again, Haystead’s fingers came to the rescue – denying Holland and Walker.
United also believed they should have been awarded two penalty kicks earlier in the clash.
Firstly, defender Richard Marshall handled the ball back to his keeper.
The second call saw Jones booked for diving after going down as the ball skipped around Deasy.
On both occasions, referee Matthew Walsh was where he was for most of the contest, horribly out of position and struggling to keep up with the play.
However, he was stood inches away when Smith was grounded at the death and did not hesitate to point to the spot.
After seeing his strike well blocked by the Park Avenue keeper, Newsham made his way back to the dressing room.
The striker took time out to politely sign a programme for an autograph-hunting youngster before apologising for his miss, shaking his head and entering the pavilion, wondering what might have been.
BPA: Tim Deasy; Michael Duckworth, James Knowles, Nathan Hotte, Martin Drury; Alex Davidson (Tom Greaves 77), Richard Marshall, Liam Needham (Matty James 63), Paul Walker; Danny Holland (Craig Radcliffe 90), Jordan Deacey. Subs (not used): Liam Wakefield, Ben Higginson (gk).
UNITED: Dan Haystead; Gary Silk, Tom Ward, Nathan Stainfield, Gareth Jelleyman; Ben Fairclough (Conor Marshall 88), Ben Milnes, Ian Ross, Jason Stokes (Kallum Smith 65); Mark Jones, Marc Newsham. Subs (not used): James Reed, Sam Craven, Ricky Drury (gk).
Ref: Matthew Walsh