Gainsborough Trinity 2 Boston United 2! Honours even in derby duel

Graham Drury.
Graham Drury.

Yellowbelly rivals Boston United and Gainsborough Trinity played out a 2-2 draw.

In a game where both sides failed to reach their potential, honours were shared.

Following Tuesday’s 7-1 defeat at Altrincham, Boston manager Graham Drury rang out the changes.

Conor Marshall, Nathan Stainfield, and Ben Milnes, plus debutants Paul Mayo and Keiron Walker were handed starts.

Making way were Tom Ward, Spencer Weir-Daley, the injured pair of Ian Ross and Gareth Jelleyman and Steve Spriggs, who has returned to King’s Lynn.

Trinity’s side had plenty of familiar faces, with ex-Pilgrims Shane Clarke and Dominic Roma in the starting XI, along with Mark Jones.

Jamie Yates and Jason Stokes - who joined Trinity in midweek - started on the bench.

It took 12 minutes for the first chance to come, United keeper Dan Haystead doing enough to tip Darryn Stamp’s looping header over his crossbar.

But despite Trinity’s early domninance, it was Boston who took a 2 4th minute lead.

Ben Milnes latched on to Paul Mayo’s long through, passing the Trinity defence far too easily, and side-footed beyond the helpless Jan Budtz.

It was a strange twist of fate- considering most of the pre-match build-up concerned Jones and Stokes joining Trinity - that ex-Blues man Mayo had such a big say in the first goal.

Trinity fought back and Simon Russell’s 25-yarder brought out the best in Haystead.

But at the other end Newsham warmed the hands of Budtz twice - one with a strike and another with a flicked header which saw the keeper scrambling.

Seconds after the break and Trinity were within inches of levelling, but Luke Waterfall’s powerful header crashed against the visitors’ crossbar.

Then Yates, on as a half-time sub, created a shooting chance.

But Haystead firmly parried the left-footed drive.

That Trinity breakthrough arrived in the 63rd minute as Danny Hone broke through the United defence to slide home a long free kick from close range.

But the Pilgrims needed just six minutes to regain the lead.

Newsham met Walker’s cross at the near post and, despite Budtz stopping his effort, the striker swept home at the second attempt.

But - in a ding-dong battle - Yates drew Trinity level in the 75th minute, slamming home from inside the penalty area.

Trinity came close to taking the lead but Dan Haystead pulled off a tremendous point-blank save to deny Paul Connor, while Hone headed inches off target.

Deep into stoppage time the Pilgrims pushed on looking to go in front for a third time, but Milnes’ 20 yarder failed to threaten Budtz.

But ref Darren England blew for time and both opponents had to settle for a point.

TRINITY: Budtz, Roma, Wilde, Waterfall, Hone, Clarke (Stokes 74), Russell, Nelthorpe (Yates HT), Jones (Connor 62), Stamp, Hawkridge; Subs (not used): Young, Thompson.

UNITED: Haystead, Marshall, Silk (Fairclough 54), Foster, Stainfield, Watt, Walker, Milnes, J. Smith (weir-Daley 80), Newsham (Reed 90), Mayo; Subs (not used): Ward, Nuttell.

Ref: Darren England.