GLOUCESTER CITY 0 BOSTON UNITED 1: Jones strike makes it a happy 100 for Greene

Mark Jones and Dennis Greene.
Mark Jones and Dennis Greene.

Dennis Greene marked his 100th match as Boston United manager in the same way he began - with victory over Gloucester City.

This afternoon’s contest was a much tighter affair than that 4-0 drubbing little more than two years ago.

But the number of points picked up remains the same, courtesy of Mark Jones’ 76th-minute strike which owed as much to James Bowen’s weak clearance as it did to the Pilgrims forward’s fantastically-executed low strike.

David Fallah and Conner Robinson found the net as the Pilgrims beat City 2-0 at the Jakemans Stadium back in September, but with neither player still involved with the club the away side had a different look to when the two teams last met.

Greene kept faith with the starting XI which had brought Hednesford’s seven-game unbeaten home streak to an end with a 2-1 victory last weekend, the only change coming on the bench where new signing Jake Sheridan - on loan from Alfreton Town until the end of the campaign - replaced Michael Hollingsworth.

Gloucester handed debuts to Cheltenham Town loanees Harry Williams and Bowen as they looked to bounce back from back-to-back defeats against Harrogate Town and Oxford City, the latter a 7-1 drubbing.

Most of United’s early pressure came from the right wing as the Tigers defence allowed the pacy Kaine Felix too much space to run into.

And the teenager doesn’t need a second invitation to charge for the byline.

From one low cross City keeper Paul White pulled off a tremendous early save as he blocked Jones’ powerful strike with his body from point-blank range.

More wing play from Felix saw Dayle Southwell slot the ball into an empty net, only for the goal to be ruled out for an earlier offside call.

Boston lost Zak Mills in the 28th minute as the defender hobbled off with a foot injury.

The reshuffle saw Nicky Walker arrive in midfield, with Scott Garner slotting back into the heart of defence.

Walker’s first involvement was to take a corner kick which Carl Piergianni powered over the Gloucester crossbar.

The hosts had enjoyed possession in the Pilgrims’ penalty area sporadically throughout the first half but had little to show for their efforts until the final minute of the 45.

Some sloppy defending allowed Sahr Kabba a free strike at goal on the edge of the United penalty area, but as his strike beat Max Stryjek the ball rattled the post before Liam Marrs cleared the danger.

United began the second half with Southwell lashing a strike wide of the mark before the Tigers’ Ross Staley did likewise after Boston allowed the ball to drop in their box.

Jones finally broke the deadlock in the 76th minute, courtesy of Bowen’s error.

The debutant looked to hook a deep cross clear but he miscued and the ball trickled kindly across the penalty area before the United forward made no mistake - smashing home a low drive to take his tally to nine goals in 10 matches.

Felix had the chance to cap off his superb afternoon with a goal as he was put through on goal, but as he struck from a tight angle White blocked with his legs.

There were a few nervy moments at the death but United hung on as Greene celebrated treble figures with three hard-earned points.

GLOUCESTER: P. White, Green, Jones, M. Williams (H. White 64), Avery, Knowles, Bowen (Diop 82), Webb, H. Williams, Kabba, Staley (Orenuga 72); Subs (not used): Richards, Connolly.

UNITED: Stryjek, Marrs, Steer, Roberts, Garner, Piergianni, Felix, Dixon, Southwell (Sheridan 80), Jones (Price 89), Mills (Walker 29); Subs (not used): Newsham, Saebe, Price.

Ref: Michael D’Aguilar.

Att: 378.