HEDNESFORD TOWN 3 BOSTON UNITED 2: Pilgrims stung by a stoppage-time goal... yet again

Carl Piergianni.
Carl Piergianni.

Tyrone Williams’ stoppage-time strike saw Boston United downed at Keys Park.

The Pilgrims looked to have secured a point as goals from Mark Jones and Carl Piergianni pulled them level.

But in the fourth minute of time added on, Boston lost possession looking for the winner and were caught on the break, the central defender finishing with an angled effort from the left-hand side of the area.

The manner of the defeat will certainly sting United, conceding goals so late in the game remains a touchy subject following the end to their play-off campaign last season.

But for the Pitmen it will be seen as a worthy victory, especially as the hosts saw plenty of earlier efforts go begging.

Hednesford hardly had the dream start to the season, Monday’s 4-1 victory at Worcester City their only win since the opening day of the campaign when Stalybridge Celtic were put to the sword.

In between came a run which harvested two points from five matches and saw manager Rob Smith leave for AFC Telford, taking central defender Curtis Tilt with him.

The Pilgrims were forced into one change following Monday’s 1-1 draw against Tamworth, with Jamie McGhee back from injury and replacing Kaine Felix, who is still suffering with an ankle problem.

Zak Mills, meanwhile, returned to the bench after a hamstring injury has restricted him to an hour of football in the National League North so far this campaign.

The Pitmen certainly began like a team brimming with confidence as both Sean Williams and Kyle Perry tried their luck, even if neither could guide their efforts on target.

At the other end, Town keeper Dave Parton had to be switched on to get down and save Ben Bailey’s blushes after the big defender - who had earlier avoided danger by executing a neat Maradona turn on the edge of his own box - almost diverted Jay Rollins’ cross into his own net.

But that was the closest the away side went to threatening in a below-par 45 minutes which saw Hednesford gradually grow in confidence.

Jason Alexander’s poor clearance was intercepted by Sean Williams, whose effort again failed to hit the target.

However, the Pitmen suddenly found their range and took a 2-0 lead in the space of four minutes.

The hosts were in front in the 31st minute when Ahmed Obeng ran onto Sean Williams’ through ball and, with the defence static, confidently placed the ball between Alexander’s legs.

That lead was doubled as Tyrone Williams finished from close range after the Pilgrims failed to deal with a long throw int the box.

And it could have been 4-0 by the interval were it not for two collectors’ items from Alexander.

The United keeper pulled off a full-stretch fingertip save to divert Obeng’s curler before reacting brilliantly to claw away Nathan Modest’s volley which looped up after being struck into the turf.

The second half had hardly begin before Greene opted top change things around, Jay Dowie and Zak Mills replacing Lionel Stone and McGhee.

But despite the difference in personnel, the script continued in the same manner.

Hednesford wasted yet another chance to make it 3-0 when the unmarked Kennedy Digie met Tom James’ cross at the back post, but his header lacked both pace and direction.

The Pilgrims pulled themselves back into the game in the 61st minute as Mark Jones netted his second of the season.

A moment of direct running from Rollins saw him reach the byline and cut the ball back, allowing the striker to side-foot beyond Parton and high into the net.

Suddenly there was some urgency to the contest.

Alexander got down well to push away Sean Williams’ thumping drive before Kyle Dixon burst through the Town ranks and teed up Dayle Southwell, only for the forward’s prodded effort to drift wide of the mark.

United almost got caught out pushing on for a leveller as Grant Roberts’ last-ditch tackle fell kindly for Obeng, gifting him a clear run at goal.

But after checking onto his stronger foot the striker looked to tee up the unmarked Perry, but Liam Marrs got a telling touch and cleared.

And what a touch that proved to be as Boston pulled level with 10 minutes to go, Piergianni controlling and burying a low left-footed drive into the Town net following Jones’ flick on from Dixon’s free kick.

HEDNESFORD: Parton, Disney, T. Williams, Bailey, James, Thorley, S. Williams, Digie, Modest (Ennis 89), Perry (Robinson 86), Obeng (Todd 79); Subs (not used): Adams, Spencer.

UNITED: Alexander, Roberts (Friend 78), Stone (Mills 52), Piergianni, Marrs, Rollins, Garner, Dixon, McGhee (Dowie 52), Southwell, Jones; Subs (not used): Johnson, Ravas.

Ref: Peter Gibbons.