Hednesford Town 4 Boston United 2: It’s the Pits for patched-up Pilgrims

Ricky Miller.
Ricky Miller.

Dennis Greene’s patched-up Pilgrims went down 4-2 at Hednesford Town.

Ricky Miller netted twice for Boston United at Keys Park, taking his tally for the season to 14 goals.

But the away side were crippled by injuries, suspensions and illness - being forced to draft in four new faces less than 24 hours before kick off.

Defender Daniel Pritchard, winger Liam Agnew and striker Pa Sulay Njie only met up with many of their teammates for the first time when they boarded the team coach on Saturday morning.

And all three were tossed straight into the starting XI, while defender Brad Gascoigne and James Reed - who returned to the squad as an 11th-hour favour - began on the bench, along with reserve team players Ngoni Dongo and Charlie Ward.

Boston were without Scott Garner and Rene Steer due to suspensions, while Spencer Weir-Daley, Ben Fairclough, Indy Aujla and Liam Marrs were on the treatment table.

And with Charley Sanders and Gary Mills both on loan at King’s Lynn, United’s numbers were lessened even more when Ryan Semple was taken ill on the team coach.

The Pilgrims’ rag-tag bunch had barely even started learning each others’ games when Marvin Robinson headed the Pitmen in front on 12 minutes.

Lanky defender Paul McCone doubled Hednesford’s advantage on 28 minutes when he met Elliott Durrell’s corner to nod home.

Ricky Miller netted the winner for Boston the last time the club played at Keys Park, and he beat Dan Crane with a low strike to give the Pilgrims some hope in the 32nd minute.

However, just seconds later Neil Harvey finished off Nathan Blissett’s low cross to give the hosts a 3-1 interval lead.

Two minutes after the break it was 4-1 when Blissett found space in the penalty area.

Miller netted his second of the game - and his fifth goal in three contests - on 64 minutes, but it was too little too late.

Hednesford (4-4-2): Dan Crane; John Disney, Francino Francis (Ben Bailey 69), Paul McCone, Darren Campion; Robbie Thompson-Brown, Jamey Osborne (Kris Taylor 55), Tom Thorley, Elliott Durrell; Marvin Robinson (Neil Harvey 22), Nathan Blissett. Subs (not used): Nathan Woolfe, Dave Macpherson.

Boston (4-3-3): Lewis King; Conor Marshall (Ngoni Dongo 81), Stefan Galinski, Carl Piergianni, Daniel Pritchard; Ben Milnes, Ian Ross (James Reed 46), Liam Agnew; Marc Newsham, Pasulay Njie (Brad Gascoigne 54), Ricky Miller. Subs (not used): Charlie Ward, Sam Vince (gk).

Referee: Matthew Bristow.

Attendance: 650.