Histon 1 Boston United 2: Pilgrims up to third

Ryan Semple.
Ryan Semple.

Boston United moved up to third in the Skrill North following their 2-1 victory at Histon.

On a pitch which was sandy and bobbly, the football was often equally as unattractive.

But it was an evening that just went Boston’s way. Telford and Altrincham drew, the Strutes missed some absolute sitters and Marc Newsham and Spencer Weir-Daley took their chances.

Add those ingredients together and you end up with one happy coach journey home for the Pilgrims.

United manager Dennis Greene, on his return to his former club, stuck with the same side which thrashed Gainsborough Trinity 6-0 three days earlier.

And the Pilgrims needed just four minutes to pick up where they left off on Saturday.

Newsham, the man who scored a hat-trick on that day, reacted first to hook the loose ball beyond Calum Kitscha from close range... and to think the last time these two met it was a lifeless, goalless draw.

It was route one stuff which allowed the striker to bag his 21st goal of the campaign, but it took Conor Marshall’s long free kick and Carl Piergianni’s towering header to gift him that opportunity.

The Stutes should have levelled almost immediately, but Lewis Taaffe somehow managed to head Zak Mills’ monstrous throw in off target from virtually on the goal line.

The heavily-sanded pitch didn’t allow either team to get a firm foothold in the game in the first half, but occasional chances did materialise.

For the hosts Nathan Hicks should have done better with an attempted lob which beat the onrushing Sam Vince but landed wide of the Boston goal.

At the other end Ryan Semple’s cross was met by Newsham, whose glancing header hit the side netting, and Ricky Miller’s hopeful 20-yarder cleared the crossbar.

The first two chances of the second half both fell to Miller.

He should have done better from a free header, teed up by Semple, but he nodded the ball down the throat of Kitscha, who reacted well to tip over. And then, from a free kick, he blasted off target.

It was then Boston’s chance to ride their luck as Taaffe burst through on goal but hit his strike straight into the arms of Vince.

And minutes later Nathan Hicks missed a sitter, firing well over the United bar from six yards out.

Histon went even closer when Seedy Njie’s header hit the post but rebounded into Vince’s arms. But anything Njie can do, so can Miller, his cross hitting the outside of Kitscha’s upright.

United substitute Spencer Weir-Daley looked to have wrapped things up with 10 minutes remaining.

Skipping past two men he unleashed a powerful low drive into the net from 20 yards, leaving Kitscha rooted.

But a minute later Taaffe gave the Stutes some hope from the penalty spot after Scott Garner conceded a soft foul for a shirt tug.

United should have added to their lead as the match unfolded, but both Weir-Daley and Miller opted to run and shoot rather than slip each other in on goal.

And that’s how it ended. United were not totally convincing, but the three points were enough to move them up to third, albeit by goal difference.

HISTON: Kitscha, O’Malley, Mills, Havilland, Beckles, Dowie (Phillips 82), Taaffe, Clunan (Freeman HT), Njie, Hicks, Sheppard (Roberts); Subs (not used): Day, Hoban.

UNITED: Vince, Marshall, Steer, McGhee, Garner, Piergianni, Semple (Weir-Daley 67), Dixon, Miller, Newsham (Galinski 82), Agnew; Subs (not used): Ross, Fairclough, King.

Ref: Carl Fitch.