LEAMINGTON 1 BOSTON UNITED 1: Same story for unbeaten Pilgrims

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

It was definitely the Trueman Show... but it felt like Groundhog Day.

For the third match in a row Boston United saw chance after chance go begging as they had to settle for a point, somewhat reminiscent of the Bill Murray movie where the lead role found himself reliving the same day over and over again.

After Chorley’s Aaron Grundy and Jan Budtz of Gainsborough Trinity had frustrated the Pilgrims front line, today was the turn of Leamington’s Connal Trueman.

The on-loan Birmingham City keeper had a dream debut, pulling off a number of saves to keep Boston at bay in a game where both sides also struck the goal frame.

Dennis Greene named an unchanged side for the fifth consecutive match, although Jamie McGhee returned to the bench following his knee injury.

David Fallah also took his place amongst the substitutes, with Marc Newsham and Conor Marshall (injury) both dropping out of the squad.

In a battle of two sides with differing fortunes, the Pilgrims kicked off unbeaten in four matches, while the out-of-form hosts were without a win in five, picking up just four points from a possible 24.

But with less than two minutes on the clock, the Brakes’ Dan Newton saw his 25-yard strike rebound off the inside of the United post, keeper Joel Dixon getting a vital fingertip touch to the ball.

The Pilgrims had another let off when Jamie Tank’s header smashed against the underside of the away side’s crossbar, before bouncing back into play.

Boston’s response saw Trueman pull off a fine reaction save to block Scott Garner’s header from Greg Tempest’s corner, while both Kaine Felix and Tempest saw efforts fly wildly off target.

Some frantic Leamington defending saw Mark Jones and Felix have efforts blocked before Carl Piergianni twice went close in the space of 20 seconds.

His left-footed effort was hacked off the line by Stuart Pierpoint before Trueman got a firm hand onto his headed effort.

As United gained control of the contest good battling by Felix saw him tee up Garner, who blazed well over from inside the penalty area.

Moments later the captain wenyt closer with a 25-yard dipping volley, but once again the ball sailed over the crossbar.

Zak Mills also went close, but the home stopper pushed his swerving strike away from danger.

On the stroke of half time United almost handed the advantage to Leamington when Piergianni’s backwards header was pounced upon by Lee Chiltern. But as he lobbed Dixon, Mills was there to clear off the line.

Normal service was resumed after the break as Trueman pushed Dayle Southwell’s glancing header wide.

It took a moment of brilliance to open the scoring, and it was Leamington’s Jack Edwards who provided it on the hour.

Twenty-five yards from goal he unleashed a powerful volley which hit the back of the net, giving Dixon no chance.

Buoyed by their advantage, the Brakes pushed forward but Dixon pulled off a fine stop to deny Newton’s header and Stefan Moore shot wide from a tight angle.

United were left appealing for a penalty after Kaine Felix was clattered in the box by Joe Magunda, but referee Michael D’Aguilar signalled for play to continue.

However, Dayle Southwell pulled United level with his 12th of the season, a goal every bit as exquisite as the opener.

With 69 minutes on the clock, Mills’ long throw caused panic in the Brakes penalty area, where the striker capitalised to net with a firm-yet-cheeky 12-yard backheel.

United were within a whisker of taking the lead when the Brakes failed to clear their lines and Zeph Thomas unleashed a thunderbolt which hit the crossbar.

In stoppage time United had one last chance to win the match, but Piergianni headed Kyle Dixon’s corner wide.

As the final whistle blew, United stretched their unbeaten run to five matches - but once again it could have been more.

LEAMINGTON: Trueman, Fry, Tank, Pierpoint, Morley, Magunda, Edwards, L. Moore (Dodd 81), Chilton, Newton, S. Moore; Subs (not used): Wint, Mace, Connolly, Maher.

UNITED: J. Dixon, Marrs, Mills, Piergianni, Steer, Felix, Garner, K. Dixon, Tempest (Thomas 64), Southwell, Jones; Subs (not used): McGhee, Fallah, Hollingsworth, Vince.

Ref: Michael D’Aguilar.