Worcester City 2 Boston United 0
BOSTON United slumped to a woeful 2-0 away defeat against out-of-form Worcester City yesterday.
The Pilgrims were hoping to avenge their FA Cup defeat against City earlier this campaign.
But, instead, they were left humbled by a team who finished the match with 10 men, after seeing keeper Dean Coleman sent off for handling outside his area.
The match - played out on a hard, uneven pitch – was a bad-tempered affair which offered little entertainment and even fewer chances, with both sides intent on getting involved in silly shoving matches from start to finish.
Boston were buoyed by the return of central defensive duo Lee Canoville and Shaun Pearson, and confidence was high as they faced a side who had not won in their past six matches.
Their last victory coming on New Year’s Day.
However, it was the home side who began the brighter and created the first clear-cut chance of the contest.
Mark Danks broke down the right wing and found Matt Birley with his low cross, only for the striker’s drive to be blocked by Pearson.
But on the half-hour mark, Worcester had their breakthrough.
A City corner into the Boston box struck a flailing arm and Worcester were granted a penalty.
After the match, referee John Mayhew confirmed he had penalised Pearson for the infringement, although the defender said he was nowhere near the incident and teammate Anthony Church had admitted he was the one who was hit by the ball.
But question marks did not affect the outcome as Danny Glover neatly slotted home.
Worcester should have doubled their lead before the break but Dan Haystead did well to block Glover’s drive before getting hold of the loose ball after Birley’s follow-up had smashed against the Boston bar.
Adam Boyes was handed his Boston debut, but after an ineffective 66 minutes, where the former Scunthorpe striker was starved of any real service, he was replaced by Danny Davidson.
Davidson’s arrival offered the Pilgrims to hold the ball up in attack and they were soon growing in confidence.
Church should have done better when James Cullingworth’s floated free kick found him at the back post, but his weak header was comfortably claimed by Coleman.
Ryan Semple then saw a terrific swerving shot fly centimetres over the crossbar.
And with 10 minutes remaining it seemed Boston had been granted a lifeline.
A long punt upfield saw Spencer Weir-Daley break beyond the City backline, but as Coleman rushed from his box he looked favourite to clear the danger.
However, he misjudged the bounce, panicked and handled the ball, receiving his marching orders.
Reserve keeper Richard Mace was introduced and should have conceded within seconds, but Pearson somehow failed to force Semple’s corner over the line from close range - and the tide turned yet again.
Worcester broke down the right flank and Glover’s cross in the box saw Haystead flap at the ball, which Shane Clarke could only divert into his own net.
WORCESTER: Dean Coleman, Graham Ward, Ryan Clarke, Rob Elvins, Neil Cartwright, Tom Thorley, Gavin Hurren, Kevin O’Connor, Matt Birley (Marc McGregor 75), Danny Glover (Tom Evans 87), Mark Danks (Richard Mace 80); Subs: Kyonn Evans, Josh Emery. UNITED: Dan Haystead, James Cullingworth, Lee Canoville, Shaun Pearson, Gareth Jelleyman, Jamie Yates (Ryan Semple 60), Anthony Church, Danny Sleath, Rory Coleman (Shane Clarke 72), Adam Boyes (Danny Davidson 66), Spencer Weir-Daley; Subs (not used): Marc Newsham, Miles Hunter.