Pilgrims pay the penalty! Boston United frustrated by Bishops battle

Boston United v Bishop Stortford football action.
Boston United v Bishop Stortford football action.

Boston United were left fuming over two penalty decisions that didn’t go their, way as they had to settle for a draw against Bishop’s Stortford.

Twice in the second half, leading scorer Marc Newsham looked set to pull the trigger, but instead landed flat on his backside in the penalty area.

Phil Watt clears his lines

Phil Watt clears his lines

The first came from a strike from 12 yards out, a tug from Adam Bailey-Dennis bringing him to ground.

The second saw Newsham look certain to head home his 29th of the campaign from virtually on the goalline, only for substitute Alli Abdullahi to clatter into the back of him.

But on both occasions, referee Wayne Porter shook his head.

“It was a definitely a penalty,” said Newsham, who also had a close-range strike ruled out for a shove by Tom Ward in the build up.

“The first one was debateable, but he pulled me back.

“The second one, I was about to score and he went right through the back of me.”

Manager Dennis Greene agreed with his striker, adding: “Overall, when you look at the penalty decisions and the chance at the end, a 2-1 win would have been fair.”

The chance at the end the manager mentioned was a free header for teenage striker Charley Sanders.

But as he met Ian Ross’ dipping free kick with the last touch of the game, he powered his header over Carl Pentney’s crossbar.

As the ball slipped away, so did United’s chance of victory.

But the recent string of results - four wins and this draw from six matches - was enough to see interim boss Greene given the job on a full-time basis.

Greene’s arrival has brought the feelgood factor back to the United dressing room.

And no player is enjoying the new lease of life more than the impressive Ross, who needed just 78 seconds to open the scoring.

Remember that corner routine which saw him score against Worcester and Hinckley? Well, he only went and did it again.

Collecting Ben Milnes’ ball to the edge of the box, he took one touch before smashing a 20-yarder beyond the helpless Pentney.

But the Bishops weren’t going to wait for a miracle.

Instead, they produced the form which saw them fail to lose on the road in their seven previous away days.

Dan Haystead pulled off a superb one-handed stop to deny Sean Francis’ header.

But, from the resultant corner, he could do nothing as Steve Cawley’s 20-yard volley clipped the heels of Reece Prestedge with enough force to divert the ball beyond the United keeper.

UNITED: Haystead, Marshall, Silk Foster (Sanders 76), Lister (Ward 65), Watt (Stainfield 45), Ross, Milnes, Weir-Daley, Newsham, Mills; Subs (not used): Reed, Field.

STORTFORD: Petney, Baker (Abdullahi 80), Herd, Baily-Dennis, Mattock (Sampayo 34), Francis, Johnson, Cawley, Woodall, Lobjoit, Prestedge; Subs (not used): Wilson, Webb, Elmes.

Att: 908.

Ref: Wayne Porter.