TAMWORTH 1 BOSTON UNITED 0: Pilgrims pay the penalty

Richard Brodie.
Richard Brodie.

Richard Brodie’s penalty miss proved costly for Boston United as the Pilgrims suffered their first defeat on the road under manager Adam Murray.

Tamworth keeper James Belshaw guessed correctly to palm the striker’s spot kick away from danger early in the second half, maintaining his side’s one-goal lead, which they held on to to claim the three points.

Ross Dyer’s 44th-minute goal proved decisive in a contest where both sides squandered chances to add to the scoreline, the Lambs dominating the first half and Boston having the better of the second.

Going into the fixture the Pilgrims had recorded three wins and two draws in their past five matches against their hosts.

The most recent of those contests was Boston’s 3-0 win at the Jakemans Stadium in August but, with Marcus Marshall the only United player to start both this season’s meetings, previous results offered no indication of what to expect.

Adam Murray made two changes to the side which left Bradford Park Avenue with three points the previous week, with 10-goal leading scorer Jay Rollins and Charlie Gatter being replaced by Callum Chippendale and Marshall.

The hosts started very much in the fashion of a side who are chasing a play-off spot and who have won eight of their 13 matches on their new 3G surface.

Ross Durrant had to be at full stretch to fingertip efforts from Stephan Morley and Dyer away from goal, before Paul Green and Jack Lane were both guilty of forcing free headers wide as Boston struggled to deal with the Lambs’ corner kicks.

Another first-half highlight from the hosts was Louis Briscoe’s cheeky attempt from the half-way line which dropped wide of the backpedaling Durrant’s post.

The Pilgrims were reduced to attempts from long range for most of the half, Chippendale, Joe Fitzpatrick and Alex Simmons all trying their luck but failing to hit the target.

And when Chippendale found himself through on goal he scuffed his strike wide of the mark.

That miss proved costly in the final minute of the half as Dyer headed the hosts ahead, squeezing the ball below Durrant at his far post.

United were awarded a golden chance to draw level when Brodie was shoved in the box seven minutes into the second half, but from 12 yards the same player saw his low drive palmed away.

Boston again went close as Brodie headed on Kalern Thomas’ cross, only for the onrushing Chippendale to head wide, his final effort before being replaced by Karl Hawley.

Rollins, who was on for Simmons, then teed up Fitzpatrick, the midfielder curling an effort inches wide.

As tempers flared referee Paul Graham began flashing the yellow cards amidst a series of shoving matches, but when some football finally broke out again Boston continued with with their quest to level.

However, Brodie’s header, again saved by Belshaw, was as close as they came.

TAMWORTH: Belshaw, Burns, Morley, Deeney, Fox (Davis 55), Lane, Briscoe, Clarke, Green, Dyer (Newton 72), Styche (Opoku 87); Subs (not used): Davies, Jezeph.

UNITED: Durrant, Thomas, Brown (Robinson HT), Batchelor, Gordon, Fitzpatrick, Clarke, Chippendale (Hawley 66), Marshall, Brodie, Simmons (Rollins 59); United (not used): Hilliard, Gatter.

Ref: Paul Graham.

Att: 805 (131).