How today’s match panned out, through the eyes of Duncan Browne...
MATCH RESULT: Leek Town 2 (Shotton 53, Maguire 68) Boston United 0
WHAT WE EXPECTED: With Leek having won 10 and drawn two of their last 14 matches and Boston desperate to get back to form after the previous week’s drab defeat to Hednesford, today’s contest should be tighter than a contest between opponents separated by two divisions could normally be. The Pilgrims aren’t historically at their best in cup competitions against lower league rivals, and they have only won one of their past eight matches against the Blues, although that’s stretching back for the best part of 20 years.
WHAT WE GOT: An even first 45 minutes in which either side could have taken the lead were it not for some poor finishing and some excellent saves from both keeper. However, once Leek took the lead they seemed the only side likely to progress as Boston had the stuffing knocked out of them.
MAGIC MOMENT: With an open goal at his mercy Liam Shotton only had to guide to ball into the net. Instead he miscued horribly and stuck his chance over the bar. Okay, it wasn’t magic, but it was funny. Still, the forward redeemed himself with the opening goal of the game.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Leek captain Sam Hall proved a real handful. The big, physical player pulled the strings and refused to concede any ground. For Boston, returning keeper Sam Vince made some good saves early on.
GOAL OF THE GAME: Niall Maguire’s finish, to double Leek’s advantage, edges it against Shotton’s close-range finish.
ONE TO WATCH: Andy Kinsey may not be the most streamlined striker, but the Leek man held the ball up well and looked a threat, timing his pass perfectly to tee up the Blues’ second.
REF WATCH: Steven Copeland didn’t really have any big calls to make. His booking on Rene Steer looked a bit harsh when Anthony Danylyk saw two blatant body checks unpunished.
RATINGS: Vince 7, Mills 6, Steer 6, Dowie 6, Garner 7, Piergianni 6, Marrs 6, Felix 6 (Fallah 83, 5, Southwell 5, Newsham 5 (Meadows 62, 6), Dixon 6 (Marshall 62, 6); Substitutes: Galinski, Tempest, Doran, Hewitt.