Boston United 3 – 0 Harrogate Town

Town’s hopes of automatic promotion to the National League, were dealt a near fatal blow as they went down 3-0 at Street,Boston.
Simon Weaver made one change from Saturday’s line up with Jake Wright returning to the attack in place of Dom Knowles,who returned to the subs bench.
Town should have got off to a perfect start, because with only four minutes on the clock,Ryan Fallowfield’s pass sent Joe Leesley through on goal,only for him to be brought down in the area by home keeper,George Willis.
Once again,Leesley drove the resulting penalty down the middle,only to see it rebound off the keeper’s legs and be scrambled away for a corner.
The Pilgrims hit back and it took the combined efforts of John McCombe and Warren Burrell, to halt Reece Thompson’s dangerous run into the box.
Town,once again,had an opportunity to take the lead after fourteen minutes, when Mark Beck sent Wright through on goal,but although his shot beat Willis,it slammed into the upright and bounced clear.
Unfortunately,that was as good as it got for Town, all evening,as the nippy,hard working Pilgrims began to take control.
Brad Abbott,gave Town a warning of things to come ,as he fired narrowly over the bar from twenty yards,and Leesley got back to head an inswinging Ashley Hemmings corner off his own line.
This,however,was only a stay of execution,because just before the half hour,a mazy dribble and cross from Hemmings,earned his side a corner on the right.
Hemmings took the corner himself and Jake Beesley headed into Town’s net from close range with James Belshaw helpless to intervene.
Six minutes later,Boston struck again when Town failed to clear their area,and after several rebounds,Thompson got the final touch and although Belshaw got a hand to the ball,he was falling backwards and couldn’t prevent the ball crossing the line.
Town,no doubt,inspired by the half time team talk,began to take the game to the Pilgrim’s,but their pressure failed to create any clear cut chances.
Town’s hopes were raised after fiftynine minutes,when Jack Emmett’s pass released Wright into the area and although it took the combined efforts of three defenders to halt his run,any hopes of a second penalty were soon dashed,when referee,Alex Kirkley,booked Wright for diving.
Willis was quickly off his line to punch away a Ben Parker centre from the head of Beck, and an Abbott foul on Wright gave George Thomson a chance to reduce the arrears,but his free kick from twentyfive yards flashed over the bar.
Another foul on the industrious Wright gave Town another Thomson free kick which McCombe headed over the top.
With six minutes left,Town were caught on the break and sub Kabongo Tshimanga raced through to slot the ball past Belshaw to seal the Pilgrim’s victory.
Late attemps by subs,Jordan Thewlis and Knowles were wide of the mark,leaving Towm to suffer their first defeat in six away matches.
In fairness,Boston’s manager Craig Elliott had done his homework on Harrogate and they closed Town down quickly and won most of the second balls.
On Saturday,Town have a chance to restore some pride and cement second place,when they make the short trip to Bradford Park Avenue in a feisty looking local derby.
Town,
Belshaw,Fallowfield,Parker,Falkingham (c),Burrell,McCombe,Thomson,Emmett,Beck(Knowles 78),Wright,Leesley(Thewlis 59).
Unused subs,Kennedy,Agnew,Cracknell Booked McCombe,Wright,Falkingham.
Boston United,
Willis,Clifton,Brogan,Thanoj,Keane(c),Qualter,Wafula(Withers90),Abbott,Thompson(Tshimanga 80),Beesley(Maguire 90),Hemmings.
Unused subs,Hare,Smith. Booked Wafula,Clifton,Thanoj.
Scorers,Beesley 29,Thompson 35,Tshimanga 84. Att.875
Referee A Kirkley
By John Harrison.

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