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FC United suffer narrow defeat at Boston

FC United suffer narrow defeat at Boston

It was middle of the table Boston United who prevailed in Baltic conditions at York Street, coming from behind to deny the Reds three precious points.

In the two previous visits the sides had shared 13 goals and clean sheets have been rare for both sides in 2018-19.

Skipper Harry Winter was absent through illness, so Stephen O’Halloran was given the captain’s armband after passing a late fitness test.

A minute’s applause was observed before the kick off for young FCUM fan Taylor Schofield, who was tragically killed in a hit and run accident recently.

The match began at a furious pace, with the visitors taking the game to the opposition. Within the opening minute they won a corner, and after eight minutes took the lead.

Willoughby fed Jack Banister down the right flank, his deep cross was cushioned back into the danger area by Donohue for Chris Sharp to powerfully volley past a helpless George Willis in the Boston goal.

Boston’s full back Ben Davies was fouled by Josh Wallen close to the FCUM corner flag in the 17th minute. He took the free kick and striker Gavin Allott got in front of his marker at the near post to power a header low down which Lloyd Allinson got hands to but could not keep out.

After a good opening period the Reds had failed their first real defensive test of the afternoon. Back in 2014 Allott scored a hat-trick for Frickley Athletic against us in a chastening 1-4 defeat.

Reds wingers Banister and Donohue were having to drop back and do their share of defensive duties as Boston pressed the player in possession in a congested midfield.

After 27 minutes Wallen whipped in a free kick which flashed just wide of the far post with a posse of Reds shirts unable to add a decisive touch. Zehn Mohammed was cautioned for a strong tackle from behind on Mark Wroe as the home side began to assert themselves. Allinson denied Rollins who was on the end of an Abbott through ball.

Wallen had another opportunity to deliver a quality ball into the box, he picked out Sharp but his knockdown was bundled clear. Willoughby was found down the right side early in the second half but was forced wide and when support arrived the move broke down, a common failing this afternoon.

Manager Craig Elliott replaced Wafula and Abbott with Wright and Walker close to the hour mark and his changes took just 4 minutes to bear fruit.

Another FCUM attack broke down, and Nicky Walker released Allott on the counter. The big man outwitted Mohammed inside the box and teed up Walker to fire in a second goal for the Pilgrims from close range.

Neil Reynolds decided to make three substitutions at the 68-minute mark, O’Halloran, Sharp and Banister being replaced by Hmami, McGiveron and Peers. Boston survived a scramble around their goal following a Donohue corner, with Mohammed’s header being gratefully grasped by Willis.

At the other end Boston had two golden chances to seal the win, but Wroe and Wright both had shots blocked. Peers raced in behind the home side defence as the game neared the end, but Willis blocked his effort, and McGiveron fouled his man when possession was lost to collect a yellow card.

A Whitham header was saved by the Boston keeper in the last throw of the game, and FCUM had again been outplayed in a second half of a game, which has been a worrying feature of this campaign.

The 179 travelling fans went away disappointed with FCUM still entrenched in the relegation zone and 13 games remaining to secure their National League North status for another season.

Man of Match: Zehn Mohammed. A tough battle with the strong and smart Allott must have added a lot to his footballing education and his desire to win was later acknowledged by his manager.

Report by Paul Hinson

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First Posted ~ 09:26 Mon 4 Feb 2019
News ID ~ 8250
Last Updated ~ 08:02 Wed 6 Feb 2019