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Greaves clears

Pilgrims 2-2 Stockport County

Coca-Cola League

Boston United were still left looking for their first League win of the season after this entertaining draw in ninety minutes of persistent rain against newly relegated Stockport County. Julian Joachim returned to the side after missing the last game with sickness and diarrhoea. It was a most welcome return for the "Man of the Match" as he scored two top quality goals to ensure that the Pilgrims got a point from the game. Midfield maestro David Noble made his first start, but there was still no sign of Daryl Clare or Paul Ellender. Boston's first chance fell to Noble, but his shot was wide of the target. Jason Lee then got on the end of a cross from Noble, but his header lacked the required accuracy. Just before the half hour Stockport came close to taking the lead when Mickael Wolski saw his shot go just wide of the left post. Soon after Matthew Hamshaw ran through the Boston defence but his final effort was kept out by a great diving save by Nathan Abbey. Play now switched to the other end and Lee produced a high looping header that wasn't quite high enough to beat James Spencer in the Stockport goal. Just before half time Danny Thomas curled a long range effort goalwards only to see it hit the woodwork. At half time Simon Rusk came on for Stewart Talbot. Five minutes into the second half Boston took the lead with a sublime goal. David Noble picked out Joachim with an inch perfect killer of a pass and JOACHIM skillfully lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper.

Five minutes later Boston came close to increasing their lead when Chris Holland fired in a cross to Lee who saw his header cleared off the line by Ashley Williams. Stockport equalised on 64 minutes following a corner. Holland initially cleared the ball but it was fed back into the area where it found an unmarked Tes BRAMBLE who picked his spot to give Abbey no chance. Three minutes later Stockport went in front when HAMSHAW hit a wonder shot that curled in to the top right corner from 25 yards out. Twenty minutes from time Noel Whelan came on for Brad Maylett - who had been a shadow of his usual self. Stockport continued to press and if Abbey hadn't been on top form they surely would have made sure of picking up all the points. They were made to rue their missed chances when right at the end of normal time JOACHIM scored another class goal by slotting home through a crowded area after Lee directed a header to him from a ball pumped forward by Canoville. So the Boston fans went home much happier than they thought they would be a few minutes earlier. After the match Steve Evans said: "I'm really disappointed for the players that we did not win today. I've said to them that Boston United supporters do not cheer you off if you've not been unlucky and not outplayed the opposition. We'll play worse and win."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Canoville, Ben Futcher, Mark Greaves, Chris Holland, David Noble, Stewart Talbot (Simon Rusk 46), Brad Maylett (Noel Whelan 75), Julian Joachim, Jason Lee, Danny Thomas. Subs not used: Alan White, Gavin Johnson, Chris Wright.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2005.