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Abbey almost stops Yeovil's second goal

Yeovil Town 2-0 Pilgrims

Coca Cola League

by Rooster

Boston United's promising start to the new season received a setback at Huish Park against a Yeovil side that looks set to challenge the very best the division can offer. On a warm, sunny Somerset afternoon Steve Evans fielded the same team that had played the opening two games of the season but saw his men outplayed by a combination of one touch passing, pace and final product. Without Nathan Abbey's continuing heroics between the posts the final scoreline would have flattered United considerably less. The start was delayed by four minutes while Abbey was forced into a shirt change as he clashed with the light blue of Yeovil keeper Chris Weale. Yeovil set out their intentions early on when after nine minutes the impressive new signing Adrian Caceres fired hard and low from the left hand side of the box and looked to have put Yeovil in front. A superb fingertip save by Abbey diving to his right prevented a certain goal. Boston's defence was called upon numerous times in the early Yeovil onslaught with Caceres having further chances only to be denied by the United keeper. Perhaps the pick of the saves came in the eleventh minute when another new Yeovil signing Bartosz Tarachulski put Caceres through and whose rasping 8 yard volley was tipped over by Abbey's hand. Continued Yeovil attacks were the order of play and some initial composed defending from Lee Beevers, Austin McCann and Greg Strong soon degraded under the mounting pressure. Desperate resort to the defensive long ball clearance was ineffective as it was easily picked off by the Yeovil midfield. The few United forays forward were either thwarted by a tight Yeovil offside trap or else broke down when Jason Lee and Martin Carruthers were left isolated up front and invariably lost possession. Yeovil coped well with the aerial advantage that Boston's forward line should have presented. In the whole of the match United did not have one shot on target. Boston's growing frustration was evident and at times the game descended into something of an ill tempered affair with United in particular lacking discipline. A Tom Bennett foul on Darren Way after 29 minutes led to a bit of melee involving several players and the resultant "afters" saw Darren Way being booked.

Michael Rose powered a good shot goalwards from the freekick but again Abbey denied Yeovil a lead diving to save to his right. The only respite for Boston came in the form of a five minute intermission as Yeovil officials sought to find a replacement for a broken corner flag. United fans as ever rallied round in helpful fashion with some props including a rather nice walking stick and a slim looking match steward. Yeovil continued to press after the interval as they looked to convert their first half pressure into something tangible. Phil Jevons threatened in the 48th minute from 35 yards after some clever midfield interplay but shot wide. A minute later a defensive error by Strong allowed JEVONS to pounce from the left and from 18 yards hit a clean strike into the right hand corner past a diving Abbey. Jason Lee almost provided an immediate response after controlling a high ball and fizzing a volley marginally wide of Weale's left post. This was going to be as close as United were to come to registering anything on the scoresheet. Two tactical Boston substitutions after 58 minutes (Lee Thompson for Steve Melton and Courtney Pitt for Gareth Jelleyman) preceded the second Yeovil goal as the search for an equaliser saw the United defence haemorrhage once more. In the 64th minute TARACHULSKI rose above everyone to meet a well taken corner from Lee Johnson and headed into the top right corner from 18 yards above an outstretched Abbey. This effectively ended the game as Yeovil continued to marshall the midfield with swift passing and movement. The sending off of Mark Greaves for a second yellow card after he raised his hands at Darren Way only added to United's miserable afternoon. The addition of Pitt and Thompson added some life to the Boston attack and although United did manage to threaten in the 83rd minute as Carruthers broke through the Yeovil defence only to be blocked by the advancing Weale, it was for the travelling United fans, some of whom had spent 7 hours on the road to Yeovil, one of those days when the journey home always seemed much much longer.

United team: (4-4-2) Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Greg Strong, Mark Greaves, Gareth Jelleyman (Courtney Pitt 58), Tom Bennett, David Noble (Chris Holland 46), Steve Melton (Lee Thompson 58), Martin Carruthers , Jason Lee . Subs not used: Paul Bastock, Simon Rusk.

Photograph copyright © Alan Wainwright, 2004.