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Crowded goalmouth

Pilgrims 2-0 York City

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Striker Peter Duffield had a decisive say in the downfall of his former club York City. The Pilgrims’ front man repaid caretaker boss Jim Rodwell’s faith in restoring him to the starting line-up by netting the game’s breakthrough goal in the 55th minute and then crossing for Graeme Jones to settle the issue nine minutes from time. And it was deserved reward for a Boston team who, in the process, edged slightly further away from the drop zone. The Pilgrims were definitely the better of the two sides on view with plenty of good passing football in the home ranks. However, it took the impetus of some revitalised form after a largely scratchy first half to trigger the win. There was a tepid feel to the early exchanges until Duffield saw a downward header from a Ben Chapman cross somehow scrambled away by keeper Mark Ovendale who then had to be alert to clutch a drive from Lee Thompson a few minutes later. York’s first chance took 20 minutes to arrive but almost brought a goal when Levent Yalcin fired a low 20-yarder inches past a post. Creditably Boston replied with an off-target shot from Chapman followed by two unheeded penalty appeals in separate incidents by Lee Thompson who appeared first to be tripped and then tugged back by Richard Hope after a surging run at goal.

Boston lifted the tempo at the start of the second half and in the 50th minute Duffield thought he had put his team ahead only to see the effort ruled out for offside. Soon afterwards defenders Lee Beevers and Paul Ellender linked well with the latter seeing a header tipped over by Ovendale. And it was from the aftermath of the partially-cleared flag-kick that Ellender hooked over a low cross for DUFFIELD to stab home from close range on 55 minutes. Next, Adam Boyd put in a cross from the right and Jones headed off target and then Beevers charged down the right and cut inside before testing Ovendale as Boston kept up their attacking work. York produced some moments of fluid passing but virtually nothing was seen of their finishing power apart from one rasping drive by Richard Cooper which whistled too high on 74 minutes. York’s problems deepened in the 79th minute when player-boss Chris Brass was shown a straight red card for wildly scything down Lee Thompson. And two minutes after seizing a numerical advantage Boston wrapped up the points when Duffield cleverly delivered a cross and JONES rose to power in a header.

United team (4-3-3): Bastock; Chapman, Ellender, Beevers, Balmer; Bennett, Greaves, Thompson; Boyd, Duffield, Jones (Douglas 86). Subs (not used): Angel, Hogg, Clarke, Croudson (gk).

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2004. Photograph copyright © Ken Fox, 2004.