Home Results News Table Squad Statistics

Striker Strong

Pilgrims 2-3 Swansea City

Coca Cola League

Boston United's unbeaten record in the League this season finally ended in controversial fashion as they were defeated following a dubious last minute penalty decision. They had started the game missing Mark Greaves - who hadn't recovered from the injury picked up in Wednesday night's FA Cup game - Simon Rusk took his place. Manager Steve Evans also decided to continue with Greg Strong up front, leaving recognized strikers Jason Lee and Daryl Clare on the bench. The first shot on target came from Swansea, but Nathan Abbey blocked Lee Trundle's effort. On the quarter hour Boston won a corner. David Noble floated his kick to the near post, but an attempted clearance fell nicely for Andy KIRK who knocked the ball into the net from six yards out. Boston almost increased their lead four minutes later, but Swansea keeper Brian Murphy just managed to push David Noble's curling shot round the post. Swansea came within inches of equalising when Paul Connor saw his shot from the back of the area rebound off the bar following a deep corner. Five minutes from the end of the half Andy Kirk went up for a challenge with Murphy on the edge of the box. When both players landed Kirk found the ball at his feet and the goal at his mercy, but he screwed his shot wide of the right post. Just before half time Dean West had to come on for Chris Holland who limped off. The second half began with end to end action. Kirk almost beat Murphy to a punt upfield, but the Swansea keeper just managed to clear the ball. Then Trundle blasted over from a good position on the left. David Noble forced Murphy to palm the ball away for a corner as he produced another curling shot that was heading for the bottom corner. Swansea equalised in the 52nd minute when TRUNDLE beat the offside trap and slotted the ball past Abbey after picking up a pass from Andy Robinson. Swansea continued to press and three minutes later Abbey had to block a powerful shot from Connor after he broke down the left.

Connor soon broke forward again, and this time he laid the ball back to Leon Britton whose shot went over the bar. Swansea took the lead when Andy ROBINSON squeezed the ball between Abbey and the left post after being picked out by a cross from Connor. Steve Evans now brought on some fresh legs as Boston sought to gain something from the match - Lee Thompson and Jason Lee replacing Kevin James and Greg Strong respectively. It was however the tired legs that fashioned the Boston equaliser. Danny Thomas quickly took a throw-in down by the left corner. The throw found Kirk who passed back to Thomas allowing him to whip a cross into the Swansea six yard box where Simon RUSK was waiting to glance the ball into the net with his head. With time running out Jason Lee almost won the match for Boston, but his looping header wasn't quite powerful enough to beat the keeper. Then disaster for Boston. In the last minute Trundle ran into the area and clattered to the ground as he passed Jason Lee. The referee pointed to the spot and TRUNDLE picked himself up to fire the spot kick past Abbey into the bottom right corner. So the match ended in defeat - the first time a Boston United side under Steve Evans' management had lost two successive games since he returned last season. After the match Swansea manager Kenny Jackett commented: "Their manager has made it known to me what his thoughts are about my players and about South Walians in general. He said some very detrimental things about people from South Wales and told me where I could go and where I could shove it. That's up to him. I didn't react and just wished him all the best."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Paul Ellender, Simon Rusk, Kevin James (Lee Thompson 67), David Noble, Chris Holland (Dean West 44), Andy Kirk, Greg Strong (Jason Lee 67), Danny Thomas. Subs not used: Daryl Clare, Courtney Pitt.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox, 2005.