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Boyd is head and shoulders above the rest

Pilgrims 2-2 Kidderminster Harriers

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Two goals from loanee striker Adam Boyd paved the way for Boston United to net a fightback point against Kidderminster. The front man, signed on a one-month deal from Hartlepool, was on target in the 62nd and 69th minutes to cancel out a brace of earlier strikes which had looked like giving the Harriers maximum spoils. But that was before Boyd bagged his rescue act double as the match reached an exciting crescendo at York Street. It was arguably a fair outcome to an intriguing contest which gathered in intensity as action progressed. Harriers had perhaps looked the brighter of the two sides in the initial exchanges with former Boston loan man Andy White just missing out on connecting with a John Williams cross and then a low Dean Bennett being well held by Paul Bastock. Boston’s first real attack of note came in the 10th minute when Mark Angel weaved forward but saw a low drive deflected wide. Kidderminster replied with a close call following a Steve Burton free-kick with Bastock having to punch clear to relieve danger. Boston countered and went close through off-target efforts by Boyd and Graeme Jones. Then, on 21 minutes a Neil Redfearn shot skimmed away for a corner off the uncertain arms of keeper Stuart Brock. The visitors’ custodian was fortunate again moments later when he spilled and Angel shot but recovered quickly to smother Boyd’s follow-up effort. At the other end, the Boston back line just managed to scramble the ball clear after another Burton set-piece delivered had sparked panic in the home defensive ranks.

But Kidderminster took the lead on 35 minutes when Craig HINTON scored from the penalty spot after White had burst clear down the left only to be clipped by a lunging challenge from Mark Greaves. Moments either side of the half-time whistle, Boston answered again twice Redfearn went close to equalising - first with a 25-yard drive which Brock held cleanly and then when lashing an edge-of-the-box free-kick a yard wide after Paul Ellender had been impeded by Wayne Hatswell. Boston had plenty of possession and pressure at this point, but then fell to a sucker punch when the Harriers launched a speedy counter attack. Matt Gadsby set WHITE running through and the striker cashed in on hesitancy at the heart of the Boston rearguard to fire beyond Bastock. At 2-0 up, Kidderminster looked in command. But the Pilgrims cut the deficit on 62 minutes when BOYD latched on to a through pass from Ellender and stabbed a low shot past Brock. Seven minutes later United drew level with BOYD again getting his name on the scoresheet. He showed good control and awareness 25 yards out and unleashed a shot goalwards and the ball sailed over Brock and into the roof of the net via an awkward deflection off Hatswell. After that Boston had plenty of territorial advantage but were unable to cash in further, although Lee Thompson fired inches too high and Boyd saw another goal-bound effort bounce away from danger off team-mate Jones. In response, the Harriers also went close to netting a winner on a couple of occasions through Gadsby and substitute Shilton. But no further goals arrived and both sides had to settle for a point each.

United team (4-4-2): Bastock; Sutch, Greaves, Balmer, Beevers; L Thompson, Redfearn, Ellender, Angel; Boyd, Jones. Subs (not used): Hocking, Duffield, Douglas, Rusk, Croudson (gk).

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2003. Photo copyright © Ken Fox, 2003.