Boston United 2-2 Guiseley AFC
By The Editor
Monday 08 Sep 2008 21:49:00
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The Pilgrims dropped another two points on Saturday but ended a run of two home defeats on the trot with a 2-2 draw against title contenders Guiseley AFC. Taylor's side came from behind twice after failing to take advantage of a penalty at 0-0.

The game was so exciting that I won't mention the predictable routine I adopt before kick-off for our home matches.

After the teams came out early the players waited over the ball for 45 seconds before being given the go-ahead to start the UniBond Premier League tie at York Street. The referee was Dave Plowright. The Town End were obviously aware that he had officiated the Pilgrims' controversial 2-1 loss at home to Southport the previous season, chanting 'If you all hate the ref clap your hands!' from the start. He later proved to be an important influence on this game as well.

Liam Green was dropped following his costly misake on Wednesday. Farrell replaced him at left-back, whilst Wes Parker took up the slot at right-back with Ryan Clarke and Matt Bloomer in central defence. Melton made his debut in a new 4-3-3 formation, as did Danny Matson who came on for a run-out when he replaced Ollie Ryan in the 77th minute. Michael Wood replaced Stewart Talbot in the 85th minute while Lee Beeson, Adam Millson and Liam Parker were all unused substitutes.

Guiseley started on top and put together some neat moves which were representative of their position in the league table. It looked as though they were one of those rare teams that came here to play football, and they did.

But Boston eventually emerged out of their shells and relieved the pressure, dominating possession and moving forward in numbers. It appeared that the players had improved upon midweek, with the home side unleashing a couple of shots at goal. None were on-target and beyond the away team's 'keeper however.

In the 36th minute Ollie Ryan was clearly upended in the visitors' box by Anthony Lloyd. The crowd appealed and all eyes switched to the referee, who gave the penalty! But Plowright still couldn't make amends for his poor officiating last season. Jon Froggatt stepped up to take the spot kick, despite much more competent penalty takers no doubt gracing the pitch. The striker looked confident but jogged up and hit a weak penalty into the keeper, who barely had to move from the centre of his goal. He pumped his fist as the ball safely deflected away from goal and out for a corner.

Boston's misery and worry that they may never score again was worsened just a minute later. Talbot played an awful backpass, which was then curled into the far corner of Wright's goal. 1-0 to Guiseley. And typically, the interceptor and goalscorer was ex-Pilgrim Steve Burton. Who else would it have been eh?

It stayed 0-1 until half-time when for a third home game running Taylor's team were booed off the pitch.

The second period began fairly anonymously. But in the 59th minute Jon Rowan rescued the home team with a goal out of nowhere! He bundled the ball in after Leabon drifted in an excellent cross-shot into the bottom far corner from the left-hand-side of the pitch.

Shortly afterwards opposition custodian Skiba clearly handled the ball outside of his area, but the referee incorrectly ignored the incident.

We all thought that we could at least maintain the scoreline - probably take the lead.

We were all disappointed (bar the 10 or so Guiseley fans) therefore, when Lloyd fired a low shot past Chris Wright from 20 yards to retake the visitors' lead in the 66th minute. And how bloody stupid our players were. Instead of punting their free-kick forward into their half they fussed around with a short set-play routine and lost possession to let them take the advantage.

In the 75th minute Jon Rowan once again scored from close range after Leabon hit the crossbar with his attempt, enabled by Farrell's left wing cross. 2-2! Great, but not wonderful.

With four minutes left on the clock Leabon was speeding in from the left, until Guiseley goalkeeper Piotr Skiba obviously handled Leabon's lob once he had rushed out of his own box to deal with the exciting one-on-one situation. He had prevented a certain goal and was deservedly sent off. Outfield player Burton went in goal for the last few minutes, with Guiseley having used all three substitutions, but the Pilgrims frustratingly failed to test his ability.

So a four goal thriller provided good value-for-money entertainment to 1062 spectators, but the result was neither good or bad. Now it's back on the road to face Ilkeston on Tuesday evening.

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