Grantham Town hold Pilgrims to goalless draw
Grantham Town 0
Boston United 0
Just over 400 supporters turned up on Tuesday night to witness what is always an eagerly anticipated fixture between two Lincolnshire rivals.
After a scorching hot day, conditions were warm and humid but, for once, The Meres 'mistral' was more than welcome, blowing a strong cooling breeze across the pitch.
The pace of the game was brisk from the kick-off and remained so throughout.
The opening exchanges were all Boston going forward but with no real chances on goal. Their first shot on target came in the 12th minute but Grantham's trialist goalkeeper was down quickly to save Jonathon Wafula's effort.
The Gingerbreads' first opportunity came a minute later, but James Berrett's corner kick was intercepted before Tom Ward could get his head to the ball in the box.
Ward was in the right place again on 15 minutes but this time Craig Westcarr's corner went over his head.
The Pilgrims' defence would prove to be pretty impregnable throughout, especially in response to high balls into the penalty area, which were repelled with some efficiency.
United's George Green tried his luck from distance on 24 minutes but his shot rose over the bar.
Grantham were awarded a free kick in the 32nd minute following a foul on their trialist defender. It managed to go through a gaggle of players before being gathered in safely by Boston keeper George Willis.
Seconds later at the other end, Green struck another ambitious long range shot but he was off-target once again.
Westcarr's 35th minute corner kick landed on the roof of the Boston net as the unrelenting pace of the game continued until half time, giving both sides a workout to remember.
Two minutes after the break, Town's keeper came under close pressure from Wafula but he secured the ball with apparent ease.
The Gingerbreads grew into the game more and more as it progressed, realising that they were able to match the visitors all around the pitch and began having more of the chances on goal.
A couple of opportunities after the hour mark saw Grantham's Gregg Smith try an overhead kick from outside the box and Jay Rollins drive from 25 yards at the other end, but both attempts went off-target.
Town fans looked on eagerly as Westcarr placed the ball for a 25-yard free kick in the 79th minute, but the former Nottingham Forest star fired over the bar.
Grantham's bests chances to snatch victory came in the closing minutes. Ward connected his head to Westcarr's 86th minute outswinging corner kick, but the United keeper was equal to his effort.
Two minutes later, another Westcarr corner found Berrett at the far side of the box. He pumped the ball in to Smith who looked possibly to have the ball over the goal line, but the referee and his assistant thought otherwise, and so the game ended goalless.