United Counties League: Boston Town 1-1 Harrowby United
A depleted Harrowby United side travelled to Lincolnshire neighbours Boston Town for a midweek derby and came back from a goal down to claim a valuable point.
Harrowby kicked off with only 10 players and only one substitute due to work commitments and unavailability, but chose to wait for a late arrival rather than fielding two goalkeepers.
A bold 4-3-2 formation worked well and restricted the hosts to long-range efforts and crosses into the box which were either wayward or dealt with well by a resolute back four.
The Arrows worked an opening in the 24th minute when Bobby Lee’s cross from the left just eluded young striker Lloyd Hanratty. He did well to reach the ball and produced a lovely flicked pass inside to Simon Bolland who, arriving into the box from midfield, fired a shot high over the bar.
Five minutes before half-time the Poachers took the lead when a corner from the left was nodded home by an unmarked Grant Butler, giving Joe Christopher no chance.
Harrowby manager Sam Ralph introduced substitute goalkeeper Chris Bennett at the break, replacing the player who unfortunately failed to arrive.
This moved original custodian Joe Christopher to an unaccustomed midfield role which gave the visitors a full complement of players and seemed to lift the side.
The equaliser arrived six minutes into the half when a fine ball out of defence by Liam Jaques set Shawn Matongo away down the right.
Matongo carried be ball forward before whipping over an inch-perfect cross which was met perfectly by Hanratty to power a header past Boston keeper Harry Paine.
Harrowby had a scare on the hour mark when a corner from the right was headed goalwards by Simon Ashton and clipped the crossbar on it’s way behind for a goalkick.
Four minutes later a stray backpass presented a glorious chance for Hanratty who seemed shocked to receive the ball and his rushed shot was well blocked by Paine.
Boston again skimmed the woodwork in the 74th minute when a break down the right saw winger Lawrence Lambley cut inside and shoot from outside the box.
Harrowby kept plugging away looking for what at one time seemed an unlikely victory and with eight minutes left, Lee’s sweet half-volley dipped just over the bar from 25 yards out.
The Arrows thought they had won it in injury time when a cross into the box was bundled into the net, but the effort was correctly ruled out by referee Basker for a foul on Paine.
A satisfying point for the Arrows overall which keeps them ahead of the Poachers and on a three-match unbeaten run. They lie out of the relegation places in 19th.
United: J. Christopher, B. Sharpe (C. Bennett 45), S. Weatherstone, J. Currall (c), L. Jaques, B. Lee, T. Parker, S. Bolland, M. Clarke, S. Matongo, L. Hanratty.