Leamington 0 Boston 0: Boston’s chances of gate-crashing the play-off party suffer setback at the New Windmill

Leamington met promotion hopefuls for a second successive Saturday and, as at Harrogate, they gave as good as they got, writes Paul Okey.
Lee Chilton and Charles Konadu fight it out for a bouncing ball. Picture: Sally EllisLee Chilton and Charles Konadu fight it out for a bouncing ball. Picture: Sally Ellis
Lee Chilton and Charles Konadu fight it out for a bouncing ball. Picture: Sally Ellis

With the hosts having little to play for and Boston eyeing the fourth and final play-off spot, an away win looked very much on the cards.

However, despite the warm weather lending itself to a distinctly end-of-season feel, Brakes were in no mood to sign off for their holidays just yet and they could feel aggrieved not to have taken all three points after creating the better of the goalscoring opportunities.

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In a high-quality opening to the game it was the hosts who had the first chance. Danny Newton and Aron Wint combined on the right and the ball was cut back from the byeline for Lee Chilton to fizz a first-time shot past the far post.

Newton then latched on to a Craig Owen clearance and worked a shooting chance which he put straight at Lewis King in the Boston goal.

Pilgrims’ player of the year Ricky Miller was a constant nuisance up front and was almost on the mark in the ninth minute, lifting a shot on to the crossbar with Tony Breeden beaten.

Claims for handball were waved away as Ryan Higgins came back to mop up another promising Boston move, while there was an anxious moment for King as Chilton blocked his clearance and looked to latch on to the rebound, only for the ball to wickedly spin away from danger.

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A Miller header was comfortably claimed by Breeden before the striker was crowded out after a neat turn in the box had threatened to unlock the defence.

Nathan Hicks then went it alone from the half-way line, cutting into the box and producing a fierce drive which was deflected away by an instinctive block from the visiting keeper.

Not surprisingly, the pace dropped after an end-to-end opening and it was Boston who finished the half the brighter with Miller shooting straight at Breeden, Jamie McGhee directing a header wide and Zak Mills unable to guide his effort on target after Breeden had failed to claim a corner.

Breeden was the first keeper called into action after the break, comfortably fielding another Miller attempt, while King was almost caught out by a long-range shot by Chilton, gathering at the second attempt after an awkward initial parry.

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Carl Piergianni was twice left unattended at corners but both times failed to find the target with his headers and Miller took his shot count close to double figures with two more tame efforts at Breeden.

With just over ten minutes remaining, Paul Holleran brought Lee Moore and Peter Till on for Aron Wint and Craig Owen and the double substitution sparked Leamington into their best period of the game.

Chilton was unable to conjure up the lob which would have beaten an exposed King and seconds later Till’s fierce shot just grazed the angle of post and bar.

Newton then had the clearest chance to break the deadlock after being released by Chilton. However, he seemed to be caught in two minds and King was able to parry his initial effort and then gratefully pounce on the rebound as the loose ball threatened to evade his grasp.

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A late challenge on Miller in the box sparked more forlorn Boston penalty appeals and Till’s curled effort shaped well to the far corner before being plucked out of the air by King.

Referee Simon Miller was enjoying being out in the sunshine so much that he found five minutes of injury time from nowhere, but there was to be no dramatic conclusion as Brakes again showed they can mix it with the promotion pack.

BRAKES: Tony Breeden, Ryan Higgins, Stephan Morley, Craig Owen (Peter Till, 81), Liam Daly, James Mace, Aron Wint (Lee Moore, 80), Reece Flanagan, Danny Newton (Ricky Johnson, 87), Nathan Hicks, Lee Chilton. Subs not used: Matt Dodd, David McNamee.

Boston United: Lewis King, Zak Mills, Rene Steer, Jay Dowie, Scott Garner, Carl Piergianni, Charles Konadu (Ian Ross, 65), Jamie McGhee (Stefan Galinski, 65), Ricky Miller, Spencer Weir-Daley, Ben Milnes (Ben Fairclough, 85). Subs not used:Andy Hewitt, Indy Aujla.