Boston United 1-2 Darlington 1883
Boston United emerged from Saturday’s Darlington 1883 encounter empty-handed after failing to overturn a two-goal half-time deficit.
Nathan Cartman and David Syers had the travelling Quakers in control at The Jakemans Stadium and although Karl Hawley reduced the arrears after the break, United were unable to draw level.
Visiting keeper Ed Wilczynski made two terrific saves to deny Alex Simmons and ensure all three points for his side.
Darlington were set on their way by breaking the deadlock on 14 minutes. Gary Brown’s long throw found its way across to CARTMAN who applied a simple finish at the back post.
United keeper Ross Durrant made a flying save to keep out Mark Beck’s header from ex-Pilgrim David Ferguson’s corner but Darlo went two goals up a minute before the break.
Ferguson’s free-kick was only partially cleared and SYERS cracked home a fine effort from the edge of the box.
United cranked up the pressure after the break and debutant Colby Bishop went close within minutes of coming off the bench to lift an effort a fraction too high.
Bishop played a key role in United’s deficit-cutting goal on 63 minutes when he nodded down Shane Clarke’s long ball forward and HAWLEY swivelled well to finish beyond Wilczynski at his near post.
Wilczynski made a terrific save to deny Simmons only seconds later and the same two players were involved in another incident with the Darlo keeper tipping the Lincoln City loanee’s goalbound free-kick behind for a corner.
The keeper, who trialed briefly with the Pilgrims in pre-season, made a further save with his legs to deny Jay Rollins and ensure the points headed back to the northeast.
Boston (4-3-3): Ross Durrant; Charlie Gatter (Kalern Thomas 53), Josh Robinson, Tom Batchelor, Jan Yeomans; Shane Clarke, Adam Chapman, Lewis Hilliard (Colby Bishop 53); Alex Simmons, Karl Hawley, Jay Rollins. Subs (not used): Ben Gordon, Joe Fitzpatrick, Callum Chippendale.
Darlington (4-4-2): Ed Wilczynski; Josh Falkingham, Kevin Burgess, Gary Brown, David Ferguson; David Syers, Phil Turnbull (Terry Galbraith 80), Leon Scott, Stephen Thompson (Josh Gillies 90); Mark Beck, Nathan Cartman (Liam Hardy 70). Subs (not used): Jack Blackford, Mark Bell (gk).
Referee: Martyn Rawcliffe.
Attendance: 1,243 (234 visitors).