Alfreton Town 2-3 Boston United
Stand-in skipper Jordan Keane scored a dramatic late winner as Boston United chalked up a third successive victory on Saturday afternoon.
The Pilgrims had initially relinquished a 2-0 lead over Alfreton Town, courtesy of two Ashley Hemmings penalties inside the opening 14 minutes, but won it through Keane's fine finish 10 minutes from time.
Euan Mulhern and Craig Westcarr had drawn Alfreton level, while the Pilgrims lost the services of centre-half Brad McGowan with suspected ankle ligament damage.
United’s afternoon got off to the perfect start when Reece Thompson was hauled down in the box by Alex Cover after just 16 seconds.
HEMMINGS stepped up to blast the Pilgrims into a first minute lead in their final fixture before Christmas.
United were awarded a second spot-kick 13 minutes later when Tom Allan dragged Thompson to the ground and HEMMINGS repeated the trick from the penalty spot to double Boston’s lead.
Alfreton’s first real chance fell to Tom Platt, but he was unable to keep his header down on the end of Brendon Daniels’ corner to the near post.
The Pilgrims came within millimetres of a third goal when Andi Thanoj rattled the post with a 20-yard free-kick after Luke Shiels had been carded for a brutal foul on Kabongo Tshimanga.
United had a further chance when Jay Rollins bulleted a header wide following Stephen Brogan’s fantastic cross from the left.
Home keeper Chris Elliott made a fine save to deny Thompson towards the end of the half as United’s dominance continued.
Alfreton reduced the arrears in the 59th minute when Cieron Keane delivered a fine ball from the left and MULHERN got up highest to power home a debut goal.
The home side levelled three minutes later when Willis lost his footing in the box, aiming to deal with a routine punt forward, and substitute WESTCARR reacted quickest to ram the ball home.
Rollins wasted a glorious chance to restore United’s lead when he volleyed wide and McGowan was subsequently lost to a serious-looking ankle injury.
Just as their afternoon appeared to be turning sour, the Pilgrims mustered a response and KEANE sailed home what proved to be their winner after meeting a Hemmings corner that had been blocked initially by the Alfreton defence.
United needed a magnificent save from Willis to preserve their victory, midway through eight additional minutes awarded mainly for McGowan’s injury, when he blocked brilliantly to thwart Shiels from a Daniels corner.
Alfreton (4-4-2): Chris Elliott; Alex Cover, Luke Shiels, Tom Allan, Cieron Keane; Noel Burdett (Ryan Jennings 82), Bradley Wood, Tom Platt, Brendon Daniels; Marcus Day (Craig Westcarr 46), Euan Mulhern. Subs (not used): Craig Disley, Sam Topliss, Andre Johnson.
Boston (4-4-2): George Willis; Ben Middleton, Brad McGowan (Paul Walker 72), Jordan Keane, Stephen Brogan; Jay Rollins, Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj, Ashley Hemmings; Reece Thompson (Brad Beatson 90), Kabongo Tshimanga (Lee Bennett 68). Subs (not used): Adam Curry, Gregg Smith.
Referee: Martin Woods.