Boston United 0-1 Leamington
By Craig Singleton
Boston United failed to stretch their unbeaten run into double figures are suffering a surprise home defeat to Leamington on Saturday afternoon.
The Pilgrims struggled to find their rhythm against the Brakes, who took all three points courtesy of Ahmed Obeng's 53rd minute strike.
Both teams finished with 10 men, with Reece Thompson and Joe Magunda dismissed in separate incidents.
It was United’s first home reversal since October 31 against Salford City and left the Pilgrims in 11th position ahead of an enforced two-week break.
United duo Stephen Brogan and Gregg Smith were both cautioned inside the opening 25 minutes as the Pilgrims struggled to get into their stride.
Jay Rollins had an effort clutched by Tony Breeden at the back post, while Smith sailed a volley straight down Breeden’s throat from distance.
Leamington carved out the half’s best chances, with Connor Gudger slashing wide when well-placed, Richard Taundry’s free-kick being blocked by the United wall and two Callum Gittings efforts flying off target.
Rollins had a header held by Breeden towards half-time after Smith had helped the ball across goal.
The Pilgrims had lost the services of skipper Jordan Keane on the half-hour mark with a foot injury. Taron Hare deputised from the bench in an unfamiliar centre-half role.
Leamington scored what turned out to be the winning goal with eight minutes of the second half played when OBENG seized on Wes Atkinson’s attempted back header to nip round Jon Stewart and steer home a fine angled effort into the far corner.
James Mace made a stunning block to thwart Andi Thanoj following a Smith knockdown while Brogan rattled the Leamington bar with a 25-yard free-kick.
Thompson received his marching orders in the 78th minute when he overstretched to foul Gittings and subsequently threw the ball at his grounded opponent to earn two yellow cards in the same incident.
Leamington’s numerical advantage lasted only three minutes though and substitute Magunda, on the pitch for only four minutes, lunged in on Brad Abbott to receive a straight red card.
Obeng sent a late effort into the side-netting and despite seven minutes being added on, debutant substitute Benny Igiehon’s flicked header from a Hare long throw was the closest United came to snatching an equaliser.
Boston (4-4-2): Jon Stewart; Wes Atkinson (Jamie McGuire 67), Ryan Qualter, Jordan Keane (Taron Hare 30), Stephen Brogan; Jay Rollins, Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj (Benny Igiehon 75), Ashley Hemmings; Reece Thompson, Gregg Smith. Subs (not used): Kabongo Tshimanga, George Willis (gk).
Leamington (4-2-3-1): Tony Breeden; Richard Taundry (Jamie Hood 87), Junior English, James Mace, Connor Gudger; Joe Clarke, Callum Gittings; Matt Dodd (Joe Magunda 77), Kieran Dunbar, Ahmed Obeng; Daniel Udoh (Stefan Moore 90). Subs (not used): Kurtis Revan, Liam Canavan.
Referee: Simon Mather.
Attendance: 1,107 (24 visitors).