York City 1-0 Boston United
By Craig Singleton
Tempers flared late on as Boston United suffered a slender defeat at the hands of York City on Saturday afternoon.
Ex-Pilgrim David Ferguson scored the only goal of the game on 73 minutes as the Minstermen bolstered their play-off hopes.
United's afternoon went from bad to worse when Andi Thanoj and Ben Middleton were sent off in the closing stages, moments after Simon Heslop had received his own marching orders for City.
The opening stages were cagey on a boggy playing surface which was still causing referee John Matthews concern an hour before kick-off.
Brad Abbott angled an early drive wide and was handed a 14th minute yellow card after being penalised for diving on the end of Ashley Hemmings’ corner delivery.
York had plenty of the ball but failed to penetrate a resolute United rearguard.
The home side did up the ante after half-time and Ferguson’s drive was charged to safety before Louis Almond had a close-range effort blocked by Ryan Qualter.
Jon Stewart was called upon to make decent saves to thwart Adriano Moke and Almond in successive York attacks.
The game’s defining moments arrived when Adam Bartlett made a brilliant, instinctive save to deny United sub Benny Igiehon, before grabbing Ashley Hemmings’ follow-up header.
York countered by managing to free FERGUSON on the left-hand side and his driven cross-shot nestled into the net off the unfortunate Qualter.
United responded with debutant Jake Beesley wriggling through, only for Sean Newton to recover with a goal-saving block.
Beesley was subsequently injured and replaced by Kabongo Tshimanga and Bartlett was forced into another smart near post save to deny Igiehon.
The match descended into chaos with 88 minutes played. Heslop, already on a yellow card, somehow avoided a straight red for a horrific lunge on Thanoj, who was subsequently sent off for an angry confrontation with Ferguson.
Heslop’s second yellow card saved him from a three-match ban — a fate that with now awaits Thanoj and team-mate Middleton.
Middleton steamed in on Raul Correia and won the ball but referee Matthews was happy to hoist another red card as United’s afternoon unraveled in dramatic fashion.
York (3-4-1-2): Adam Bartlett; Daniel Parslow, Hamza Bencherif, Sean Newton; Adriano Moke (Connor Smith 64), Simon Heslop, Alex Pattison, David Ferguson; Aidan Connolly; Alex Kempster (Raul Correia 66), Louis Almond (Jonny Burn 86). Subs (not used): Connor Brown, Luke Simpson (gk).
Boston (4-4-2): Jon Stewart; Ben Middleton, Ryan Qualter, Jordan Keane, Stephen Brogan; Jay Rollins (Jonathan Wafula 78), Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj, Ashley Hemmings; Jake Beesley (Kabongo Tshimanga 78), Jack Dyche (Benny Igiehon 59). Subs (not used): Wes Atkinson, George Willis (gk).
Referee: John Matthews.
Attendance: 2,461 (246 visitors).