Boston United 3-0 Harrogate Town
Boston United served up a brilliant display to record a 3-0 home victory over Harrogate Town on Tuesday evening.
The Pilgrims were indebted to George Willis' fourth minute penalty save to deny Joe Leesley and a subsequent stop to tip Jake Wright's effort on to the post.
United took full advantage and scored twice within a six-minute spell through Jake Beesley and Reece Thompson, with Kabongo Tshimanga wrapping up the victory six minutes from time.
With Ben Middleton ineligible to face his parent club, United boss Craig Elliott made one change to the side beaten by Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday with James Clifton dropping to right-back and Jonathan Wafula earning his first start on home turf.
A neat move inside two minutes played Clifton into a shooting opportunity down the right but he opted to pull the ball back for Reece Thompson and the chance was lost.
Arguably the game’s defining moment unfolded in the fourth minute when assistant referee Richard Aspinall penalised Willis for a trip on Leesley in the box but the United keeper denied the Harrogate talisman with his legs and a fantastic challenge from skipper Jordan Keane saw the rebound bundled behind for a corner.
Ten minutes later, Mark Beck flicked the ball on for Wright to run through on goal and Willis got a crucial touch to divert the striker’s effort on to the woodwork and to safety.
United responded and Beesley and Ashley Hemmings combined to tee up Brad Abbott, who smashed an effort marginally too high from 22 yards.
Leesley was then called upon in terms of defensive duties when he got up well to divert Hemmings’ goalbound corner to safety.
The Pilgrims took the lead in the 29th minute when BEESLEY powered home Hemmings’ corner at the near post just moments after seeing his initial header deflected behind off Warren Burrell.
Things got even better six minutes later when Wafula delivered from the right, Beesley was denied by James Belshaw and THOMPSON stooped to prod the ball over the grounded Harrogate keeper.
Harrogate came out fired up after the interval and thought they had won another penalty when Wright tumbled under a challenge from Clifton, but referee Alex Kirkley booked the Town striker for simulation instead.
Chances were few and far between, with George Thomson firing a 25-yard free-kick a fraction too high and Burrell heading over from another Thomson set-piece.
TSHIMANGA was introduced and it took him just three minutes to get on the scoresheet after latching onto Stephen Brogan’s raking assist to run on and beat Belshaw with aplomb.
Boston (4-4-2): George Willis; James Clifton, Ryan Qualter, Jordan Keane, Stephen Brogan; Jonathan Wafula (Jack Withers 90), Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj, Ashley Hemmings; Reece Thompson (Kabongo Tshimanga 81), Jake Beesley (Jamie McGuire 90). Subs (not used): Taron Hare, Gregg Smith.
Harrogate (4-1-3-2): James Belshaw; Ryan Fallowfield, Warren Burrell, John McCombe, Ben Parker; Josh Falkingham; George Thomson, Jack Emmett, Joe Leesley (Jordan Thewlis 59); Mark Beck (Dominic Knowles 78), Jake Wright. Subs (not used): Terry Kennedy, Liam Agnew, Joe Cracknell (gk).
Referee: Alex Kirkley.
Attendance: 875 (61 visitors).