Leamington 2-0 Boston United
By Craig Singleton
Boston United suffered their first defeat of the new Vanarama National League North campaign after coming unstuck at Leamington on Tuesday night.
United created a glut of chances at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium but were beaten courtesy of efforts from Matt Stenson on 15 minutes and Junior English 18 minutes from time.
The Brakes were reduced to 10 men in the meantime when Callum Gittings received two yellow cards inside a minute but the Pilgrims were unable to capitalise.
United had fielded an unchanged XI from their opening day victory over Guiseley at The Jakemans Stadium, with new signing Toby Lees included on the bench for the first time.
Adam Marriott worked an early opening which sailed into the side-netting before he and Nathan Arnold teed up Jonny Margetts to spin and fire narrowly wide.
Andi Thanoj’s drive from distance was inadvertently blocked by Marriott, while the former Royston Town frontman tested Tony Breeden with an effort which the keeper was equal to.
Leamington edged ahead on the quarter hour mark when STENSON ghosted in to head goalwards and despite an excellent save from George Willis, the ball crept over the line.
The home side’s breakthrough killed the Pilgrims’ early momentum and their next noteworthy chances did not arrive until after the break.
Arnold’s corner was bundled over the bar by Jonathan Wafula and Leamington were soon down to 10 men when Gittings was booked for raking his studs down the back of Thanoj before being involved in a separate confrontation with the same player a minute later.
The hosts extended their lead 10 minutes later when ENGLISH acrobatically hooked home Kieran Dunbar’s corner.
United’s profligacy in front of goal continued with Wafula heading over from close-range following Arnold’s corner, Qualter subsequently firing over, Ben Middleton’s header clearing the bar and Marriott’s effort being deflected wide — all from Arnold corners.
Marriott then glanced off target following sub Nicky Walker’s flag-kick as United ran out of time to force a route back into proceedings.
Leamington (4-2-3-1): Tony Breeden; Junior English, Jamie Hood, James Mace, Connor Gudger (James Bowen 41); Joe Clarke, Callum Gittings; Kieran Dunbar, Jack Edwards, Connor Taylor (Ahmed Obeng 68); Matt Stenson (Joe Magunda 85). Subs (not used): Anthony Dwyer, Kieran Morris.
Boston (4-4-2): George Willis; Ben Middleton (Toby Lees 85), Ryan Qualter, Spencer Harris, Ashley Jackson; Jonathan Wafula (Nicky Walker 78), Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj, Nathan Arnold; Jonny Margetts (Andre Johnson 68), Adam Marriott. Subs (not used): Grant Roberts, Jordan Gough.
Referee: Barry Lamb.