After a fast a furious end to end and highly entertaining local derby a draw was a fair result, but my, how the Tulips will rue those woeful defensive mistakes and missed scoring chances, writes Ray Tucker.
Boston, who had recruited former Tulip’s top scorer Simon Mowbray and a number of other late signings for Tuesday’s clash at Tattershall Road, as promised, were really up for the challenge, but even they must have been surprised by the Tulips’ generosity in defence.
After just 13 minutes a catastrophic headed back pass by Callum Earls fell woefully short of ‘keeper Nick Conroy and Shane Clancey gleefully dashed in to accept the gift to put his side ahead.
The Tulips battled hard to get back on level terms with at times, some excellent passing football. Midway through the opening half a quick break from defence saw Ash Stevens on a free run for goal but he agonisingly fired against a post. As the ball ricoched across the goalmouth Kieron Doherty’s follow up effort was deflected away for a corner by goalkeeper Michael Emery. However, Fran Green’s resulting flag kick was powerfully headed in by skipper Lee Canoville to give the side a 24th minute leveller.
Within minutes the Tulips won another corner but Doherty’s header soared over the crossbar. But the 30th minute saw the Tulips take the lead. Shane Tolley’s 25-yarder was only parried by ‘keeper Emery and Fran Green pounced to notch his third goal of the season.
But Boston came storming back, forcing another mistake from the Tulips’ defence which Matt Barber punished with a clinical angled strike from the edge of the area. Within a minute the Tulips had the opportunity to restore their advantage but again Stevens failed to add icing to the cake.
Five minutes into the second half, with the pitch sodden following a heavy storm just before and during the interval, Lori Borbely put the Poachers into the lead with the visiting defence struggling to clear Mowbray’s cross from the left.
Play, as it had been throughout, continued to be from end to end, but with Glenn Fuff having replaced Jay Smedley, the Tulips’ defence looked more secure and Boston chances were fewer. Parity was restored on 71 minutes with Tom James, who had replaced Ash Stevens in the 63rd minute, slotting in a 71st minute equaliser, squeezing the ball just inside a post.
Team: Nicky Conroy, Jay Smedley (Glen Fuff 46 mins), Callum Earls, Miles Chamberlain, Lee Canoville, Kieran Doherty, Dan Steadman, Scott Musgrove, Francis Green (Jacob Joyce 88 mins), Shane Tolley, Ash Stevens (Tom James 63 mins). Subs (not used) Danny Hussey, Lee Drury.