FC Halifax Town made it a club record nine away league games unbeaten as they earned a hard-fought 2-1 win at Boston.
Alex Titchiner capped his last game for the club before returning to Fleetwood with a typically hard-working display and by grabbing the decisive goal.
Chris Worsley had given Town a half-time lead but tha was wiped out by Marc Newsham before Titchiner’s winner midway through the second-half.
A cold and breezy afternoon in Lincolnshire probably wasn’t an especially appealing prospect for the Halifax players at the end of another tiring week, but they battled well against Boston and the blustery conditions to ensure their play-off ambitions weren’t blown off course.
Neil Aspin made just two changes from the side that started the 2-0 win over Corby, with Jon Worthington continuing his game on-game-off cycle in place of Jason St Juste and James Bolton, who scored on his debut on Thursday, making his first start for the club in place of Liam Needham.
Perhaps the most significant change was in the shape of the side though, as Bolton lined up alongside James Knowles and Danny Lowe in a back three.
One shot on target from each side told it’s own story of a first-half devoid of clear cut chances but fought out in blustery conditions that were hardly condusive to free-flowing football.
But as you’d expect of a team who’s away form had put them on the verge of a new league record, Town started in more confident mood.
While they struggled to test keeper Dan Haystead, they created the better openings as Worthington saw a couple of shots drift off target as well as his name go in the book after a couple of strong tackles.
Lee Gregory latched on to Knowles’ beautifully flighted through ball midway through the opening half but his attempted chip went narrowly over with Haystead stranded.
But another shot from the striker flew out of the ground, emphasising both teams’ struggle to get to the whites of either keeper’s eyes.
Barring the odd shot, such as Conor Marshall’s fierce drive that whistled past Matt Glennon’s near post, Boston seemed content to soak up Town’s pressure and hit them on the break, mainly through their newest recruit Greg Mills, who was their best outlet down the left but was mainly starved of the ball.
Indeed, such was Boston’s lack of attacking threat that their supporters’ reaction to hearing rivals Lincoln were losing at the interval probably produced their biggest cheer of the afternoon up to that point.
Just as the opening 45 minutes looked to be petering out into the interval, Ryan Toulson’s measured cross picked out an unmarked Chris Worsley eight yards out and the midfielder swept home his fifth goal of the season to cap the stand-out moment of quality in the half.
Gregory then nearly created a second for Town shortly after the restart when his pull back found the industrious Alex Titchiner, but his near post shot went into the side netting.
But then out of nothing, the home fans were given something to shout about when Knowles’ late challenge in the box left the referee with no option but to award Boston a penalty and book the Town defender.
Marc Newsham duly sent Glennon the wrong way from 12 yards to bring the hosts level and notch his 20th of the season, moving ahead of Gregory in the scoring charts in the process.
Suddenly Boston were a much more potent prospect and sniffed another goal, with Newsham now looking much livelier as his shot from a Mills cross was smartly saved by Glennon before prodding a corner wide at the near post.
Glennon was also called into action to save Ian Ross’ free-kick as Boston enjoyed easily their most productive spell of the game.
But just as suddenly as they’d equalised, they then fell behind again as Titchiner crafted his own parting gift when he turned away from Nathan Stanifield before calmly stroking the ball under Haystead from a narrow angle.
Boston’s threat was somewhat punctured by that, and it wasn’t until 15 minutes later that Glennon was called into action again to save Ross’ snap shot from inside the box.
Boston: Haystead, Marshall, Silk, Fairclough (Sanders 79), Watt, Stainfield, Ross, Milnes, Weir-Daley, Newsham, Mills (Foster 66). Subs not used: Ward, Field, Lister.
Scorers: Newsham (54)
Shots on target: 4
Shots off target: 4
Halifax: Glennon, Toulson, McManus, Bolton, Knowles, Lowe, Worsley (Glover 82), Williams, Titchiner (A Johnson 86), Gregory, Worthington. Subs not used: Senior, St Juste, Needham.
Scorers: Worsley (41), Titchiner (67)
Shots on target: 4
Shots off target: 6
Man of the match: Alex Titchiner