Town cannot find winner

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Boston United 0

Halifax Town 0

Town were forced to settle for a fourth successive draw as they were unable to breakthrough despite dominating for long periods at York Road.

It was a real case of what might have been as Boston’s Paul Bastock was the busier of the two keepers, saving well from Tom Baker and Danny Lowe.

And right at the death Aaron Hardy had a great chance to snatch a victory but sent a close range header across goal and wide.

The major positive was that they kept their first clean sheet of the season, something keeper Simon Eastwood clearly deserved.

But this was one that should have ended in an away win which made it a frustrating afternoon in Lincolnshire.

Town had an early chance after Hardy was fouled 10 yards outside he Boston area and Baker swung in a free kick.

That forced Alan White to concede the first corner of the afternoon but the Shaymen were unable to make anything of it.

And when Harry Winter sent Liam Needham away on the right hand he was able to cross deep but beyond everyone.

Boston forced their first corner after 10 minutes but were without striker Micky Stones who was receiving treatment for a cut and Simon Eastwood rose well to punch clear.

The Shaymen were the dominant side and Liam Hogan’s crossfield pass picked out Lowe on the left but his header, aimed for James Dean, went through to Bastock in the home goal.

Boston’s best opportunity of the opening quarter came when Kevin Holsgrove crossed in from the left and Scott McManus was forced to head clear.

The Shaymen then lost the ball allowing Chris Hall to fire in a shot that was always rising over Eastwood’s bar.

Moments later Dean’s pass found Gregory who held the ball up well before picking out Baker on the left. He cut inside and hammered in a dipping effort that went inches over the bar.

Boston had a great chance to open the scoring after 26 minutes when Holsgrove got free on the left and whipped in a cross that Marc Newsham should have done better with than glancing across the face of goal.

The Shaymen were still too slack with possession, giving the home side far too much of the ball without them having to fight hard for it.

And Town’s cause was not helped by the temporary loss of Hogan who was forced to leave the field with blood pouring from a cut close to his eye after a challenge with Stones.

He returned without the depleted defence having to cope with anything particularly dangerous from the home side.

They were in trouble, albeit momentarily, from a Ryan Semple corner with five minutes of the break which Stones rose well to head goalwards and Lowe had to clear off the line.

Town forced a couple of corners in quick succession on the stroke of half time but were unable to make anything of either.

Town opened the second half brightly with Winter finding Hardy wide on the right and his over-hit cross had Bastock back pedalling before it sailed over the top.

And when Gregory was fouled on the edge of the Boston area Winter stepped up only to smash the free kick high over the bar.

Lowe crashed a free kick into Boston’s defensive wall soon after and when the ball was played back into Dean a moment later he turned well in the area but sent his shot into the keeper’s arms.

Stones was only cautioned for using an elbow in a challenge on McManus which left the Town man requiring treatment.

Boston did not threaten until Gareth Jelleyman’s 57th-minute long thrown which was headed clear at the near post by Hardy.

McManus found Lowe whose cross was collected well by Bastock as the Shaymen continued to make the running.

They were struggling to stay onside as Boston’s defence pushed out, Dean and Gregory both being caught by the linesman.

Gregory was next in line to take a free kick on the edge of the Boston box, but he squared his 68th-minute effort for Baker whose shot took a slight deflection, but not enough to beat Bastock.

Within 60 seconds a corner from the right gave home defender Tom Ward the chance to head goalwards, but Eastwood tidied up under pressure from Newsham.

Dean met a Simon Garner corner, won by Lowe, well 12 yards out but could not get his header on target.

And in the space of 30 seconds both Baker and substitute Scott Hogan had efforts blocked by home defenders.

The game started to open up with 10 minutes remaining and Lowe was denied by Bastock moments after Danny Sleath had failed to get on the end of a Semple cross at the other end.

And the Shaymen had a glorious chance to win the game in stoppage time when Garner whipped in a cross from the left and Hardy arrived at the far post only to head across goal and wide.