Boyes brace beats Boston
Adam Boyes notched his 18th league goal of the season with just minutes remaining to make it back-to-back wins for a reinvigorated Bradford Park Avenue.
He had grabbed his 17th in the first-half, cancelling out an early opener from Boston United captain Jordan Keane.
Mark Bower made one change to the side that saw off Leamington last week, drafting in midfielder Danny Boshell to replace Rob Atkinson after the defender was forced off during the victory over the Brakes.
The hosts made a dream start, taking the lead after just three minutes. They were awarded a free-kick in controversial circumstances after Jake Beesley was brought down outside the box, and Ashley Hemming’s delivery was met by the head of captain Jordan Keane. The defender glanced a header beyond the reach of Steven Drench to leave the visitors shell shocked.
Hemmings caused problems again with a cross shortly after, but his lofted delivery was headed clear by Matt Hill after the winger had escaped the challenge of Frank Mulhern.
Beesley advanced into the box before cutting-back to Brad Abbott but his through ball missed its target and rolled to Drench.
Gianluca Havern and Shane Killock were proving difficult opposition for Boston’s pacey frontline and the latter made an excellent sliding challenge to thwart James Clifton, who opened to shoot after cutting-in from the right.
Avenue did begin to knock on the door as the half progressed and Boyes rattled the crossbar with a thunderous effort from just outside the box.
Boston continued to enjoy opportunities despite Avenue’s testing of Willis and nearly doubled their lead when Beesley drew a fantastic save from Drench with a well-struck half-volley.
However, it was Avenue that found a way through when Boyes powered home a header from a Ross delivery to draw level.
The visitors almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time, as both Boyes and Jamie Spencer saw efforts blocked by Keane on the edge of the box.
HALF-TIME: Boston United 1-1 Bradford Park Avenue
The Pilgrims enjoyed a prolonged spell of pressure after the interval but failed to find a way past the in-form Drench.
An interchange between Andi Thanoj and Hemmings opened space for the latter to shoot but the winger blazed over with a wild effort.
It was soon Avenue’s turn to regain a grip on the game, as they began to enjoy more time on the front foot.
Boyes drilled across goal in search of Spencer, but ex-Avenue man Ryan Qualter hooked behind before the young midfielder could pounce.
Mulhern skipped past Ben Middleton before checking back but his cross looped over the head of a lurking Boyes.
With the tie poised at 1-1, the final few minutes were set to be entertaining. They certainly lived up to expectations, and Mark Bower’s men would have been forgiven for thinking luck simply wasn’t on their side after seeing three shots hooked away on the line.
Two came from substitute Antoine Remi Recizac, who caused problems following his introduction with some impressive movement and skill. After his second was blocked on the goal line, the ball fell to Mulhern whose effort was also denied by a last-ditch clearance.
The resilient visitors were eventually rewarded for their pressure, taking the lead in the 90th minute when Boyes steered past Willis after the ball fell to the clinical finisher in the box.
FULL-TIME: Boston United 1-2 Bradford Park Avenue
Boston United: Willis, Middleton, Brogan, Thanoj, Keane (c), Qualter, Clifton (McGuire 77’), Abbott (Tshimanga 83’), Thompson, Beesley (Smith 67’), Hemmings.
Unused substitutes: Stewart, Wafula.
Bradford Park Avenue: Drench, Ross, Hill, Wroe (c), Killock, Havern, Brooksby (Recizac 75’), Boshell, Boyes, Spencer, Mulhern (Toulson 90+2’).
Unused substitutes: Hall, Knight.
Referee: Sam Mulhall