Badgers blow lead in Boxing day bout

Eastwood's Kallum Keane (left) challenges Marc Newsham. Photo by David Dawson/Boston Standard.
Eastwood's Kallum Keane (left) challenges Marc Newsham. Photo by David Dawson/Boston Standard.

EASTWOOD Town couldn’t build on an early two-goal advantage as Boston recovered to claim the Boxing Day honours at the Jakemans Stadium.

Blue Square Bet North

BOSTON UNITED 4

Danny Sleath 20

Tom Ward 39

Marc Newsham 59

Jason Lee 61

EASTWOOD TOWN 2

Francis Green 2, 12

by Paddy Farrell

EASTWOOD Town couldn’t build on an early two-goal advantage as Boston recovered to claim the Boxing Day honours at the Jakemans Stadium.

New signing Francis Green had put the visitors in a perfect position with a double in the first 12 minutes, but defensive frailties again proved the Badgers’ undoing.

John Ramshaw’s frustration at a lengthening series of bad results was highlighted by his selection of three debutants in Ross Gardner, Kallum Keane and Green. Mitch Hanson, suspended for over two months, got a recall.

Those opening stages were exhilarating as, with just two minutes gone, experienced striker Green pounced on a low cross from Steven Istead after Josh Burge had set his fellow midfielder free. Lee Cannoville’s vigorous challenge was strongly resisted and the shot across Paul Bastock found the far corner.

The home team replied instantly and James Severn, twice within minutes, brought off good stops from Ben Milnes and Tyrone Kirk.

The keeper was comprehensively stranded when Cameron Fearon cleared on the goalline and Danny Sleath should have done better than knock Marc Newsham’s teasing cross wide of Severn’s left-hand post.

Against the tide, Green suddenly struck again in 12 minutes. Burge was vitally involved in a midfield skirmish and his pass was deflected over Kevin Austin into Green’s path. There looked no great danger but the striker conjured up an incredible swerving volley and Bastock could only watch the ball as it dipped under his crossbar.

Severn was back in action saving from Jason Lee and keeper deserved his bit of luck when Sleath beat him to a right side cross but headed just over.

After all the young keeper’s heroics, I hope I’m not being hyper-critical in thinking he was caught flat-footed when Sleath’s low long-range shot somehow found its way through a mass of bodies to make it 1-2 in 20 minutes.

Eastwood’s early sparkle and verve had by now evaporated and Lee could easily have scored twice, firstly from Newsham’s cross and later when nudged clean-through by Tom Ward.

The goal to level things arrived in 38 minutes when Ward looked criminally unchallenged as he virtually strolled on to Milnes’ inviting corner and headed in from point-blank range.

The second-half was a too-familiar story as Eastwood’s under-powered midfield allowed Boston unlimited possession and the home side ran riot down their right flank.

Around the hour Newsham, who had been relishing an incredible amount of space, ran on to Lee’s deft flick and shot low beneath Severn’s despairing dive.

Just two minutes later Lee got deserved reward for an impressively busy shift when he pounced on a blocked shot and crash the rebound high and wide of the ‘keeper.

There was a sudden flurry on the respective benches as Boston brought Ryan Semple and Leon Constantine on for Kirk and Lee respectively and Markel Bailey made way for Jevaise Christie.

There was no immediate apparent effect but Christie’s advent and the entry of Danny Elliott 15 minutes later must have contributed to United’s failure to score again.

Alex Troke, incidentally, made a very late entry for Cameron Fearon who was probably relieved to be spared further torment.

In the final half-hour Newsham, Temple and the other sub Chris Hall all troubled Severn but in a surprise late flurry Eastwood had the home crowd suddenly counting down the minutes.

Istead created space for Elliott and Bastock was a powerless spectator as a powerful shot blazed across him and smacked a post.

The home then ’keeper earned his win bonus and deprived Green of a spectacularly stunning debut when he plunged athletically across goal to hold a net-destined powerful shot.

In a late home attack, Newsham’s cross-shot was wide butthe damage had been done.

Eastwood: 1 James Severn 2 Cameron Fearon (Alex Troke 89) 3 Sam Benjamin 4 Mitch Hanson (c) 5 David Haggerty 6 Kallum Keane 7 Steve Istead 8 Ross Gardner (Danny Elliott 76) 9 Francis Green 10 Josh Burge 11 Markel Bailey (Jevaise Christie 62)

Subs not used: Jason Bradley, Richard Cooper.

Att: 1,247