A spectacular free-kick from Ian Ross earned a point for Boston United with an entertaining draw against Bradford (Park Avenue) in The Skrill North at the Horsfall Stadium.
John Deacey’s men took the lead as Alex Davidson received a pass from Paul Walker, and his right-footed toe-poke found the bottom corner from 12 yards. However, Ross struck a magnificent effort and equalised for the visitors.
The first chance of the game fell to the Avenue’s Chib Chilaka who flashed a low shot inches wide following a neat dummy from captain Nathan Hotte on the edge of the area.
Shortly after, striker Davidson was booked as he lunged in on goalkeeper Lewis King in the Boston United goal after tenaciously tracking down a back pass from Stefan Galinski.
The home side maintained their early pressure as Chilaka broke again down the right flank with a weaving run before delivering a dangerous low cross that was scrambled clear by Netan Sansara.
Minutes later, it was the visitors that missed a chance to take the lead. Charley Sanders did well to meet a looping cross from the right but the forward could only manage to direct his header a foot wide of the post.
The Avenue were quick to respond with two opportunities. Firstly, Hotte fired a 30 yard strike, that stung the palms of King. Then, Nicky Boshell then went close as his dipping free-kick was tipped wide by King from 25 yards.
Before the half time whistle, the Pilgrims had an opportunity to take the advantage, but, an early cross found an unmarked Ricky Miller, who volleyed over from the six yard line.
Despite early pressure from Dennis Greene’s men in the second half, the Avenue broke the deadlock. Davidson, recently back from injury, did well to latch on to a Walker through ball before poking the ball home from 12 yards.
Rallied by their opening goal, Avenue pressed for the second as the lively Walker broke down the left and delivered an almost identical pass to Boshell who lashed his effort into the side-netting.
However Boston United soon replied with a chance of their own. Ross picked the ball up, before offloading a clinical lofted pass to the feet of substitute Spencer Weir-Daley who fired his shot over from 14 yards.
Minutes later the visitors were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area following Boshell’s foul, 25 yards from goal. Captain Ross stepped up and curled the ball over the wall and past a helpless John Lamb in the Avenue goal to give his side the equaliser.
With the full time whistle approaching, Sansara had a chance to steal all three points for the away side. Weir-Daley offloaded a delicate chipped pass that the left-back struck first time, beating the keeper but crashing against the crossbar from 16 yards.
The Avenue assistant manager Mark Hume was happy to take points from an in-form team:
“We’ve took four points from Boston (United), if we take four points off most of the top eight then we’re going to do alright.”
Also, Chris Howarth praised his team’s efforts, but understood they missed chances to win the match:
“We had some early chances and maybe we should have done better, but overall we were pleased with the performance.”
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Howarth, Knowles, Lenighan, Mallory, Boshell (Clayton 83), Chilaka, Hotte, Davidson, Deacey (St Juste 83), Walker.
Subs not used: Corner, Clamp, Maxfield.
Boston United: King, Marrs, Sansara, Galinski, Garner, Piergianni, Ross, Hall (Marshall 73), Miller, Newsham, Sanders (Weir-Daley 60).
Subs not used: Vince, Milnes, Aujla.
Referee: P Dermot