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AFC Telford 1 Boston 0 - Report and pictures

By Jonny Drury | AFC Telford United | Published:

A bullet header from captain Shane Sutton handed AFC Telford United a slender win over Boston United and preserved their unbeaten home record.

The skipper powered home a header from a corner 23 minutes into the game, a strike which proved to be the only goal of the game.

The Bucks had chances come and go in the second half to make the win more comfortable.

The goal didn't come but it didn't matter, as the victory saw the Bucks climb into the National League North top six.

Gavin Cowan was forced into two changes, after he lost his top marksman Daniel Udoh following his red card at Alfreton Town last week.

Andre Brown came into the side in his place, with James McQuilkin replacing Ellis Deeney, who has accumulated five bookings.

It also looked like a tweak of formation, with McQuilkin playing a bit further forward than Deeney usually does alongside Jon Royle in front of the back three.

Prior to kick off both captains laid wreaths in the centre circle to remember 100 years since the end of the First World War.

The last post also sounded out around the New Bucks Head, as the club announcer paid tribute to former Wellington man Thomas Swift who died in action.

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The game began in exactly the fashion you would imagine it would, with nothing to separate two sides who are locked on 25 points.

Both enjoyed moves early on, with Boston prepared to come out and play more than the two previous visiting sides.

However both defences were cancelling each other out, with a Steph Morley free kick against the wall all the Bucks could muster in the opening quarter of an hour.

Henry Cowans made a goal saving tackle as the Pilgirms pushed forward at the other end, before the Bucks got their noses in front with their first clear cut chance.

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Morley's deliveries from set pieces since returning to the side have brought an extra level of ammunition to the Telford attack.

Every time he swings the ball in it seems as if the Bucks will have a chance, and it was no different on 23 minutes.

His free kick was whipped into the back post where skipper Sutton was to power a header home for his second in as many games.

However within three minutes they almost handed Boston an equaliser on a plate.

Darryl Knights was dispossessed on the ball in the centre of the park, and a through ball sent Jordan Slew clear, but Andy Wycherley stood tall and denied the forward.

Slew volleyed high over the David Hutchinson stand, but it was the Bucks who were looking the slightly better side.

Amari Morgan-Smith's cross went close to finding Brown, before Knights' ball into the box nearly found the head of Morgan-Smith.

Wycherley was then called upon again twice in the space of a minute ten minutes before the break.

The goalkeeper had to tip over a rasping drive from Ryan Qualter, and in the same passage of play Slew found space but the stopper tipped his effort wide.

Wycherley, who has only recently unseated Max Bramley for the number one spot, was looking assured in goal, taking crosses and looking to start moves with his distribution.

Just eight minutes had passed in the second half when Telford spurned just their second clear cut chance of the game.

It was presented on a plate to Knights after a calm pull back from the left by Morgan-Smith, but from just ten yards the forward could only side foot an effort just over the bar.

Four minutes later the same happened from the right, as Cowans' persistence saw him win the ball back in the box, and he squared for Morgan-Smith who mis kicked it from eight yards.

At the other end Boston then enjoyed a little spell, and were incensed they weren't given a penalty.

Former Leeds United man David Norris went down under pressure from Theo Streete, with the Boston players surrounding referee Nathanael Cox who stood firm and waved away the claims.

Wycherley kept out a low drive from Andi Thanog, before visiting stopper George Willis was quick to deny Brown at the other end, after a neat Cowans pull back.

Boston were huffing and puffing for a leveller, with Telford pushing for a goal that would almost certainly wrap up the three points.

A chance came ten minutes from time as Cowans fired a cross into Knights who took a touch, but Boston bodies threw themselves in front of his goal bound effort.

Two minutes from time and Telford should have made the points safe.

Cowans fired into a tackle with the ball ricocheting into the path of Morgan-Smith.

He rounded Willis but could only strike the post from a narrow angle.

Boston had a little bit of late pressure but nothing that really trouble the Bucks back three, who held firm for the three points.

Key moments

23 - GOAL - Steph Morley produces one of his inch perfect corners from the right. He fizzes it into the back post where captain Shane Sutton meets it. Almost takes the net off.

26 - SAVE - Darryl Knights gives the ball away in the middle of the park and a through ball allows Jordan Slew to run clear, but Andy Wycherley stands tall and denies the striker.

37 - SAVE - Slew works the ball to Ryan Qualter on the edge of the box who lets fly with a rasping drive, and Wycherley has to react to get the slightest of touches to tip the ball over.

53 - CHANCE - Morgan-Smith squares the ball into the box from the left and Knights latches onto it with a side foot but it rises over the bar.

62 - PENALTY SHOUT - David Norris goes down under pressure from Theo Streete in the box, with the Boston players surrounding the referee screaming for a spot kick. It looked soft and nothing was given.

Teams

Bucks: (3-1-4-2) Wycherley, White, Morley, McQuilkin, Sutton (c), Streete, Cowans, Royle, Morgan-Smith (Barnes-Homer 90), Brown (Barnett 71), Knights (Dawson 85)

Subs not used: Smith, Bramley

Boston United: (4-4-2) Willis, Davies, Jackson, Middleton (Parkhouse 84), Jones, Qualter, Thanoj, Harris, Allot, Slew (Wright 71), Norris (Rowe 71)

Subs not used: Malkowski, Hine

Referee: Nathanael Cox

Attendance: 1,146

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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