BOSTON UNITED 3 HEREFORD 1: Pilgrims close the gap on league leaders

Boston United moved to within six points of league leaders Chorley with a 3-1 victory over Hereford.

Gavin Allott. NNN-181014-130327002

Gavin Allott made it two goals in two home games in front of the Town End as he headed home Ben Davies’s delivery before Josh Hine made it two following another assist from the stand-in skipper.

George Lloyd’s finish gave the Bulls hope but a classy finish from Jordan Slew secured the points which moved the Pilgrims up to fourth in the National League North, with leaders Chorley losing 1-0 at Bradford Park Avenue.

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Sebastian Malkowski made his home debut for Boston, as did loanee James Jones, who arrived from Salford City yesterday, the two replacing the suspended George Willis and Ben Middleton.

The game was less than five minutes old when Bulls midfielder Calvin Dinsley had to be replaced by Mike McGrath following a head clash with Brad Abbott.

But despite that early switch the visitors made the early running, the unmarked Elliot Richards somehow volleying wide from six yards out and Malkowski doing his nerves some good as he held on to Tommy O’Sullivan’s effort which skipped off the greasy surface.

Bulls keeper Matt Yates pulled off a good reaction save as he blocked a strike from Josh Hine, the chance gifted to him courtesy of Danny Greenslade’s sliced clearance.

In a first half where the two sides traded blows Hereford saw an effort from James Roberts sail over and Harvey Smith’s glancing header drift wide of the far post.

In response Nicky Walker looked set to be gifted a tap in, only for Ethan Wassell to sneak in an avert danger with a vital block.

The second half was only four minutes old when Allott rose highest to meet Davies’s whipped free kick and power his header into the Bulls net.

Hereford had the chance to level when a long ball over the top set Lloyd running down on goal, but his strike was straight into the arms of Malkowski.

They were left rueing that miss in the 57th minute when Hine made it 2-0.

Another Davies free kick from the right saw the attacker react quickest and head low beyond Yates.

Malkowski denied Lloyd with a near-post save before the Hereford man’s persistence finally paid off, Lloyd sliding home at the back post to make it 2-1 with 65 minutes gone.

The Polish keeper plucked McGrath’s long ranger out the sky to keep his side in front while, at the other end, a mix-up between keeper and defender gave Allott a sight of an unguarded net. However, his 25-yarder flew over the bar.

As the Bulls pushed for a leveller former Pilgrims target Harry White saw an effort on the spin fly wide.

Slew restored the two-goal cushion with four minutes to go, showing his premier League pedigree with a neat finish as he rounded yates and tucked home from a tight angle.

UNITED: Malkowski, Davies, Jackson, Thanoj, Jones, Qualter, Hine (Wright 88), Abbott, Allott, Smith (Slew 75), Walker (Norris 81); Subs (not used): Johnson, Harris.

HEREFORD: Yates, Thomas (Owen-Evans 63), Greenslade, Green, Wassall, Smith, Dinsley (McGrath 5), O’Sulliven, Roberts, Lloyd, Richards (White 75); Subs (not used): Cullinane-Liburd, Jackson.

REF: Sam Barrott.

ATT: 1,137 (140).

STAR MAN: Ben Davies - Two fabulous assists and an assured performance from the stand-in skipper.

GOALS: United - Gavin Allott (49), Josh Hine (57), Jordan Slew (86); Hereford - George Lloyd (65).