Burrow and Byrne on target as Boston defeat Hereford to move up to fourth

Boston United 2 Hereford 0

Jordan Burow. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Jordan Burow. Photo: Oliver Atkin

They say the best things come to those who wait. Boston United climbed a place to fourth in the National League North following a tight 2-0 victory over Hereford.

The contest kicked off 30 minutes late after the Bulls' bus was caught in traffic, but come that belated full-time whistle the Pilgrims had the points in the bag... just.

Jordan Burrow's 17th-minute header and a last-gasp Shane Byrne penalty proved the difference as Boston made it three wins in eight days, although the Pilgrims were forced to defend for their lives for long periods in the second half.

However, the new-look defence kept just their second clean sheet of the season.

With Luke Shiels and Jake Wright snr sidelined with hamstring injuries, the Pilgrims handed a debut to 18-year-old Huddersfield Town loanee Loick Ayina.

Fellow new arrival Milan Lalkovic was named on the bench while Hereford arrived with new signing and ex-Pilgrims striker Pa Sulay Njie in their match day squad having signed prior to kick off.

Following the half-hour delay the contest got underway with United attempting to pile the pressure on the visitors, but apart from a succession of corners, the closest they cam,e was Tom Platt heading a Joe Leesley delivery wide.

The breakthrough came in the 17th minute with an instinctive close-range finish on the swivel from Burrow, slotting home after Fraser Preston's initial effort was blocked.

But for Bulls boss Josh Gowling the concern would have been the defending in the build up; that Peter Crook's long kick was allowed to bounce and Patrick Fini's attempted headed clearance looped towards his own goal to tee up Preston.

Chances were hard to come by but Tom Owen-Evans shot inches wide from an angled effort after Matt Tootle's attempted clearance struck teammate Shane Byrne in the face.

The second half began with Storey drilling wide of Crook's near post before Boston's Danny Elliott header well over the Hereford bar.

Elliott's strike - after a free-flowing break including Byrne and Preston - went the same way before the Pilgrims received a huge let off with five to go.

Storey's effort beat Crook and struck the inside of the post, Scott Duxbury clearing the rebound off the line. Ben Pollock headed the resultant corner over as the hosts held on.

Boston received respite in the 90th minute as Pollock was adjudged to have upended Jake Wright jnr in an identical infringement to the penalty the same player won against York in midweek, albeit with far less contact.

Byrne's spotkick was also a carbon copy as he skipped and slotted home. Game over.

PILGRIMS: Crook, Tootle, Duxbury, Platt, Garner, Burrow (Wright jnr 79), Elliott (Green 60), Ayina, F. Preston (Lalkovic 81), Leesley, Byrne; Subs (not used): Ferguson, J. Preston.

HEREFORD: Wright, Hodgkiss, Haines, Owen-Evans (McLean 70), Storey, Andoh, Pollock, Kouhyar, Smith, Fini, Pinchard (Sodeinde 82); Subs (not used): Pearce, Njie, Charles.

REF: Michael Barlow.

ATT: 1,602 (78).