Cox pleased as 10-man Boston United show 'resilience' in draw at Banbury

Paul Cox praised his players after 10-man Boston United claimed their first National League North point of the season in a 0-0 draw at newly-promoted Banbury United on Tuesday night.
Boston United boss Paul Cox (Picture: Oliver Atkin)Boston United boss Paul Cox (Picture: Oliver Atkin)
Boston United boss Paul Cox (Picture: Oliver Atkin)

It was a battling performance from the Pilgrims, who had to play the final 30 minutes a man down after the sending-off of skipper Luke Shields for a second booking.

Boston had gone into the game off the back of two defeats, 5-3 to Southport and 2-0 to Gloucester City, but they dug in to claim a share of the spoils against in-form Banbury.

"For the first 60 minutes I thought we looked something like being near where we need to be," said Cox.

"I thought we were competitive, we tried to play on the front foot although we could still probably do with taking our time a little bit in the final third.

"But the game was ebbing and flowing for 60 minutes, and then the big turning point was the skipper getting sent off.

"The way the season has gone so far, I looked around thought 'now we are going to see who's going to step forward?' And I thought the boys put in a fabulous shift.

"They worked extremely hard, we showed resilience, and we got a point against a team that has started like a house on fire and beaten two very good teams."

Cox had called for his players to get back to doing the basics right ahead of the trip to Oxfordshire, and he added; "We knew when we went down to 10 that they were going to have a lot of possession.

"Our shape was good, and more than anything we showed the mental resilience that we haven't in the first two games.

"When things are going wrong you just have to work hard, and on Tuesday the boys have put in a really hard-working performance.

"I think we can get better, but it is a good point."

The game was very nearly postponed after torrential rain prior to the scheduled kick-off left the pitch waterlogged.

But the referee instead opted wait for the rain to ease and the pitch to drain and delay the kick-off until 8pm, and Cox felt that was the right decision.

"The referee was strong and he made a decision," said the Pilgrims boss.

"I spoke to him and said 'look, just make your decision either way'.

"I am not too keen on situations where one minute it is on, the next minute it's off, I am just glad he said we will give it until 10 to eight and we are going to play.

"There is nothing more confusing that players warming up and then wondering whether they are going to play.

"The game went on, I am glad it did, as we needed it to and I think that performance will lay good foundations for the games ahead, and improve confidence of certain indivduals."

Boston are back on home territory on Saturday when they host Chorley (ko 3pm).