Jake Wright jnr sees red but Boston United and Stratford Town will do it again after FA Cup stalemate

Boston United 1 Stratford Town 1
Fraser Preston. Photo: Oliver AtkinFraser Preston. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Fraser Preston. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Boston United and Stratford Town will replay for a place in the FA Cup's first round following today's 1-1 draw at the Jakemans Community Stadium.

Fraser Preston put the hosts ahead with a delightful free kick, his fifth goal in six games.

But Janaai Gordon's header ensured both sides will be in tomorrow's draw.

The contest was flat, with few chances and - with the exception of the two goals - Jake Wright jnr's red card was one of few talking points.

Despite his public defence of Peter Crook following his error in Tuesday's victory over Telford, Craig Elliott elected to put George Sykes-Kenworthy back between the sticks, while Jake Wright snr was handed his first competitive start for United.

The veteran defender, whose only previous appearance since his summer arrival came off the bench at Fylde in August, replaced Scott Garner in midfield.

The Pilgrims - who have not been behind at home since their opening day defeat to Spennymoor - opted to work more of a patient build-up than their customary full-throttle approach in the opening stages.

A couple of hopeful Joe Leesley efforts flew over the Stratford bar before Preston put the Pilgrims in front with an inch-perfect free kick 22 yards from goal with 22 minutes gone.

Preston had the ball in the net a second time, but his strike nutmegged an offside Paul Green on the way in and the flag was raised.

In a half of few opportunities Gordon headed the Bards level in 32nd minute, meeting Will Grocott's delivery from the left.

And it took a low save from Sykes-Kenworthy to deny Gordon his second before the break.

United switched to 4-4-2 and began the second half with more urgency.

Wright jnr - on for the injured Shane Byrne - saw an early header whizz wide while a Danny Elliott long ranger forced a good save from Liam O'Brien.

Ashley Sammons curled a 20-yarder just over the Boston bar as Stratford looked to get their noses in front.

United were down to 10 men in the 75th minute as Wright jnr received a second yellow after tangling with keeper O'Brien as the two were floored after the Stratford number one tipped the ball away from the incoming striker.

Chances remained at a premium but substitute Jordan Burrow glanced a late volley wide of the Bards' goal.

PILGRIMS: Sykes-Kenworthy, Platt, Shiels, Green (Spokes 85), Ferguson, Elliott, Wright snr, F. Preston, Leesley, Byrne (Wright jnr HT), Leake; Subs (not used): Crook, Duxbury, Garner, Burrow (F. Preston 81), J. Preston.

STRATFORD: O'Brien, Vann, Isaac, Fry, Magunda, Williams, Gordon, Grocott, Sammons, James (Andoh 84), Obeng (Dawes 90); Subs (not used): Lafferty, Awadh, Beresford, Elliott, Turner.

REF: Sam Mulhall.

ATT: 1,627 (46).