Late equaliser leaves Boston United's play-off hopes hanging in the balance

Boston United 1 Gloucester City 1
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Boston United go into the final day of the National League North season knowing they have it all to do to secure a play-off spot.

Danny Elliott's 27th goal of the season looked enough for the Pilgrims to beat visitors Gloucester City 1-0 this afternoon and hold on to seventh.

But a stoppage-time leveller from the Tigers' Kevin Dawson saw them drop to eighth.

Danny Elliott handed the Pilgrims the lead. Photo: Oliver AtkinDanny Elliott handed the Pilgrims the lead. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Danny Elliott handed the Pilgrims the lead. Photo: Oliver Atkin

As Gateshead were securing the league title as they and rivals Brackley Town both played out draws, there is still a second promotion spot up for grabs.

With Kettering beating Alfreton Town, they moved above United into seventh, by the virtue of a better goal difference of two.

Boston now travel to Farsley Celtic, themselves still not guaranteed safety, having to better Kettering's result at faltering Curzon Ashton, or at least outscoring by at least two them if both were to win.

Cox made four changes to the side which drew 1-1 at Telford two days earlier, Scott Duxbury, Scott Garner, Keenan Ferguson and Jordan Preston replacing the injured Joe Leesley and Jake Wright snr, Femi Seriki and Jake Wright jnr.

It wouldn't be a Pilgrims performance without losing a player to injury this season, and as Brad Nicholson went down with just six minutes gone, his afternoon was over almost as soon as it had begun. Wright jnr came off the bench.

Preston sent a free kick just over and Garner was unable to meet Shane Byrne's corner before Elliott gave the hosts a 20th-minute lead, volleying home from close range after Luke Shiels swept Byrne's deep free kick across goalwards.

At the other end, Marcus Dewhurst had to deal with Fabian Robert's effort to ensure his side led at the interval.

The second half was delayed as a supporter needed medical attention, but when action resumed Preston began the second 45 as he did the first, sending a free kick narrowly off target.

Brad Abbott was next to try his luck, his dipping effort clearing the Tigers' bar and a Byrne effort late on suffering the same fate.

But just as United looked to hold on to seventh, Dawson struck four minutes into time added on.

PILGRIMS: Dewhurst, Duxbury, Garner, Shiels, Green (Seriki 68), Ferguson, Elliott, Abbott, Preston, Byrne, Nicholson (Wright nr 11 (Massanka 76)); Subs (not used): Thanoj, Wright snr.

GLOUCESTER: Wiles-Richards, James, Hall, Harrison, Thompson, Robert (Tomlinson 76), Dawson, Hulbert, Leadbitter, O'Sullivan, Barkers (Sheaf 64); Subs (not used): Armstrong, Derrick, Hill.

REF: Jonathan Maskrey.

ATT: 2,167 (59).

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