PILGRIMS v BUCKS: Knowles spot on as Boston United make it six straight wins with AFC Telford victory

Boston United 1 AFC Telford United 0

Dominic Knowles.

(Dominic Knowles (pen) 27)

Dominic Knowles kept his cool from the penalty spot as Boston United defeated AFC Telford to make it six straight wins.

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With leaders King's Lynn's match at fifth-place Altrincham postponed, the chasing pack were offered a real incentive this afternoon.

And the in-form Pilgrims picked up where they left off on February 8, stretching their unbeaten run to eight and keeping clean sheet number 16 of the campaign.

The three points - picked up on a day Brad Abbott made his 100th appearance for the club - moved Boston above Chester to third, six points behind new leaders York City with two games in hand.

The contest threatened to be more weather report than match report as the blustery conditions gave neither side much opportunity to reach top gear, but as the full-time whistle blew Knowles' first-half finish proved the difference.

Elliott stuck with the 3-5-2 formation which saw his Pilgrims beat York City 3-1, the only change seeing Jay Rollins come in at right wing back, replacing Alex Penny following his move to Kidderminster Harriers.

Leading marksman Jordan Thewlis remained on the bench where new signing Tyrell Warren and Jake Wright, unable to face the Minstermen due to the terms of his loan, joined him.

The strong, swirling wind caused both sides all sorts of problems from the off, just ask Bucks striker Marcus Dinanga.

After being teed up by Adam Walker, Dinanga looked set to slot home from close range, only to be thwarted by Luke Shiels' block. The loose ball seemingly fell kindly for the attacker to tap in at the second attempt, only for the wind to push it out of play.

James McQuilkin screwed a volley over for Telford, who were happy to take their time with every dead ball, before Boston were generously handed the lead.

There was no repeat of Sutton Coldfield this time as Knowles forced home his 13th of the season from the penalty spot, sending Michael Luyambula the wrong way.

But the Bucks' outraged players deserved some sympathy as there appeared to be little contact as Frank Mulhern went down in the box following the challenge of Arlen Birch, the full back who trialled with Boston this summer.

In a half of few chances, where the conditions were the dominant factor, Mulhern guided a 20-yarder inches wide of the Telford bar moments after United took the lead, but that was as close as either side went.

The second half began with Telford more eager to get a move on but Boston happy to emulate their guests' less-than-energetic approach to resuming play as they set about protecting their lead.

Luyambula was called upon to force away Andi Thanoj's goalbound corner while, seconds later, Simon Ainge headed just wide.

Boston stopper Peter Crook did well to hold on to Brendon Daniels' low free kick, reacting brilliantly to palm away Ryan Bennett's cross just as Theo Streete looked set to head home at the back post.#

Those saves proved crucial as the Pilgrims held on for victory, with Birch dismissed after the final whistle for remonstrating with referee Callum Walchester.

UNITED: Crook, Rollins, Whittle, Garner, Ainge, Shiels, Platt, Abbott, Knowles (Thewlis 75), Mulhern (Wright 87), Thanoj (Heslop 81); Subs (not used): Warren, Jackson.

TELFORD: Luyambula, Birch (Cowans 88), White, Deeney, Lilly, Streete, Barnett, Walker, Dinanga (Stenson 73), McQuilkin (Williams 67), Daniels; Subs (not used): Royle, Knights.

REF: Callum Walchester.

ATT: 1,269 (30).