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Match Report: Boston United 3-1 South Shields

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

South Shields suffered their first defeat in Vanarama National League North despite a spirited display at Boston United on Saturday.

The Mariners ultimately left themselves with too much to do after falling three goals behind in the first half at the Jakemans Community Stadium.

Aaron Martin pulled one back after the break and Shields created a number of other opportunities, but were unable to add any further points to the three they picked up on the opening day by beating Alfreton Town.

Julio Arca made one change to the side which defeated Alfreton 3-1, with Mackenzie Heaney introduced in place of Luke James.

The visitors started brightly enough and almost had a golden opportunity when Lirak Hasani robbed a defender of possession before being tackled himself just as he was about to pull the trigger.

Boston responded immediately with a cross from Zak Mills which Kelsey Mooney headed narrowly over.

Shields, though, were edging proceedings and further half-chances came and went, with Heaney, Martin and Robert Briggs just unable to test home goalkeeper Cameron Gregory.

Boston turned the tables by breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes, with the dangerous Jimmy Knowles coming inside from the left before rifling into the bottom corner from just outside the area.

There was a positive response from Shields, who almost levelled when Jed Abbey was played in by John Lufudu down the right and sent in a low cross which took two deflections on its way past the post.

But it was the Pilgrims now making much of the headway as the heavens opened, and after Tom Leak rattled the crossbar from a corner, Knowles doubled his tally by pouncing on a loose backpass and rounding Myles Boney to score.

A third goal arrived three minutes before half-time to add to Shields’ difficulties, with Keaton Ward sending a sumptuous volley into the bottom corner from the right of the area.

The Mariners responded strongly in the second half. Tom Broadbent headed narrowly past the post before Martin found the net on 52 minutes, heading past Gregory from a superb Lufudu cross.

Shields found their flow and had further opportunities, the best of which saw Gregory deny Abbey before Paul Blackett had a strike deflected wide.

Hasani also curled an effort not far wide and Blackett’s shot was deflected off target, while at the other end, a terrific tackle by Broadbent prevented Knowles completing his hat-trick.

The Mariners went close again with a Martin header which dropped just wide, and there was also a late appeal for a penalty when substitute James went down in the area.

Shields were unable to find the second goal which would have set up a grandstand finish, though, as Boston recorded their first win of the season.

Arca’s side are back in league action on Tuesday at Farsley Celtic.

South Shields: Boney, Lufudu, Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Briggs (Gomes 84), Hasani, Abbey, Heaney (James 69), Blackett, Martin (Mongoy 90+1). Subs not used: Morse, Smith.

Goal: Martin (54).

Attendance: 1,678.

Image: Kev Wilson.

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