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Match Report: South Shields v Boston United

South Shields suffered defeat at home for the first time this calendar year at the hands of Boston United.


Elliott Dickman’s side went behind in the 11th minute when Jacob Hazel opened the scoring.


Dillon Morse’s 29th-minute header levelled the game, but Boston restored their lead through Hazel again on the stroke of half-time.


South Shields made two changes from their midweek win at home to Farsley Celtic, as Dillon Morse came in for Gary Liddle in defence, and Will Jenkins replaced Michael Woods who picked up a last-minute knock.


Boston made three changes from their last game against Tamworth, with Jai Rowe, Jimmy Knowles and Sam Smart starting the match.


Boston hit the front 11 minutes into the game as Martin Smith was dispossessed in the middle of the park by Martin Woods who neatly assisted Jacob Hazel.


Shields responded with a period of domination and possession, with a series of good chances narrowly missing or being blocked by fully stretched Boston players.


The first corner of the game for the home side would see the equalizer arrive as Mackenzie Heaney whipped in the corner that wasn’t cleared by Boston and found the head of Dillon Morse – back in the starting line-up – to level the scoring.


Shields had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 33rd minute when Martin Smith was through on goal but chose to pass to Aaron Martin who saw the ball cleared before getting a chance to convert.


Myles Boney produced some vital saves to keep Shields in the game in the first half, including a fabulous stop in the 39th minute to deny the Pilgrims.


The Mariners were forced into an early substitution when captain Blair Adams went off due to injury.


Jacob Hazel got his second of the match deep into first-half stoppage time, lobbing Myles Boney to put Boston in front again. Hazel proved to be a lot to handle for the Mariners in the second half as well as the first, giving Boney plenty to do over the course of the game.


Dylan Stephenson made his debut in front of 2,259 supporters at the 1st Cloud Arena. The Newcastle United loanee nearly got the dream start, getting a strike off but narrowly missed the target.


A plethora of chances would go the way of Shields late in the game but the home side were unable to convert and find the equalizer that they craved.


The result brought the Mariners their first taste of defeat in 2024, and their first loss at home since Boxing Day against Blyth Spartans.


Boston move up to 9th, two points off the play-off places, whilst Shields drop to 12th, five points shy of the top six with a game in hand.

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