Bogey side Boston United sting Buxton with equaliser right at the death

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Two evenly-matched teams, Buxton and Boston United, sporting 14 debutants among the 22 who started, produced a very entertaining encounter whose result was in doubt to the very end in Saturday's 1-1 draw at the Silverlands, writes Tony Tomlinson.

The Bucks led for 37 second-half minutes thanks to a well-crafted headed goal, but an added-time headed equaliser deprived the hosts of a mere third victory in 30 meetings with the Pilgrims, traditionally Buxton's most difficult opponents by far.

After Tuesday's experimental formation that featured in the defeat versus Macclesfield, manager Craig Elliott restored the system that had looked most promising in the earlier friendlies and for 25 minutes his team dominated possession without being able to pierce the sound visiting rearguard.

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Yet the Bucks did threaten. A fine Tommy Elliott diagonal pass, then good work on the right by the two Sams, Minihan and Smart, forced one of several corners.

Connor Kirby - cleared off the line against Boston.Connor Kirby - cleared off the line against Boston.
Connor Kirby - cleared off the line against Boston.

Next Connor Kirby fired low and firmly from 28 yards for the ball to pass close by the far post.

However, the Pilgrims' first attack, just before the half-hour, went far closer to scoring as first Max Dearnley then Kirby had to clear from the goal-line.

Thereafter the exchanges were even but the Bucks made the clearer openings as the impressive Sam Smart's 25-yard drive skimmed the bar, then United centre-back, Bostwick, was fortunate to see his touch back find keeper Gregory rather than the net.

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By contrast, it was Boston on the front foot at the start of the second half and Bostwick's 15-yard low effort passed just wide.

Yet it was Buxton who took the lead in the 57th minute.

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Smart's defence-splitting pass set up Minihan for a lofted pull-back from the by-line that was firmly headed home by ex-Boston striker Jordan Burrow.

The visitors continued to pose a threat but home centre-backs, the returning loanee from Rotherham United, Jake Hull, and substitute Max Hunt, dealt with it into added time, while Smart, on the Buxton right, went close to doubling his team's advantage in the 78th minute as he drove against the keeper's legs.

But Boston persevered and in the fourth of eight extra minutes striker Kelsey Mooney marked his debut by heading home a right-flank cross.