A mistake from Tom Ward saw 10-man Gainsborough Trinity fall to defeat in the first Lincolnshire Derby of the league season.
The defender slipped and allowed Ricky Miller in for the game’s only goal late in the second half, as Trinity’s run of 17 years without a home league win over their bitter rivals continued.
Things were made worse for the Blues, who were forced to play over half the game with 10 men after Adi Yussuf saw red for a terrible challenge seven minutes before the break. An uneasy start in the Trinity back four saw Phil Barnes having to hurry his clearance on a number of occasions early on, and some impressive direct running from striker Miller caused some nervy moments, including a penalty shout on 22 minutes that was immediately turned down by Mr Greenwood.
Bradley Barraclough produced the home side’s best chance of the first half, breaking free on his man and displaying a burst of pace on 25 minutes, only to fire the ball high above the Gasworks End.
With the game meandering towards half-time, the temperature was raised for all the wrong reasons with the sending off of Yussuf.
As the ball was lost to Rene Steer, the on-loan striker recklessly dived in with both feet off the ground, giving the refreee his simplest decision of the night in dismissing him.
With the visitors throwing on attacking options in Spencer Weir-Daley and Ian Ross, it seemed that the Blues faced an uphill battle to maintain parity, but Steve Housham’s men thrived on the challenge and continued to threaten through Clayton and Barraclough..
Boston’s danger on the break was largely negated as the Trinity backline grew in confidence, limiting the visitors to long range efforts – Scott Garner with the best of them – and half chances as the half progressed. As the half progressed, it looked increasingly likely that a mistake would settle the game, and Ward was the unfortunate protagonist.
In stepping up to clear a simple cross field ball, the tall centre half lost his footing with the most unfortunate of timing, and Miller nipped in for his sixth goal of the season with 73 minutes on the clock.
The goal saw Housham throw Darryn Stamp into the mix, and the target man nearly made an immediate impact with a spectacular bicycle kick that flew just the wrong side of King’s post.
The veteran had a further one-on-one saved by the impressive youngster King as the game entered its final phase, but the Pilgrims’ backline stood firm against all Trinity could throw at them.
After the disappointment of defeat, Trinity now switch their focus to the FA Trophy, where they travel to Leamington hoping to replicate their win in Warwickshire earlier in the season.
Trinity: Barnes, Roma, Young, Ward, Wilde, Davis (Williams, 45), Russell, Toner, Clayton (Stamp, 75), Barraclough, Yussuf
Subs not used: Martin, Batty, Lacey
Red: Yussuf (38, violent conduct)
Boston: King, Galinski (Ross, 45), Marrs, Aujla, Garner, Piergianni, Milnes (Weir Daley, 45), Hall, Miller, Newsham (Marshall, 81), Steer
Subs not used: Sanders, Vince
Yellow: Galinski (45, unsporting conduct)
Goals: Miller (73)
Referee: Mr A Greenwood