Ives earns Steelmen a point at Boston

Chris Plummer
Chris Plummer

Sam Ives earned Corby Town a point in a thrilling second half as they shared a 1-1 draw with Boston United in the Blue Square Bet North.

After a poor first period, the Pilgrims - now managed by former Steelmen boss Graham Drury - took the lead but Ives’ low shot sealed a draw.

Both sides had great chances to win it from there but both goalkeepers were in fine form, with Corby’s Paul Walker producing an excellent display.

Jason Crowe returned to the Corby starting line-up in place of Tom McGowan while Greg Kaziboni was preferred to Avelino Vieira with Josh Moreman filling the role of the lone striker.

Boston made the brighter start and Ben Milnes tested Walker inside the first minute with a low shot.

But the early exchanges were fairly even with former Boston man Ryan Semple giving his old club plenty of problems down the right.

However, as the rain began to fall and the pitch became slippier, it was the hosts who adjusted the better and Walker was forced to tip Tom Ward’s header over the bar.

But the Corby goalkeeper made an even better save soon after when he dived full length to stop Ben Fairclough’s drive while Paul Malone bravely blocked the follow-up from Mark Jones.

The remainder of the half was fairly quiet, although there was a blow for the Steelmen as Moreman was forced off through injury and replaced by Vieira.

But the game to life inside the first three minutes of the second period as the Pilgrims took the lead.

Walker did well to get down and save Fairclough’s low strike but the Corby goalkeeper was unable to hold on and Marc Newsham reacted quickest to fire home from a couple of yards.

However, if Drury and the home faithful thought the Steelmen were about to cave in, they were wrong. Very wrong.

And just three minutes later, a neat build-up ended with Ives finding the bottom corner with a left-footed strike from just outside the area.

Spencer Weir-Daley shot over for the hosts but Corby looked a real threat on the counter-attack and Nat Wedderburn went close with a long-range piledriver before the Steelmen missed a golden chance to take the lead.

Kaziboni’s driving run down the left ended with him committing Danny Haystead and squaring to Vieira. The striker was just yards from an open goal but lost his footing. When he did get upright his shot was heading for goal but Haystead came from nowhere to palm his effort away.

It was a big chance missed and Boston immediately set about trying to make Corby pay.

Weir-Daley was unable to finish off a good cross to the far post and Carl Piergianni had to produce a superb challenge on Fairclough as he shaped to shoot.

Walker continued to play his part as well and he kept out Ian Ross’ 25-yard free-kick with a good low save as the Pilgrims turned the screw.

And the goalkeeper saved his best until the death as he flung himself to his right to brilliant tip away Newsham’s flick after Jordan Smith had headed the ball towards goal.

He did, however, get nowhere near Weir-Daley’s stoppage-time strike, which cannoned off the inside the post and away to safety.

It was a stroke of luck the Steelmen deserved after a committed display that was well worthy of a point.

Boston: Haystead; Marshall, Silk, Ward, Jelleyman; Jones (sub J Smith, 63 mins), Ross, Milnes, Fairclough; Newsham, Weir-Daley. Subs not used: Stainfield, Reed, Stokes, K Smith.

Steelmen: Walker, Horne, Malone, Piergianni, Crowe; Webb, Wedderburn (sub McGowan, 81 mins), Semple, Ives, Kaziboni; Moreman (sub Vieira, 43 mins). Subs not used: Richardson, Manga, Harrison.

Referee: Neil Hair.

Goals: Newsham (48 mins, 1-0), Ives (51 mins, 1-1).

Attendance: 1,176 (away fans 36).