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Saturday 23rd January 1999: Meadow Park

CITY vs. Boston United

Dr Martens League Premier Division


City's Team

Super sub Adie Mings did it again when his brace salvaged an undeserved point for City against high-flying Boston. The big question remains: how long can Hughes throw get out of jail cards into the air to grab something out of these third rate and effortless performances?

City managed to patch up a few of their injury doubts with both Wyatt and Kemp making the starting team, but both Webb and Niblett didn't quite make it. Holloway maintained his spot at right-back whilst Hemmings continued up front with Andy Mainwaring. While City gave the impression of a side trying to come out fighting, but having forgotten how to exactly carry out their threat. A fairly witless initial charge was soon soaked up and Boston began a grueling barrage of long balls which stretched a Tiger's defence not at its most confident. With Wyatt unable to find anyone on the end of an early cross there was little relief for the Gloucester back line.

City's despairing supporter's looked on aghast as both Gary Thorne and Kemp misfired on crucial clearances, with Boston's attack narrowly failing to capitalise. The home side then suffered another blow as Callinan was forced to limp off, with Fergusson surprisingly filling the hole in midfield. (Surely he's not the obvious choice for box-to-box midfield dynamo, especially after 90 minutes for the reserves midweek?) Callinan's knock had come in the opening few minutes through a clash with Brunskill near the half-way line. The confusion following departure of Callinan led to Boston's opener. Gary Thorne recovered well to put in a great saving tackle on Stringfellow, showing a glimpse of what is hopefully an upturn in form. However City were disorganised at the resulting corner, leaving Charles to ghost in unmarked at the far post and bundle the ball across the line from close range.

City tried to respond, but while they managed to put some pressure on Boston the passing remained woeful and unimaginative. While some idiots may be keen to get on his back you really wonder if City would cope without Tony Hemmings. Hemmo had the Tiger's best chance when he raced onto Fergie's pass, but he over hit the ball and ended up in a collision with keeper Bastock. Once Bastock had recovered City then duly wasted the corner. Mainwaring did manage to get the ball in the net, but he'd been caught well offside and the goal was disallowed. So, a goal down at half-time, could Hughes rally the troops?

No. It was Boston who came out firing on all cylinders, going close with a couple of good efforts as City found themselves rocking once again. With Hughes seeing his side look no better after the re-start he too decisive action, taking off the out-of-sorts Holloway and sending on Mingsy to rough up the Boston defence. Holloway had another tired performance, and was lucky the ref missed a stamp on Mason near the dugouts that could well have been the catalyst for his removal.

Boston then hit City with a sucker-punch that looked to have punctured the Mings inspired revival as soon as it had begun. The incident was horribly similar to that which resulted in Grantham's penalty the previous week. Hemmo's cross field pass was cut out by the keeper and his long clearance found a forward in acres of space. Once again Kemp and Gary Thorne seemed estranged, and Venables had the freedom of Meadow Park as he advanced on Mokler to fire in Boston's second.

Recent Gloucester performances offered little hope of a spirited fight back, but whilst it mightn't have been spirited they did snatch an unlikely point. The lifeline arrived when Hemmings was at last left unshackled and his left wing cross was met by Mings on the six yard box. With only a goal left in it City tried to push forward, but an equaliser seemed far off with United dominating possession and penning Gloucester just outside their own area. With time running out however City broke clear with good work by the Thorne brothers setting Gary Thorne away on the unfamiliar left flank. His whipped cross was sensationally met near post by the glancing head of Mings and the ball seemed to rocket into the top corner.

Boston must have been left devastated by this late late salvo, although the rescued point merely papers over the cracks of another bad Gloucester City display. They must wonder how our side is still in the top six - I certainly do, and be aware only 10 points separate us from Rothwell in the bottom four. The players celebrations would suggest they want to play for the club, but why leave it so late to prove it in their play...

Mokler D2-2
Holloway Half-time
W.Thorne 0-1
Callinan Att.
Kemp (c) 510
G.Thorne City Scorers
Wyatt Mings (76,89)
Burns Bookings
Mainwaring Fergusson
Tucker Position
Hemmings 6th

Mings (for Holloway, 55) DDWWLD
Fergusson (for Callinan, 25) Report
Hoskins (for Wyatt, 70) T.Towel

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