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.
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.
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...