UNITED came into this match knowing they needed to be at their best against a Borough side who had won their last five matches on the trot and also defeated the United back in August.
United had to make changes after their mid-week win at Louth. With Ben Prichard unavailable and Martyn Margarson ill, Danny Stevens took up the goal keeping duties.
Joby Gowshall replaced Stevens in central defence. Also Sean Chamberlain and Arron Scutt returned to the side.
It only took five minutes for the first action of the afternoon when United broke down their left and when Arron Scutt took on his man just inside the penalty area he was brought down and a penalty awarded by referee Dan Mawer.
Paul Watts stepped up to take the resulting penalty and gave visiting keeper Peter Garbutt no chance with the shot. This was just the start United were looking for.
The next action came when good interplay by Jack Wightwick and Sean Chamberlain on the United right resulted in Wightwick winning a corner.
This was cleared by the Borough defence only to Wightwick who beat two men and laid the ball back to Chamberlain who fired just wide.
Wightwick was again in the action when beating three players and his centre was cleared by the visitors defence to Callum Hyland who was only inches to high with his shot.
On 20 minutes a foul on Wightwick resulted in a free kick which was taken by Sean Chamberlain. Hyland got a header on the kick, however Garbutt saved under the bar.
United were taking the game to Borough and little at this stage was seen of the visitors’ forward play. Although United were on the front foot, they found if difficult to penetrate the Borough defence. Good play on the United left between Crossley, Watts and Scutt released Kurt Crossley whose final shot was over the bar.
United won a number of free kicks, however the Borough defence were able to clear them without troubling Garbutt. In a Borough breakaway Stevens had to be quick off his line to clear the danger.
On 40 minutes Danny Steadman had to leave the field due to injury and was replaced by Andy Reeson.
Then after a Borough raid had been cleared United broke quickly on their left through Wightwick who took the ball into the Borough area before laying off to Watts who’s shot hit the junction of post and bar which was the final action of the first half
The second half started with a United free kick from 35 yards which Sean Chamberlain fired wide.
Ten minutes into the half Borough won a free kick on their right which resulted in Barwick not getting a clean contact and the ball went out for a throw in.
On 60 minutes skipper Paul Watts had to leave the field after bravely playing through injury and was replaced by Ben Drysdale with Neil Thorpe moving up front.
Borough were looking to get on level terms and mounted a number of raids on the home goal, however very few found their way through to Stevens.
Then on 70 minutes Borough levelled the score. When United failed to clear a Borough attack Luke Beecham who looked clearly offside found himself in space 6 yards out and gave Stevens no chance with his shot.
As a last throw of the dice to try and keep their season alive the United management sent on Kyle McGuigan for Thorpe with Miles Chamberlain moving into attack.
Borough now knew a win for them was on the cards, however it was United who took the game to the visitors and won a number or corners and free kicks taken by Andy Reeson.
The visitors’ defenders Barwick and Pearson managed to clear most of them, however on one occasion Garbutt had to be at his best to tip over a Miles Chamberlain header which had goal written all over it.
United had to be aware of quick Borough counter attacks and on one occasion found themselves on a two on two situation, but the final ball found Beecham offside.
United pressed forward for the winner and with 3 minutes to go it came.
A through ball by Reeson to Kurt Crossley was expertly controlled in the visitors area and with a defender around him and the keeper coming of this line, he managed to get a shot in which hit the post, however he was alert to knock in the rebound to spark wild celebrations from the United players, management and supporters.
United now looked to see the game out, however Wightwick was only inches away from scoring number three in the final seconds.
Joint Manager Mark Hallam said: “We should have had the game won by half time after dominating the opening 45 minutes.
“Great credit goes to our players who kept going right to the death and we thoroughly deserved our winner which keeps our season alive.”
TEAM: Dan Stevens, Sean Chamberlain, Neil Thorpe (Kyle McGuigan), Miles Chamberlain, Joby Gowshall, Callum Hyland, Jack Wightwick, Arron Scutt, Paul Watts (Ben Drysdale), Danny Steadman (Andy Reeson) and Kurt Crossley. Unused Subs - Jason Callaby and Joe Harris. Man Of the Match: Kurt Crossley; Match Sponsor: New Era Gym; Match Ball Sponsor: East Coast Caravans.
- Meanwhile, Skegness United enjoyed a 2-1 midweek win away to Louth.
Chris Ella fired Louth ahead in the first half, but a penalty strike from Paul Watts on the hour levelled the scores.
Watts grabbed his brace in the 65th minute to complete the comeback and give United a winning 2-1 advantage.