Harrogate Town 0-0 Boston United: Town miss chance to secure play-off spot in drab draw

Jordan Thewlis wasted the best opportunity of the afternoon in the second half
Jordan Thewlis wasted the best opportunity of the afternoon in the second half

Harrogate Town all-but guaranteed a play-off place in collecting a vital point in a drab goalless draw with fifth-placed Boston United.

The share of the spoils maintains a four-point gap in Town's favour between the sides, with two games left to play.

Nuneaton Town are the only team currently outside the play-off zone capable of dropping Town out of the end of season shootout but lie eight points behind with two games in hand.

However, Boston and Nuneaton have to play each other before the season ends and a draw or Nuneaton win would cement Town's top five fate.

In front of a 1027-strong crowds the CNG Stadium, Town had their opportunity to book their place in the play-offs early but failed to edge a disappointing contest.

Following a 3-3 draw earlier in the season, hope was high that the two teams would produce an exciting encounter but goalmouth action was limited as the midfield a cancelled each other out.

Jordan Thewlis, Mason Warren and Brendon Daniel all had the chance to win the points for but we're all thwarted by Boston stopper Fabian Speiss.

Simon Weaver handed a first start of the season to veteran striker Paul Beesley, while Dave McGurk partnered Danny Ellis for a second game in a week despite his injury issues.

Joe Colbeck curled an early Town corner narrowly wide before Jay Rolling headed wide at the other end following a neat build up by the visitors.

Town bossed the opening half an hour and both Beesley and Brendon Daniels had efforts cleared off the line before Lloyd Kerry blazed a strike wide with Paul Clayton unable to add a scoring touch.

The hosts were dealt a blow on 27 minutes when Lewis Turner was forced off with a hamstringinjury, with striker Thewlis sent on and Joe Colbeck slotting back on the right.

Town took time to adjust to change and the visitors edged back. Boston captain Scott Garner had his side's best chance as he forced Peter Crook into a save from ten yards out.

The second half saw a continuation of edginess in the play. Town were coping with Zak Mills' long throws while Boston contained the hustle and bustle provided by Beesley and Clayton.

Clayton almost controlled a long Danny Ellis into the net before Beesley was unable to prod home a strong cross by Daniels at the near post.

The best opportunity of the afternoon fell to substitute Thewlis as he escaped the Boston defence only to dribble straight into Speiss as he attempted to round the goalkeeper.

Former Town man Dayle Southwell, United's top scorer this season, had one pot shot from distance easily saved by Crook while Louie Swain had to be in the right place to correct error from his goalkeeper in the final ten minutes.

Town could have bagged the points and guarantee a play-off place in the final seconds as substitute Warren forced Speiss into a strong save with a curler from distance. The ball fell to Daniels but his attempt to become a hero was saved again as the game ended goalless.