By Elliott Yates
Gloucester City began 2022 at New Meadow Park with a goalless draw to the hands of Boston United.
Lee Mansell sees today’s result as a chance lost to gain more points from the visitors.
“I see it as 2 points lost. I think they’re a bit disorganised at the moment in terms of losing their manager in the week. I just felt like we lacked that little bit of vigour in the final third, and that’s what’s stopping us from being a really good team. Fundamentally we got our shape right, we addressed different shapes and how we want to go about things and we just need that little bit more.”
It was a cagey affair in the opening few minutes with many free kicks awarded at the start of the match. Gloucester’s training ground routine of passing through the defence from a short free-kick nearly paying off had the final ball been better.
Thirteen minutes in Tommy O’Sullivan let rip from 30 yards, narrowly missing the goalkeeper’s top right corner, in what would’ve been one of the goals of the season.
Kevin Dawson did well to prevent the ball from going out for a throw-in and get a cross into the penalty area on his left foot. His ball found Matt McClure, whose header went wide of the left-hand post on 23 minutes. Gloucester were on top against the play-off hopefuls Boston.
Gloucester saw out the half defending against Boston, who had managed to create a few chances and got into the game more in the first half’s closing stages. Dan Leadbitter’s vital touch prevented Boston’s Joe Leesley from having an open goal to put the ball away five minutes before the half-time break and the first half ended goalless.
Eleven minutes into the second half a mistake from Leadbitter allowed Jake Wright Senior to go one on one with goalkeeper Jake Cole. But Cole stood tall, and Wright missed the target, placing the ball into the side netting from around nine yards out.
On 68 minutes, first-half substitute Danny King touched the ball down from out the sky. He had his back to goal but managed to swivel and get a shot off, drilling the ball past the defence, who were unable to block the effort but missed the target from 25 yards out.
Leadbitter had an effort on goal from 25 yards out in the 74th minute trying to curl the ball into the top right corner, but Boston goalkeeper Dewhurst caught it with ease. Boston went on the counterattack from Leadbitter’s effort and found Keenan Ferguson, who cut inside on his left foot, but Cole also caught his shot from a similar range.
City started peppering the Boston defence with ten minutes to go. Mensah’s blocked effort fell to King, who’s shot hit an opposition player, and the crowd were appealing for a penalty after it looked like a handball inside the area. O’Sullivan had another long-distance effort from around 25 yards, which went just over the crossbar.
On 89 minutes, man of the match Leadbitter sent another cross into the penalty area. On-loan Bristol Rovers forward Ollie Hulbert connected with a towering header that looked certain to go in, looping over the goalkeeper Dewhurst’s head but hitting the top of the goal net.
Our attention now turns to an away trip to Blyth Spartans next Saturday with only a point separating the two teams.