Alfreton Town were aggrieved that a vital decision went against them in the 87th minute of their Vanarama National League North fixture at Boston United, when they were on the verge of their first win at York Street over a period of 56 years.
Goals from Craig Westcarr and Ryan Wilson had brought the Reds to within a whisker of victory, but when defender George Edmundson tackled back to force the ball behind referee Matthew Buonassisi first of all awarded a corner then allowed himself to be over-ruled by his assistant before pointing to the penalty spot.
To compound matters before Liam Agnew had slotted the ball firmly past Fabian Spiess a second yellow card was shown to Edmundson for his persistent complaints about the decision and Alfreton were left to battle out the closing stages with ten men.
Then in the third minute of added time, with Alfreton forced back on the defensive, Agnew’s cross was headed home by Gregg Smith to put Boston ahead for the first time in the game, and there was simply not enough time remaining for the Reds to react.
With skipper Dan Bradley incapacitated Andy Monkhouse took over the responsibility, there was a recall for striker Sam Smith and Adam Priestley replaced the injured Liam Hearn up front, but new loanee defender Sam Ottley remained on the bench.
Despite the changes Alfreton enjoyed a confident first half with Wilson, Priestley and Tom Allan all going close, but Spiess had to make a good save from Waide Fairhurst in the tenth minute.
The scoring started in the 37th minute, stemming from a disallowed Boston goal when Smith was caught off-side after Fairhurst’s shot had come down off the crossbar, Spiess’s long free-kick flicked on by Wilson before Westcarr steered the ball past home keeper Dion-Curtis Henry from just inside the area.
Just before half-time Wilson’s inswinging corner was parried late by Henry, with a couple of ricochets then leading to Smith’s close-range shot that the keeper saved with his chest.
A strong run down the left by St. Kitts & Nevis international Jason St. Juste led to Jay Rollins sweeping the equaliser past Spiess from two yards in the 55th minute, but just six minutes further on Alfreton had regained the lead in style.
A cohesive move involving Westcarr and sub Paul Clayton set up Priestley for a chipped shot that was scrambled off the line, but Wilson smashed the loose ball home from the edge of the area.
Suddenly the Reds looked to be in total control, stroking the ball around with confidence, Priestley’s shot blocked for a corner and Allan’s header evading the back post from a Westcarr cross before Clayton set up Priestley for another thwarted attempt.
However as Nicky Law’s charges dropped deeper and deeper Spiess had to beat out telling shots from Fairhurst and Agnew before the anguish of those final few explosive minutes.
Boston: Henry; Marshall (Colley 63), St. Juste, Burgess (Price HT), Maguire, Robinson, Hilliard, Agnew, Fairhurst (Johnson 85), G.Smith, Rollins. Subs not used: Wildin, McMillan.
Alfreton: Spiess; Wilson, Edmundson, McGowan, Heaton, Jordan, Allan, Monkhouse, Westcarr (Kennedy 89), Priestley (Garnett 70), S. Smith (Clayton 60). Subs not used: Ottley.
Referee: Matthew Buonassisi.
Att: 926 (40).