Worcester City 0 Boston United 2.
JUST when things started to look up for Worcester City, they produced a performance which reignited fears of relegation.
Back-to-back draws had given City renewed hope and the long-awaited return of Georgie Dragon on Saturday lifted spirits further at Bromsgrove’s Victoria Ground.
But the club mascot’s first appearance of the season could not light the spark in City’s players as they failed to fire in a disappointing defeat to Boston United.
The outcome could have been very different had Jordan Murphy converted a penalty and not sent his follow-up crashing against the crossbar.
But in the end Adam Chapman’s spot-kick seven minutes earlier and a free-kick from Louis Briscoe just before half-time secured Boston all three points.
Fortunately for City, Gainsborough Trinity lost 1-0 at Tamworth meaning John Snape’s side remain out of the bottom three on goal-difference.
But they can’t simply rely on other results to get them out of trouble and will need to improve a lot to stand a chance of ending their 16-match winless streak in the league.
With Boston struggling for form and hampered by injuries, this clash was seen as a great opportunity for City to claim a much-needed victory.
But they fell behind on 22 minutes following a dubious penalty decision.
Ebby Nelson-Addy appeared to make initial contact with Harry Vince outside of the area before the midfielder went down.
But referee Matthew Donohue pointed to the spot and Chapman sent Ethan Ross the wrong way with a well-taken penalty.
Former City striker Colby Bishop had forced an early save from Ross, but prior to the opening goal Worcester were playing well.
And they got the break they were looking for midway through the first half when Nelson-Addy was tripped by Lewis Hilliard.
Having scored three goals in two games, Murphy seemed to be the right man to get the Blue and Whites back on level terms.
But the forward’s spot-kick was saved by Ross Durrant before somehow failing to net the rebound as his thumping shot came off the underside of the bar.
Murphy’s misery was then compounded two minutes before the break when Boston bagged a second.
After James Chambers brought down Jay Rollins about 20 yards from goal, Ross was tasked with getting his defence in order.
But there was a gap left to the right of the three-man wall and Briscoe made the most of it as he simply rolled the ball into the bottom corner.
It was a terrible goal to concede and left the hosts with it all to do.
City were struggling to get their passing game going in a scrappy contest, but when they went long they were aimless with their delivery.
Junior English gave his all up front and Cieron Keane plugged away down the left, but Boston’s back four looked comfortable.
The visitors also had chances to increase their lead in the second half. Hilliard had the best of those as Briscoe’s shot was deflected into his path, but the unmarked midfielder scuffed his effort.
After promising draws against Darlington and Nuneaton Town, this was a worrying loss for Worcester.
But they will have to pick themselves up quickly as they prepare to host Brackley Town on Tuesday night (7.45pm).