Boston United 8-0 Barrow

Northern Premier League

Saturday 10th April 1976

In 1972 Barrow were rather unfortunate to fail to gain re-election to the Football League after finishing 22nd out of 24 in the Fourth Division a season after finishing bottom. So they dropped into the Northern Premier League to be replaced by Southern Premier League runners-up Hereford United. They were now in the same league as Boston United and the two teams have crossed paths many times since.

Boston United's biggest win in the Northern Premier League was their 8-0 thrashing of Barrow at York Street in the 1975/6 season. Barrow turned up in Boston enjoying their best ever spell in the NPL but without their player-manager Ron Yeats who would shortly be jetting off to America for a summer's soccer there.

Boston's player-manager Howard Wilkinson had been on the receiving end of abuse from fans. His first hat-trick in a football career that had seen him turn out for Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton & Hove Albion before arriving at Boston silenced his critics and prompted joyous celebrations. Boston began the game without the services of young Laurie Madden who had flu, so this gave Terry Austen a rare appearance. The former Buxton midfielder gave the home crowd a couple of scares with short back passes in the opening minutes but goalkeeper Gerry Stewart was able to deny the oncoming Barrow forwards. Boston took the lead on 18 minutes when Neil CALLERY took advantage of a poor back pass that was dropped by the Barrow 'keeper. The second goal arrived just before half time after Freddie Taylor beat three men on the left wing before sending in a cross that was headed home by Ronnie REID. WILKINSON got his hat-trick in a 14 minute spell in the second half. The first on 48 minutes was followed by further goals on 58 and 62 minutes. Ronnie REID had added a second headed goal to his personal tally on 53 minutes. The rout was completed by John MOYES in the 76th minute and substitute Bill GROZIER - on for Reid - in the 83rd minute. Surprisingly striker Jim Kabia, who would finish the season as top scorer with 35 goals, did not appear on the scoresheet. He did however have a hand in several of the goals, proving he could do more than just put the ball in the net.

Howard Wilkinson

Howard Wilkinson

Boston went on to finish in 5th place in the Northern Premier League - well behind winners Runcorn. Barrow finished in 23rd place, 18 points clear of bottom club Fleetwood Town.

Boston United: Gerry Stewart, John Moyes, Freddie Taylor, Dave Coxon, Terry Austen, Dave Adamson, Neil Callery, Colin Symm, Ronnie Reid (Bill Grozier), Jim Kabia, Howard Wilkinson.

Barrow: Duffin, Brown, Gisbourne, Large, McDonald, Fairer, Wilson, Balm, Cook, Gill, McManus. Sub: Chisholm.

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