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Cambridge United 0-1 Pilgrims

Coca Cola League

Boston United picked up only their second away win in the League this season when they beat bottom of the table Cambridge United courtesy of a solitary second half strike by the prolific Andy Kirk. The Boston line-up included new loan-signing Kevin James from Nottingham Forest, and Mark Greaves also returned after serving his one match suspension. It was also the first match for Cambridge United's new manager Steve Thompson - the former Boston United defender who had played a key role in the hugely successful Boston sides of the late seventies. It was a game with few goalscoring chances. Cambridge were the better side in the first half, having the bulk of possession. Their first clear-cut chance came when Jermaine Easter headed an inswinging corner by Shane Tudor just over the bar. Five minutes later Easter curled a long-range effort just wide of the post. Nathan Abbey then had to make a good save to stop a header from Andy Duncan from another Tudor corner. Boston's best chance of the half came from Andy Kirk, when Cambridge keeper John Ruddy showed why club's such as Manchester United have shown an interest in him by holding on to the striker's powerful header.

Cambridge started the second half by winning a pair of corners, but they were easliy dealt with by the Boston defence. Boston then won a pair of free-kicks, but again couldn't capitalise. They did however come close to scoring from a corner, but Mark Greaves headed just over the bar. Abdelhalim El Kholti then latched on to a through ball from Tudor, but he shot wide of the left post. On seventy minutes manager Steve Evans made a bold tactical change, bringing on striker Jason Lee for defender Dean West. It almost paid instant dividends as Daryl Clare saw his shot blocked by Stuart Bimson. Cambridge then tried to take advantage of the depleted Boston defence as both Justin Walker and El Kholti forced Abbey to make top notch saves from their long range efforts. It was however Boston who wrapped up the three points when KIRK was in the right place to take advantage after Austin McCann's free kick into the area was deflected into his path. After the match manager Steve Evans commented: "Second half we changed the system. For once myself and Paul Raynor can go home and say we made a tactical change that worked."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Dean West (Jason Lee 70), Paul Ellender, Mark Greaves, Chris Holland (Simon Rusk 80), Kevin James, Daryl Clare, Andy Kirk (Lee Thompson 90), Danny Thomas. Subs not used: Courtney Pitt, David Staff.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2005.