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Hartlepool United 2-1 Pilgrims

Coca-Cola League

The decline and fall of Boston United continued as they provided ten-man Hartlepool with their first win of the season. Having lost six of their opening seven games, the Pilgrims are now hovering just above the drop-zone and with no funds available their quest for more players to bolster the squad has proved as fruitless as Old Mother Hubbard's search for a bone for her poor doggie. Striker Anthony Elding was finally named on the team sheet after his six match ban for violent conduct with Kettering ended, but he could only make it on to the subs' bench. Mark Greaves was out injured so Jamie Clarke came in as a makeshift defender at right back. Both sides soon had good chances to open the scoring. Joel Porter twice broke through the Boston defence, but failed to produce a worthy finish. Stewart Talbot then headed a David Galbriath free-kick wide before Paul Tait was unlucky to see his header hit the underside of the bar before bouncing out and being cleared behind by a Hartlepool defender. Hartlepool took the lead on the half hour using the direct approach shunned by Boston this season. A goal kick was deflected towards Anthony SWEENEY who lashed the ball home from just outside the area.

Before the half ended Tait almost levelled the scores but was again unlucky when his downward header bounced over the bar. Hartlepool were reduced to ten men fifteen minutes into the second half when John Brackstone was sent off for a foul on Stewart Talbot. However Hartlepool increased their lead a few minutes later when substitute Jon DALY lobbed the ball over Andy Marriott. Boston gained some hope of salvaging something with seven minutes left when substitute Dany N'GUESSAN opened his scoring account for Boston with a well taken goal from close range after being set up by Anthony Elding who was also now on the pitch - in place of Bob Davidson. In the closing minutes Boston were themselves reduced to ten men when Paul Ellender was dismissed for his second bookable offence. After the match Steve Evans said: "It's errors that have cost us again tonight. I'm going nowhere. The players are not going anywhere. We have no funds."

United team: Andy Marriott, Lee Canoville, Tim Ryan, Paul Ellender, Chris Holland, David Galbraith (David Farrell 57), Stewart Talbot, Jamie Clarke, Bob Davidson (Anthony Elding 57), Francis Green (Dany N'Guessan 72), Paul Tait. Subs not used: Mark Albrighton, Richie Ryan.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox 2006.