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Pilgrims 4-0 Purfleet

FA Cup

by Echo Reporter

There's no place like home - as Boston United once again underlined with their latest success. The Pilgrims cruised into the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup with a decisive victory against Ryman League rivals Purfleet. Two goals from strike ace Mark Rawle and one apiece from midfielder Andrew Stanhope and defender Paul Wilson paved the way for yet another convincing York Street win for Boston. United have now played seven competitive matches on home soil this season, and have won the lot with a hugely impressive goal difference of 26-2 for added good measure. It's a record which is a source of satisfaction for manager Steve Evans, but one in which he knows will bring its own pressures. He said: "I thought we did well after a slightly uneasy start. But we knew Purfleet would try and throw everything at us right from the off. They had the better of the first 15 minutes or so without really looking too threatening. But once we went ahead, I don't think there was ever a moment's doubt about the result. We created plenty of chances and should have possibly won by an even bigger margin. We have done really well in all our home games this season and our win over Purfleet was no different. I would certainly have been delighted if we could score goals in all our matches at York Street. But we all accept that the more that we achieve, the more is expected of us. However, that's a challenge we want to meet, particularly if it means maintaining good cup runs and keeping up our promotion challenge." The win over Purfleet was built largely around the solid defensive organisation of skipper David Rennie and channelled through midfield where Stanhope, David Norris and Peter Costello particularly caught the eye. Then, in attack, the newly formed partnership of Rawle and Kevin Noteman again showed rich potential with the duo both offering plenty of pace, control and firepower. Rennie's experience was certainly to the fore of the opening exchanges as Purfleet briefly exerted some pressure, only for the United central defender to impress with a succession of timely tackles, headers and well-read interventions.

Boston gradually clawed their way into contention and took the lead on 18 minutes when Wilson and Childs combined to flight a free-kick to the far post where Rawle nodded on and STANHOPE swept home after a good on-the-turn control movement. Purfleet responded with some brief flurries which saw George Georgiou heading over and then seeing a shot bravely blocked by Lennie Curtis while Jon Keeling forced a scooping save from Paul Bastock. But it was at the other end where the demolition work was done. In the 28th minute, RAWLE swivelled to fire home after his own elastic skills had retained possession from a Costello pass before the ball broke loose for Stanhope to see a shot blocked. Rawle duly gobbled up the rebound chance. RAWLE then screwed a shot wide after excellent link-up play with Noteman. However, he was on target again with a majestic finish in the 45th minute when whacking in a vicious left-foot curler. The striker later said: "I looked up and saw the keeper off his line. There was a gap in the top corner, and I just went for it. It was definitely one of the best goals I have ever scored." The strike took his tally so far in an injury interrupted season for United to seven. He said: "I am now starting to get back into my old ways. I had a bit of a groin problem, but that's all cleared up now and I'm looking forward hopefully to getting a few more goals." At 3-0 by the half-way point, the contest was effectively over. And certainly the tie was well and truly killed off in the 52nd minute when WILSON banged home his fourth penalty in successive games, and his sixth of the season so far. He converted from the spot after Stanhope had been hauled down by Jamie Southton. As the match wore on, further untaken chances fell to Stanhope, Noteman and Rawle, while at the other end Bastock safeguarded his fifth clean sheet with a good save from a 70th minute Georgiou header. United will now be away to Kingstonian in the fourth qualifying round on October 16.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Len Curtis, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Kevin Noteman, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Kevin Slinn, 14. Jim Dobbin, 15. Mark Melson, 16. Martin Hardy, 17. Nick Maddison.

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.