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Tiverton Town 2-1 Pilgrims

FA Umbro Trophy

by Barbara Singleton

Boston United's hopes of FA Trophy success were sunk in the mud at Tiverton. The Pilgrims fell victim to a giant-killing act in deepest Devon at the hands of a side two divisions lower down the football pyramid. It was arguably the fourth round's most surprising result. But on a swamp-like surface, the Dr Martens League Western Division outfit certainly adapted better to the testing pitch. And in frontman Dave Toomey they had a player who clearly took a liking for the treacherous underfoot conditions - and showed his skills with a double strike which triggered Boston's eventual downfall. A 70th minute penalty converted by Ken Charlery halved the deficit and at least gave the Pilgrims a chance of salvaging at least a replay. However, United were unable to conjure up the necessary fightback and were left to ponder on the emptiness of a fruitless 520-mile round trip. Manager Steve Evans had expressed his dismay at the officials giving the match the go-ahead because of the muddy conditions. And his selection options were restricted due to the absence through a variety of reasons of five key first teamers - Peter Costello, Paul Wilson, Lennie Curtis, Andrew Stanhope and Jason Minett. In addition, they had to recall Tim Wooding on loan from Cambridge City to bolster numbers. But Tiverton showed no concern for United's problems or status and eventually their tigerish tenacity went a long way towards winning the day. However, in the early stages there were suggestions that the Pilgrims might have made their long haul worthwhile. In the sixth minute Mark Rawle was just off-target with a cross-shot following a Joby Gowshall throw-in.

Then four minutes later Rawle had a great chance to net his 14th goal of the season, but saw home keeper Paul Edwards pull off a good save when diving at the striker's feet. In response, United custodian Paul Bastock reacted quickly to thwart an otherwise clean-through TOOMEY. But the home striker opened the scoring on 20 minutes when sprinting clear and drilling home with a firm drive which Bastock managed to divert upwards - only for the ball to loop into the net. Tiverton then almost doubled their lead when another Toomey drive rebounded off a post before Lee Howarth cleared. At the other end, United responded with a rising 25-yard drive by Paul Raynor. Next, Edwards was well placed to saved well from a Howarth header and another Raynor drive. Bastock was also kept active before the break when dealing comfortably with a tame Toomey header and then a Steve Winter free-kick. After the interval Rawle was again denied by Edwards after being set up by Charlery and then a Wooding cross was held by the home keeper as Andy Lodge moved in. Tiverton hit back and TOOMEY made it 2-0 when evading the offside trap and firing past Bastock. Boston made an instant response, but again Rawle was thwarted by Edwards in his second one-on-one confrontation with the keeper. Then Charlery saw a drive turned aside. On 70 minutes, CHARLERY got his name on the scoresheet with a well-taken penalty after Paul Tatterton had fouled Rawle. United went in search of an equaliser, but in truth it was always Tiverton who looked the more likely to score again - with Phil Everett, Toomey and Kevin Nancekivell all exploiting gaps. However, Bastock made three excellent saves to at least keep alive late hopes of forcing a replay.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Gowshall, 3. Lodge, 4. Hoyle, 5. Howarth, 6. Lucas (Fewings 69), 7. Wooding, 8. Charlery, 9. Raynor, 10. Rawle (Elding 83), 11. Dick (Nuttell 89). Subs (not used): Harris, Conroy (gk).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.