Pilgrims 2-3 Wisbech Town
Dr Martens League Cup
by Barbara Singleton
It all had a sense of the unreal - yet at the same time a touch of familiarity as Boston United fell at the first hurdle of the Dr Martens League Cup. Chief instigator of their downfall was two-goal midfielder Jason Sedlam, a youngster who ironically had been on the York Street books at the start of the season. Steve Evans' side, watched from the stands by new £15,000 striker Lee Power, looked generally off-key in an encounter which some observers will probably feel meant more to the underdogs. Mid-table Eastern Division outfit Wisbech were clearly fired up for the chance of toppling their more illustrious Premier Division table-topping hosts. Their achievement brought back memories of a similar battling win at Boston in an early qualifying round of the 1995-96 FA Cup campaign. And they succeeded in their latest mission, ensuring in the process that home keeper Paul Bastock had little cheer on his 400th United appearance - apart from an 89th minute penalty save to deny Sedlam his hat-trick. But by that time the damage had been done in a see-saw encounter which had seen an early Wisbech lead overturned by United, only for the visitors to tigerishly respond to claim a place in round two. In the opening stages, though, it was difficult to envisage anything other than a Boston win as considerable home pressure mounted on Duncan Roberts' goal - but without the required clinical touches to make the advantage pay.
David Rennie drilled an angled drive wide; Kevin Noteman rattled a shot into the side-netting; Joby Gowshall saw an effort held by Roberts; Mickey Nuttell was a fraction off-target with an 18-yard header, and Mark Melson fired too high from 20 yards. All inside 12 minutes. It seemed only a matter of time before they would take the lead. But almost out of the blue on 21 minutes, Wisbech waltzed down to the opposite end and netted when SEDLAM accepted a pass from Peter Munns and skipped round Bastock to score. Boston responded with Noteman three times slicing efforts wildly off the mark before Gary CHILDS volleyed a fine angled 39th minute equaliser following a Paul Wilson cross. In the second half, Childs and Andy Furnell traded untaken opportunities, but then on 63 minutes Steve CHARLES crashed home a spectacular 20-yarder to put Boston ahead. That lead was short-lived, though, as SEDLAM skipped inside two home tackles before chipping a well-taken 65th minute equaliser. Eleven minutes from time, MUNNS evaded Colin Hoyle in the area on the left and squeezed an acute-angled shot under Bastock. Sedlam then missed out from the spot after Gowshall fouled Munns. And despite a late diving header from John Walker - saved by Roberts - the tie slipped away from United.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Steve Charles, 6. David Rennie, 7. Gary Childs, 8. John Walker, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Kevin Noteman, 11. Mark Melson, 12. Andrew Stanhope, 14. Mark Rawle, 15. Steve Appleby.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo. Reproduced here with the author's permission.