Home Results News Table Squad Statistics

Keene and eager

Pilgrims 0-0 Darlington

Coca Cola League

by Pete Brooksbank

For a game where both teams pretty much cancelled each other out for the duration, this was a surprisingly fun affair. The difference between this and, say, the 0-0 at Oxford is that both teams played positive, if scrappy, football, defended well and got stuck in. And no-one’s ever going to complain about that type of honest application, even if the draw means local rivals Lincoln City jumped above Boston in the League two standings. Fans have certainly been treated to a more energetic Pilgrims side since the arrival of the hoard of teenage loan-signings, and it’s the effort they putting in to impress their home clubs that means United are much more attractive to watch these days. A little more bonding is needed, but this is a squad that could threaten the current play-off occupants – if it can pick up some results away from York Street. To do so, they’ll need to give Julian Joachim a little more to feed on, as for large parts of Saturday’s game he was left with little support against a very solid Quakers back-line. United kicked off attacking the Town End, which hosted a good following of away fans from the North-east.

After a bright early opening the game settled down into a midfield scrap, Boston forced into testing Sam Russell from distance through Holland and Keene. Darlington looked lively going forward. Darlington pegged the Pilgrims back in the opening ten periods of the second-half without ever seriously threatening Conrad Logan, but Boston swiftly re-established themselves. To their credit, the Quakers were defending superbly, as were Boston. Lee Canoville particularly impressed in his centre-back role alongside Mark Greaves. Brad Maylett was involved in the game’s only contentious moment after being felled in the box moments after arriving on the pitch as a substitute for Till, but his penalty claims were ignored by referee Ray Lee. The visitors threatened only briefly, Stamp having a half-chance blocked well by a brave Conrad Logan as the game entered its final stages. Boston continued to press, and almost grabbed a late winner when Chris Holland almost bagged a spectacular long-range howitzer. It would have been extremely harsh on Darlington and their superb vocal fans, a draw proving to be the right result.

United team: Conrad Logan, Lee Canoville, Gary Silk, Austin McCann, Chris Holland, Mark Greaves, Jamie Clarke (Simon Rusk 81), Stewart Talbot, Peter Till (Bradley Maylett 58), Julian Joachim, James Keene (Lawrie Dudfield 81). Subs not used: Paul Ellender, Asa Hall.

Match report © Pete Brooksbank 2006. Photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2006.