Marine 1-2 Pilgrims
As it said in the matchday programme, Marine are one of those sides who save their best football for games against the best opposition. They certainly played better than their league position would suggest and will consider themselves unlucky to have finished this match with nothing to show for their efforts. As Marine still have to play both Runcorn and Barrow I certainly wish them a swift return to winning ways in their next few matches!
United started this match with the unusual pairing of Chris Cook and Andrew Stanhope up front and new signings Chris Aiken and Ross Hewson starting their first matches in defence. This rather makeshift team did better than might be expected and in the first half it was Boston who created most of the goalscoring chances. Chris COOK got the first goal on the quarter hour with a header from a corner that was conceded after Kevin O'Brien in the Marine goal failed to control a backpass. The goal made up for a great chance that had been missed a few minutes earlier when Simon Armstrong had been put in the clear by Steve Charles but had shot tamely at the goalkeeper. Both Chris Cook and Steve Charles saw long range shots just miss the target and Simon Armstrong then missed another chance which looked easier to score than miss. A Steve Appleby cross found its way through to Armstrong in the six yard box in front of an empty net, but he managed to hit the ball to the one place where the relieved keeper could pounce on it.
United were caught napping at the start of the second half allowing Marine to equalise. The defence was caught on the break and a cross was fired into the centre where it met the head of Tony RODWELL and the ball looped over Paul Bastock's head into the top right hand corner of the goal. From then on the match was much more even. Boston made a few good chances. Joby Gowshall brought out a good save from O'Brien with a fierce shot after Steve Charles had won the ball in midfield and fed the ball to Steve Appleby whose pass had found Gowshall unmarked on the right edge of the area. Chris Cook also saw a shot parried into the path of Steve Charles whose shot was then intercepted by a defender on the line. At the other end Paul Bastock made two good saves to keep Boston on level terms. With five minutes to go Simon Bailey came on for a tiring Chris Cook and in the last minute of the match the Pilgrims won a penalty. Steve CHARLES stepped up to the spot to fire the ball into the back of the net and claim all the points for Boston.
I must finish this report with thanks to Marine for the piece in the matchday programme complimenting the Boston United Web site and advertising their own new Marine site which has just been set up. It is well worth a visit.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Chris Withe, 4. Greg Fee, 5. Ross Hewson, 6. Steve Charles, 7. Simon Armstrong, 8. Steve Appleby, 9. Chris Cook, 10. Andrew Stanhope, 11. Chris Aiken, 12. Danny Marshall, 14. Simon Bailey, 15. Rob Spokes.