Pilgrims 3-0 Atherstone United
Dr Martens League
by Echo Reporter
It was hard work to begin with, but Boston United finally ran out decisive 3-0 winners. The Pilgrims had to show commendable patience and perseverance to overcome stubborn opposition in the guise of Atherstone. But succeed they did and the three vital Dr Martens League points harvested kept United firmly in the Premier Division title race. The Pilgrims currently sit just one point adrift of current leaders Bath City, who edged to a 1-0 home win against Rothwell on Saturday. Things are certainly tight at the top of the league and the importance of this latest York Street success was not lost on United boss Steve Evans. He said: "It was absolutely crucial we got back to winning ways after our narrow defeat at Ilkeston. And I think our overall performance was worthy of the eventual victory margin. Admittedly, for long spells in the first half we struggled a bit. However, a 3-0 win is pleasing. It keeps us right up there at the top of the division. But we know there are plenty of tough matches coming up, so there will certainly be no thoughts of us resting on our laurels." One of those testing matches comes up tomorrow night when the Pilgrims hit the road to face another in-form team, Burton Albion. And Evans will hope to see his squad replicate Saturday's effort and determination. The win was initially prised out through a patient approach with few genuinely clear-cut chances materialising in the opening stages. The first real opportunity of note came on 11 minutes when full-back Paul Wilson ventured upfield but fired high and wide when the ball broke loose following a half-cleared free-kick.
Wilson was again involved in setting up the best chance of the first 20 minutes when his curling free-kick from the right was headed wide at the far post by an unmarked Andrew Stanhope. Things took a brighter twist, however, on 37 minutes when the long-awaited breakthrough came about. A Wilson free-kick on the left found its way to Rennie. His shot was blocked and the ever-alert David NORRIS pounced to fire in the loose ball. In response, there was a real scare in the home rearguard when Paul White squared to Luke Vincent. Keeper Paul Bastock made a juggling save at the striker's feet and was then glad to see David Rennie, Joby Gowshall and Gary Childs make a combined swoop eventually to scramble the ball away. There was another let-off at the start of the second half when Colin Hoyle made a terrific goalline clearance to deny White after his own attempted back-pass to Bastock had been intercepted by the Atherstone striker. Almost immediately, the score widened to 2-0 when RAWLE showed neat trickery to wrong-foot Mark Albrighton and fire home after set-up play by NORRIS. The latter then turned marksman again in the 70th minute when netting with a glancing diving header.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Paul Watts, 14. Gary Porter, 15. Jason Burnham.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.