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Salisbury City 1-2 Pilgrims

Dr Martens League

by Barbara Singleton

Triumph out of adversity was how manager Steve Evans proudly described the victory which kept Boston United firmly on the championship trail. The Pilgrims staged a stirring fightback to successfully negotiate an awkward Dr Martens League fixture at Salisbury and maintain their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier Division. And although second placed Bath have five matches in hand with which to try and make up the deficit, Evans was happy to reflect on a job well done by his players - second half goals from midfielders David Norris and Steve Charles overturning a first half strike from City's Paul Sales. The Boston boss said: "It's always easy to make excuses about being without players if you lose a match. But we achieved a terrific result at Salisbury when the odds were stacked against us. We had to go into the game without the likes of Mickey Nuttell, Gary Childs, Lee Power, Lennie Curtis and Paul Watts. Joby Gowshall played despite being unwell, we also lost David Rennie to a calf injury and later on Andrew Stanhope had to hobble through with a knock because we had used all our subs. So, it was effectively a triumph out of adversity - a hugely important result."

At times, however, it looked as though things wouldn't quite work out at Salisbury, particularly when the home side grabbed a 38th minute lead through SALES who fired low into the bottom corner after the Pilgrims' defence had failed to fully clear their lines. In response Boston's best chances in the first half saw Mark Rawle drill an effort just wide, Kevin Noteman seeing a shot smothered by home keeper Shuttlewood and Andrew Stanhope going close with a whipped-in cross-cum-shot. Boston had to shuffle their pack at the start of the second half with the influential Rennie replaced by reserve team utility player Mark Melson. Boston gradually forced their way back into proceedings and they drew level on 58 minutes when NORRIS netted his eighth goal of the season. Manager Evans then threw caution to the wind with a brace of adventurous subsitutions - striker Andy Kiwomya plus a debut for new signing Andy Lodge. And in the 74th minute the bold approach paid off with CHARLES cracking in a low drive after reacting quickest to a cross from Melson.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Steve Charles, 9. Kevin Noteman, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Mark Melson, 14. Andy Lodge, 15. Andy Kiwomya.

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.