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Pilgrims 0-1 Peterborough United

Coca-Cola League

by Pete Brooksbank

So much for getting off to a good start. Boston United crashed to their second defeat of the season, and their first at home, at the hands of perennial nemesis Simon Yeo and left Steve Evans’ hopes of making amends for last years sluggish opening month in tatters. The Pilgrims enjoyed the luxury of playing against ten men for much of the match after Peterborough’s Lloyd Opara was dismissed for a vicious elbow on Mark Albrighton, but they were unable to break down a typically industrious Keith Alexander outfit and ultimately lost out to a ludicrously soft goal. Still smarting from Saturday’s damaging capitulation at Blundell Park, United began their home campaign full of genuine endeavour and remained true to Steve Evans’ new passing philosophy, creating a number of chances in the opening 45 minutes. The best occurred ten minutes prior to the break; Greaves saw a header hit the bar. The ball fell to Albrighton, whose follow-up was goal bound, but for an astonishing save from Peterborough’s Mark Tyler, who managed – somehow – to flip the ball up and over the bar. The visitors were defending well and were happy to play the long ball game. Their best effort came courtesy of Opara, who saw a long range shot palmed over the bar by Marriot. The second half was just five minutes old when Opara tussled with Albrighton, elbowing the United man in the face with the referee about five yards away. He even added a subtle kick for good measure, and thus it was little surprise when Andy D’Urso produced a red card.

Spurred on by the dismissal, United pushed forward but, surprisingly given Saturday’s performance, were struggling to seriously trouble Tyler despite creating a number of good chances. Indeed, it was Posh who forced the best save of the half from Andy Marriot when Butcher’s effort was well saved by the home debutant. With the game seemingly destined to end goalless, Posh when substitute Jude Stirling rode two feeble United challenges on the left, powering into the box. Ignoring the man to his right begging for a lay-off, he selfishly shot himself, the ball nicking Marriot and flying high into the night sky. As Boston fans breathed a sigh of relief that Stirling hadn’t spotted the man over, the ball descended towards a completely unmarked Simon Yeo, and as a befuddled Tim Ryan looked on from inside the goal YEO merely pushed the ball over the line for the winner, to the delight of the impressive visiting support. Pathetic - and a total and utter waste of 86 minutes of otherwise solid football. And so it was Alexander who was able to stride off the York Street pitch triumphantly taking with him the three points. In the few weeks he has been with Peterborough, Alexander has managed to instil in his players Lincoln City-like attributes with astonishing speed. Basically Imps in blue shirts, they hoofed and muscled their way to victory here tonight. They will not win many hearts, certainly, but they’ll pick up plenty of points.

United team: Marriott, Canoville, T.Ryan, Ellender, Albrighton, Greaves (Holland 87), Galbraith (Farrell 71), Clarke, Joachim, Tait, Green. Subs not used: Talbot, Kirby, Forbes

Match report copyright © Pete Brooksbank 2006.