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Frickley Athletic 1-0 Pilgrims

Unibond League

A moment of uncertainty in the Boston defence one minute into the match decided this game. Frickley lobbed a ball forward which landed just past Martin Hardy and well in front of Paul Bastock. For a split second they couldn't decide whose ball it was and this was just enough time to allow Frickley's No. 8 Scott ARMSTRONG to pounce on the ball and slot it into the net. The rest of the game saw shots raining in on the Frickley goal and a well oiled Boston defence playing an effective offside trap virtually every time Frickley knocked the ball forward. Even when they did break through, Martin Hardy or Greg Fee would produce a great tackle to deny them. The shots started when new signing Steve Charles released Leroy Chambers whose shot across the goal from the right hand corner of the area went tantalisingly past the left post. Then a long range shot from Martin Hardy was only just too high. A flicked header from Paul Cavell fell to Steve Appleby's feet as he ran into the box but the Frickley goalkeeper did well to smother the ball. Andrew Stanhope then put in a couple of great crosses from the right that should have resulted in goals. The first was flicked on by Paul Cavell to Steve Charles who headed just over. The second sailed towards four virtually unmarked Boston players only to be headed well wide by Cavell. His lack of goals so far this season is clearly already beginning to affect his confidence in front of goal.

Just before half time Paul Bastock had to make a great reflex save at the near post to keep Boston in the game. For the second half Richard Mason, who had been booked for an innocuous tackle late in the first half, was replaced by Simon Buckley. This didn't seem to have the desired effect and it wasn't until Paul Watts came on for Andrew Stanhope with twenty-five minutes to go that Boston looked like equalising. Joby Gowshall, who looked a class act for much of the game, was booked for a tackle from behind. He then nearly scored with a header from a corner which had goal written all over it until the Frickley goalkeeper somehow managed to get a hand to it. Greg Fee saw a long range shot scrape the top of the bar and Paul Watts was put through only to see his shot saved. So United's unbeaten run in the League is over, the last team to remain unbeaten this season. Unless Paul Cavell's confidence returns, we are probably a striker short of a championship challenging team. What a difference Phil Brown or Carl Smaller or Steve Williams or Darren Munton or even Mark Phillips would have made up front. Paul Watts showed a few good touches and could become a first choice striker if he continues to improve, but in the mean time we desparately need some support for Leroy Chambers up front.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Chris Withe, 4. Greg Fee, 5. Martin Hardy, 6. Steve Charles, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Steve Appleby, 9. Paul Cavell, 10. Leroy Chambers, 11. Richard Mason, 12. Danny Marshall, 14. Paul Watts, 15. Simon Buckley.