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Mansfield Town 5-0 Pilgrims

Coca Cola League

Rarely has the old sporting adage that "you should never come back" been so clearly demonstrated. Even a character as bullish as Steve Evans must now realise that his return to football management at Boston United was a huge mistake. His team's second 5-0 mauling of the season - and a new record away League defeat to boot - showing that he is simply nowhere near good enough to cope with the technicalities of managing a Football League side. If he has any sense at all he will quit now before fans' memories of non-league triumphs are permanently replaced by ones of hopeless, tactical ineptitude. The emperor has no clothes and it's not a pretty sight. There was only one change to the starting line-up over the side that had won at Stockport a fortnight earlier - Peter Till coming in for Chris Holland who has an Achilles injury. Steve Melton made a surprise appearance on the substitutes' bench - his first since March last year - after completing his loan spell at Tamworth. Boston had an early let off when a mix up between Mark Greaves and Michel Kuipers let in Richie Barker, but the Mansfield striker failed to take advantage as his shot cleared the bar. Goal chances were few until the half hour, when Lawrie Dudfield forced a good save out of Kevin Pressman after getting on the end of a pass from Peter Till. Mansfield took the lead just before half time. BARKER volleyed home from the edge of the 18 yard box after Boston had failed to clear a free kick.

Boston fell apart at the start of the second half, conceding two goals in quick succession. The first was an own goal. A shot across the face of the goal by Gus Uhlenbeek was heading wide before Mark GREAVES stuck out a foot to divert it into the net. Four minutes later Danny REET barged his way through the Boston defence before forcing the ball home past Kuipers. Steve Melton and David Galbraith were brought on to replace Gary Silk and Stewart Talbot, but it made little difference to Boston's performance. The Stags went further ahead on 61 minutes when a run down the left wing by Lawrie Wilson ended with a cross to the back post where UHLENBEEK had no problems in slotting home. The rout was completed in the 82nd minute when Mansfield won a penalty after Simon Brown was brought down by Galbraith. BROWN took the spot kick himself and drove the ball into the bottom left corner. After the match Steve Evans said: "It was not an acceptable performance. They know that. We are limited in what we can do in terms of the options we have. I have said my views to the players. It was not good enough. We will get back on the training ground first thing in the morning. We take collective responsibility. I take the responsibility. I think we can beat Lincoln next Saturday."

United team: Michel Kuipers, Gary Silk (Steve Melton 55), Alan White, Lee Canoville, Simon Rusk, Peter Till, Mark Greaves, Asa Hall, Stewart Talbot (David Galbraith 55), Julian Joachim, Lawrie Dudfield (Jermaine McSporran 77). Subs not used: Jamie Clarke, Austin McCann.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox 2006.