Pilgrims 5-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
by Barbara Singleton
Goal-happy Boston United virtually dispelled all lingering concerns about their Conference future. A stunning demolition job on third-placed Dagenham and Redbridge cemented the Pilgrims' mid-table position and took them to within a whisker of what manager Steve Evans considers will be guaranteed survival. Boston's remarkable success - achieved despite falling a goal behind after just 62 seconds - hoisted them up to the 45-point mark. A delighted Evans said: "It was a terrific result for us and a deserved reward for what was one of our best performances of the season. We tore apart what was a very good Dagenham side. Now I think possibly one more win should make us totally safe." For a while, though, it looked as though United would have problems heaped upon them as the visitors swept into a second minute lead when Danny SHIPP side-footed in after Jim Dick had only partially headed clear a long throw-in by Lee Goodwin. Boston's best attempt at an immediate response came chiefly from three efforts by midfielder Simon Weatherstone - two off-target shots and then a 25-yard free-kick which was blocked by Dagenham's defensive wall. The Daggers' defence had looked reasonably comfortable in the face of increasing home pressure.
But in the 24th minute United cashed in on a complete misunderstanding when centre-back Tim Cole headed over his own keeper Tony Roberts and Peter COSTELLO followed in. Boston generally held the upper hand despite seeing the visitors go close with a couple of free-kicks by Steve Heffer and Mark Brennan. And in the 42nd minute the Pilgrims went ahead with a Ken CHARLERY penalty after Weatherstone had been tripped by Goodwin when racing on to a pass from the influential Jamie Cook. Four minutes into the second half, the home lead was increased with another finish from six inches by COSTELLO. He bundled the ball in after Charlery had prodded a cross by David Town against a post. At the other end, Heffer fired over when well placed, Junior McDougald shot wide and then Jack Wignall headed over from a Brennan corner. But Boston replied in devastating style and netted twice more in a free-flowing final flourish and also saw substitute Anthony Elding force Roberts into a fine save. On 79 minutes TOWN marked his full debut with a cracking half-volley to round off excellent build-up work by Simon Rusk, Charlery and Costello. Then in the 85th minute WEATHERSTONE got on the end of a Cook corner to bury an acute angled header.
United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Rusk, 3. Lucas, 4. Gowshall, 5. Howarth, 6. Costello (Stanhope 87), 7. S. Weatherstone, 8. Charlery (Nuttell 82), 9. Town (Elding 82), 10. Cook, 11. Dick. Subs (not used): Lodge, Conroy.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.