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Workington action

Pilgrims 2-0 Workington

Blue Square Conference North

Boston United began their new era in style with a confident victory against last year's playoff contenders Workington. After the traumatic close-season that saw the Pilgrims suffer a double relegation and a protracted takeover deal that threatened the club's existence, to start the season so well was verging on the miraculous. Under new owners Chestnut Homes, new manager Tommy Taylor has managed to put together a winning side, virtually from scratch, in less than a month. But even more encouraging for the large crowd watching the opening game was the style of play. Taylor had got his team playing stylish, entertaining football. No more hoofball that characterised the previous regime, just nice passing moves, defenders that can find their man when breaking forward, and strikers that can hit the target. Also there are no longer any touchline histrionics, Taylor having a much more laid back approach than his egregious predecessor. One player stood out. Midfielder Ashley Nicholls proved to be a true find. He just oozed class and is clearly capable of playing at a higher level. The first chance of the game fell to Workington but the long range free kick taken by Joe Kendrick clipped the bar. On the half hour Boston almost took the lead when Jon Froggatt got on the end of a cross by Dean Nicholson, but he headed just wide. Then Boston won a corner but a Workington defender made a goal-line clearance to deny Tony Crane. Just before half time Workington had another good chance when Michael Reed slipped between Ellender and Crane, but Chris Wright made a good save and Ellender was able to clear.

Boston's first goal of the campaign came two minutes after the interval. A cross by David Galbraith was cleared to the edge of the area and the ball fell nicely for Ashley NICHOLLS to hit a sweet shot into the net. The Pilgrims were unlucky not to increase their lead following good efforts by Froggatt, Nichols and Stewart Talbot. Manager Tommy Taylor now decided to make three substitutions in quick succession having spotted that his players were tiring in the brilliant summer sunshine. So Dwayne Clarke, Tom Matthews and Ludovic Quistin came on for Dean Nicholson, Lee Thompson and David Galbraith. The changes seemed to unbalance the side and for a period Boston lost the rhythm that had been proving so successful. Crane had to throw himself in front of a shot by Reed to deny Workington an equaliser. Boston wrapped up the points in injury time when Jon FROGGATT broke clear, rounded the 'keeper and slid the ball into the back of the net. So the new era, with new owners, a new pastel amber retro kit, a new manager and fifteen new players got off to the best possible start. After the match manager Tommy Taylor said: "I'm pleased for the players they put a lot of effort in. I'm really pleased for all the supporters who turned up - 1800 is a lot of supporters to turn up for a Conference North game. I'm happy that we won 2-0. We scored two good goals. We showed lots of energy at the end by getting forward. Just say thanks to the crowd for turning up."

Boston United: 1. Chris Wright, 2. Matt Bloomer, 3. Liam Green, 4. Paul Ellender, 5. Tony Crane, 6. Stewart Talbot, 7. Ashley Nichols, 8. Dean Nicholson (12. Dwayne Clarke 56), 9. Jon Froggatt, 10. Lee Thompson (15. Ludovic Quistin 68), 11. David Galbraith (14. Tom Matthews 66). Subs not used: 16. Mbiyeye Medine, 17. Kieron Leabon.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox 2007. Photograph copyright © Pat Everitt 2007.