Pilgrims 5-2 Liverpool
by Barbara Singleton
Boston United turned on the style to account comprehensively for the emerging talents of Premiership giants Liverpool. Last night, the Pilgrims had too much power, drive and know-how for what effectively passed as the Anfield club's elite under-19s academy squad - with the addition of more seasoned reserves Frode Kippe and Alan Navarro. And, having waited fourth months for the match to come around, somewhere in excess of 3,500 spectators had plenty of warming entertainment to witness on a bitingly cold night. The first half was generally an evenly-contested affair. But, after the break, Boston's greater strength and fluency proved the decisive factor in a more one-sided contest. The visitors showed some early ascendancy when John Welsh forced Paul Bastock into a parrying save and then the impressive Neil Mellor was foiled by the home keeper's quick reactions to the rebound effort. 'Pool keeper Matthew Parry denied David Town on 13 minutes, but was then unable to prevent James GOULD from netting six minutes later, firing in from close range after Mark Clifford's low cross had led to a near post scramble. Back came Liverpool with Mellor again being thwarted by a flying Bastock save, while solid rearguard action by Paul Ellender, Mark Monington and Ross Weatherstone also tamed the visitors' purposeful thrusts. However, on 36 minutes, Mellor threaded a pass to John MILES whose neat control was followed by an exquisite chip over Bastock for the equaliser.
But on the stroke of half-time GOULD fired Boston back in front when firing in after Monington had nodded down another Clifford centre. The second half was only seven minutes old when SIMON WEATHERSTONE hit the target, slotting in after a Mark Angel pass had skidded across the six-yard box. In the 68th minute it became 4-1 when Simon Rusk sent Jamie COOK clear to skip round Parry and coolly score. In between these goals both sides had traded untaken chances with Gould and Mickey Brown both being denied by excellent saves from Parry - the former's drive also bouncing away off the goal frame. And at the other end, United substitute keeper Nick Conroy did well twice to block efforts from the threatening presence of Mellor. Eleven minutes from time a surging run by John WELSH appeared to have ended when Conroy dashed out to block his shot. But the ball ricocheted invitingly for the 'Pool man to reduce his team's deficit to 4-2. Boston bounced back with Ellender firing over and Simon Weatherstone rattling the bar before the latter's 84th minute free-kick (after Paul Hart had been scythed down by Paul Culshaw) was forcefully headed home by BROWN to complete the scoring.
Boston team: 1. Bastock (Conroy 46), 2. Clifford (Hardy 59), 3. Lodge (Fletcher 71), 4. R Weatherstone (Angel 49), 5. Monington, 6. Ellender, 7. Costello (Rusk 46), 8. Town (Brown 46), 9. Elding (Cook 49), 10. S Weatherstone, 11. Gould (Hart 71).
Liverpool team: 1. Parry, 2. Otsemobor (McIlroy 63), 3. Warnock, 4. Culshaw, 5. Kippe, 6. Navarro, 7. Peers, 8. Welsh, 9. Mellor, 10. Foley, 11. Miles. Subs (not used) : Harrison, Prince, Morton, Nicholas, Whitbread, Noel.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.