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Tamworth 0-3 Pilgrims

FA Umbro Trophy

by Barbara Singleton

Hat-trick hero David Norris signed off his one-month stint with Boston United in style. The midfielder, on loan from First Division Bolton Wanderers, bagged all three goals as the Pilgrims cruised into the fourth round of the FA Umbro Trophy at the expense of Tamworth. Thanks to Norris' scoring feat, Boston's progress was effectively sealed inside the first half-hour. And in the process, a potentially awkward hurdle was safely negotiated. United boss Steve Evans said: "It was a brilliant result. I had a few apprehensions about the match before kick-off. But we stood firm for the opening minutes when they came at us. We scored with our first real chance and then went on to win quite comfortably. And what can you say about David Norris? His contribution was tremendous and he was a major influence during his month here. His hat-trick effectively saw the match over at half-time. For the second half, I just impressed on the players that they didn't have to go out and win by four or five goals. We just had to stand strong and stay organised. And that's what we did." Tamworth set off at a fair pace and were the first side to exert pressure. First Warren Haughton beat the Boston offside trap. And after Colin Hoyle slipped, it took a good save from Paul Bastock to deny the home striker. Then on 12 minutes, the same home striker managed to find the net, but this time had already strayed into an offside position.

Boston gradually settled to their task and quickly established a platform for their eventual success when, in the 15th minute, NORRIS fired home with a left-foot drive from the edge of the box. Four minutes later, the lead was doubled when NORRIS headed in after a Mark Rawle cross from the left. The treble was completed in the 27th minute when NORRIS was on hand to stab the ball over the line after a Jim Dick shot had struck a post and Rawle's follow-up drive had been blocked. Tamworth's only real response during this halcyon spell for United was a rising drive from Haughton on 25 minutes which failed to trouble Bastock. From that point, the outcome never really looked in doubt. And as a competitive contest, the match tended to die on its feet with United showing a strong determination to ensure progress without undue worry. There was a setback on 39 minutes when Jason Minett, given a rare chance to impress at right-back as cover for the injured Joby Gowshall was stretchered off following a heavy challenge by Michael Gray. Peter Costello substituted and worked effectively in an unfamiliar position as United remained solid after the break. There was a 50th minute scare when Rob Mutchell's free-kick found Paul Gozzard. But his strike was off target. Then later on, Gozzard saw one effort blocked by Paul Wilson and another fly over. Tomorrow night, a Pilgrims XI will be in action away to Lincoln United (kick-off 7.30pm) in a fixture arranged to give United fringe first teamers and senior academy players 90 minutes of competitive football.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Minett (Costello 39), 3. Lodge, 4. Hoyle, 5. Howarth, 6. Wilson, 7. Norris (Stanhope 87), 8. Charlery, 9. Raynor, 10. Rawle (Fewings 89), 11. Dick. Subs (not used): Nuttell, Conroy (gk).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.