Hyde United 0-2 Pilgrims
This was a scrappy game that the Pilgrims never looked like losing. The result was gifted to them by a poor Hyde side that looked a shadow of the team that won here in the FA Trophy match a month ago. It was a rather makeshift Boston side that took to the field. Steve Charles and Simon Armstrong were still injured and Len Curtis missing so Danny Marshall and Chris Cook filled in. Despite wearing the No. 9 shirt, Martin Filson played a defensive role, with Andy Mason and Chris Cook being the two lone strikers up-front. Boston only had two shots at goal in the first half and even failed to win a single corner, but they went in at half time two goals up. Their first shot at goal was a speculative long range dipper by Greg Fee in the first minute that only just missed the target. Two minutes later and they went into the lead. Andrew Mason was battling with a Hyde defender on the right wing. The defender passed the ball into the middle of the penalty area towards Hyde's Gus WILSON, whose attempt at stopping the ball going through to Chris Cook deflected it past ex-Pilgrim Jon Scargill in the Hyde goal. The second goal, after twenty-five minutes, was a touch of class. A cross from the left wing was headed on by Chris Cook to Andy MASON who cooly controlled the ball and then fired it into the back of the net from just inside the area. A few minutes later Hyde's No. 10 Paul Varden got booked for tripping Martin Filson.
Hyde then had their best spell of the match in the last ten minutes of the first half. They made three good chances only to be denied by two good saves by Paul Bastock and one poor finish that sailed well over the bar.
The second half was fairly even. Hyde probably came closest to scoring but Paul Bastock made a couple of great saves that show that he is recovering well from his recent injury. The first was a full length dive to push a shot round the post for a corner. The other dealt with a lofted cross come shot that looked as if it was just going to creep in under the bar.
For the last twenty minutes Hyde brought on Gordon Tucker and Richard Annan in place of Lutel James and Colin Lambert and Boston replaced Chris Cook with Andrew Stanhope shortly afterwards. The fresh pairs of legs failed to make much impression and the game drifted towards its inevitable conclusion. Greg Fee picked up Boston's "Man-of-the-Match" award in acknowledgement of a solid defensive display.
The only disappointment in this match was that Martin Filson managed to pick up another booking. If he doesn't start calming down a bit he will be spending more time suspended than actually playing. Paul Bastock also got booked in the same incident.
With Barrow dropping two points at Colwyn Bay and Runcorn winning their fifth League game on the trot, the title race is back on again. Next week's match at Runcorn is vital. It will decide which of the two teams is going to mount the most serious challenge to Barrow's title hopes.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Chris Withe, 4. Greg Fee, 5. Martin Hardy, 6. Danny Marshall, 7. Chris Cook, 8. Steve Appleby, 9. Martin Filson, 10. Andrew Mason, 11. Paul Cavell, 12. Andrew Stanhope, 14. Matthew Price, 15. Leigh Taylor