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Jon Froggatt, David Galbraith and Liam Green queue up to attack

Harrogate Town 3-2 Pilgrims

Blue Square Conference North

Just looking at the result, the casual observer might think that Boston United had taken their poor away form with them from the Football League into the Blue Square Conference North. But this performance was different to the dire one-sided affairs from last season. It was a highly entertaining game and if Jon Froggatt had managed to find the net from the penalty spot just before half-time, the Pilgrims could have easily gone on to pick up maximum points from one of the best sides in the tournament. Boston gave their new blue away kit its first outing to avoid the clash with the black and amber of the home side. The joys of non-league football saw the two sets of fans mingling unsegregated without the slightest hint of any problems. Boston made one change to the starting line-up from the Workington game - Tom Matthews coming in for Dean Nicholson. Both sides started playing attractive, attacking football and it continued all the way to the end. Chris Wright had to make a good save after Nathan James ran at the Boston defence before firing in a shot from the edge of the area. Then Jon Froggatt headed a cross from Lee Thompson straight at the 'keeper. Boston took the lead in the 18th minute when Ashley Nicholls threaded a ball through to David GALBRAITH who turned and placed his shot past the 'keeper and into the net via the left upright. The lead lasted ten minutes as Danny HOLLAND fired the ball home giving Chris Wright no chance. Just before half-time Boston were awarded a penalty when Tony Crane clattered to the ground and the referee adjudged that the Boston defender had been shoved by Mark Hume. But Jon Froggatt's penalty kick lacked power and was easily deflected away by Curtis Aspden.

Harrogate dominated play at the start of the second half. They took the lead in the 48th minute when defender Nathan PEAT took full advantage of the sloping pitch to loop a 20 yard free kick over Wright and into the top corner. Harrogate continued to press and Kirk Jackson and Danny Holland both came close to extending the lead. Tommy Taylor made a double substitution, bringing on Dwayne Clarke and Dean Nicholson for David Galbraith and Tom Matthews and it almost paid dividends as Clarke produced a good long-range effort. Harrogate's pressure eventually told as Dave MERRIS's mis-hit shot wrong footed Chris Wright and crept in between the 'keeper and the post. Harrogate striker Danny Holland was sent off in the 75th minute after swearing at the linesman after a Harrogate attack broke down. With their extra man Boston were able to move Ellender into the attack, but the Boston defender was having a bad night and proved to be as ineffective up front as he had been at the back. Tony Crane saw his header crash against the bar after being picked out by Nicholson. Six minutes from time, Boston got a goal back when Dwayne CLARKE picked his spot from 10 yards out for a well deserved reward for his efforts since coming on. It was just too late though as Harrogate were able to hold on in the remaining minutes to maintain their 100% winning start.

Boston United: Chris Wright, Matt Bloomer, Liam Green, Paul Ellender, Tony Crane, Stewart Talbot (Mbiyeye Medine 76), Tom Matthews (Dean Nicholson 55), Ashley Nicholls, Jon Froggatt, Lee Thompson, David Galbraith (Dwayne Clarke 55). Subs not used: Rob Wesley, Ludovic Quistin.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2007.