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Pilgrims 3-0 Leyton Orient

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Veteran campaigners Neil Redfearn and Graeme Jones were the goal-grabbing heroes as Boston United chalked up a decisive victory over Leyton Orient. The pair showed their firepower credentials by netting the goals which hoisted the Pilgrims up to a hugely commendable 14th place in the Third Division table. And the result helped to bury the memory of the previous week's feeble FA Cup showing at Macclesfield. Both sides certainly served up a lively and entertaining spectacle with Orient’s speedy build-up work often having United at full stretch to cope. But creditably Boston, well marshalled by Stuart Balmer and Mark Greaves, stood firm and restricted the visitors to few clear-cut chances. For their part Boston also showed plenty of adventure and Redfearn displayed his shooting prowess early on when drilling wide from long range. Orient responded with close calls from Jabo Ibehre and Matt Lockwood. But it was Boston who broke the deadlock on 24 minutes. Balmer fed the ball upfield and new loan signing Adam Boyd - whose silky skills and eager running quickly endeared him to the home fans - flicked a pass inside for JONES to stride through and whack a low drive beyond Lee Harrison as the Orient rearguard parted invitingly. Later on Paul Ellender tested Harrison with another shot from distance and then Boyd evaded three challenges before shooting inches too high. At the other end, Boston survived a frantic goalmouth scare with several half-hit Orient shots being blocked before the ball was eventually cleared downfield.

And from this point Boyd got on the end of a Redfearn cross only to see Harrison save well. Orient replied with close calls from headers by Dave McGhee and Wayne Purser. But the interval arrived with Boston still ahead - a lead they could have extended straight after the break as Redfearn skimmed a shot wide and then Jones blasted against the visitors' bar after Boyd and Tom Bennett had linked to set up the chance. Orient continued to look menacing on the counter attack, notably with Purser, Ibehre, Justin Miller and Gary Alexander looking dangerous in possession. And the latter almost equalised on 58 minutes when mis-connecting with a Miller cross and sending the ball high and wide. Back at the other end, Boston twice went close again with Redfearn shooting wide from a 20-yard free-kick and then a fierce volley from distance. But Orient still threatened a reply and they came agonisingly close when a raking, angled drive by Miller bounced away off the bar on 71 minutes. But Boston kept up their spirited resistance and scored twice in the closing stages. First, on 82 minutes, Boyd expertly wriggled clear down the right and flashed a low cross invitingly for REDFEARN to blast in from close range. And then four minutes later REDFEARN completed the scoring when blasting home direct from a 20-yard free-kick which had been brought forward 10 yards by referee Eddie Evans after Orient defenders uttered dissent at the official's original decision.

United team (4-4-2): Bastock; Beevers, Greaves, Balmer, Chapman; L Thompson, Bennett, Ellender, Redfearn; Jones (Duffield 88), Boyd. Subs (not used): Angel, Sutch, Douglas, Croudson (gk).

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2003.