Gainsborough Trinity 1-4 Pilgrims
FA "Umbro" Trophy
This potentially tricky cup tie, against old rivals on their own turf, turned out to be a comfortable win in front of a large Boston contingent who made it seem more like a home tie. With Gareth Jelleyman unavailable and Gary Childs cup tied, a few minor adjustments were necessary to the recent line-ups. Peter Costello filled in for Childs and Ian Stringfellow reclaimed his usual place in midfield. Despite the heavy overnight rain the pitch was in reasonable condition and the match began in bright sunshine.
The first half hour was fairly dull. Boston only had four chances and Trinity one, and all were fairly speculative. Steve Charles had a header which crossed the face of the goal and went wide, then a couple of minutes later his long range shot sailed over the bar. Gainsborough's Paul Marquis managed to get his head to a corner but he directed the ball the wrong side of the post. Charles then duplicated his earlier long range effort before Matt Carmichael saw a header miss the target. On thirty three minutes the Pilgrims took the lead. Richard MASON fired in a cross from the left wing only to see it beat the keeper and sneak in at the back post. I am sure he will claim it was a shot from the start! The goal woke up Trinity and they came close to equalising five minutes later. Good work on the right wing resulted in a player breaking free and the ball was cut back into the centre. Fortunately the resulting fierce shot was deflected behind for a corner. Just before half time Matt Carmichael was brought down on the edge of the area, resulting in Neil Allison's name going into the referee's book. Carmichael's free kick came to nothing as it caught the edge of the wall.
At half time Dave Venables replaced Paul Watts, who had picked up an ankle injury just before the end of the half. Venables played a key part in the second Boston goal as he broke through the Gainsborough defence.
He set up Matt Carmichael who then knocked the ball back to Ian STRINGFELLOW who shrugged of a challenge before beating Steve Cherry in the Gainsborough goal with a delightful chip shot. There then followed a spate of bookings born out of Gainsborough's frustration. First Troy Bennett then Jim Neil, for a foul on Hardy, were booked before Costello followed them for dissent. Both Stanhope and Stringfellow produced efforts which came close to increasing the lead before the pair of them combined well to set up Dave Venables for the third goal. Fancy footwork by Stanhope released Stringfellow who sent in a pinpoint cross which VENABLES had no trouble in converting. With the result no longer in any doubt the match finished with a flurry of near misses and a couple of goals. Carmichael put an overhead kick just over before Paul Bastock had to make a good save as Ian Dunn beat the offside trap. Boston's fourth goal came when Mason broke down the wing, crossed to Carmichael who set up COSTELLO to slot the ball between the keeper and the post. From the restart TURNBULL finally got the goal that will be no consolation at all to Gainsborough. Mark Melson replaced Peter Costello for the final minute as the match finished in a heavy downpour of rain.
The only sour note of this comprehensive win was provided by a drunken moron who threw two bottles at the Gainsborough keeper after the Pilgrims scored their third goal. Fortunately his aim was as poor as his IQ and hopefully the authorities will deal with him appropriately.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Len Curtis, 4. Ian Stringfellow, 5. Martin Hardy, 6. Steve Charles, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Peter Costello, 9. Matt Carmichael, 10. Paul Watts, 11. Richard Mason, 12. Dave Venables, 14. Gary Walters, 15. Mark Melson, 16. Leigh Taylor, 17. Nick Maddison.