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Pilgrims 3-1 Telford United

Nationwide Conference

by Barbara Singleton

"Factor three" enabled Boston United to move within a whisker of the lead role in the Nationwide Conference. The Pilgrims' fightback victory over Telford came courtesy of three well-taken goals which yielded three more crucial points as Steve Evans' side chalked up win number three in quick succession. With main title rivals Dagenham and Redbridge being without a weekend match, the outcome at York Street saw Boston edge to within one point of their Essex rivals. And it adds extra spice to the forthcoming double bill of midweek action affecting both clubs. Tomorrow, Dagenham visit London rivals Barnet while on Wednesday the Pilgrims entertain Nuneaton Borough. From a United perspective, the right results in these encounters could see Boston back at the top. However, manager Evans wasn't confident about the prospects of that happening. He said: "Nuneaton will prove tough opposition for us, but we will hopefully come out on top. But I don't think Barnet are strong enough to stop Dagenham." For the time being, though, United connections can reflect on a job well done against Telford - despite falling behind midway through the first half. That setback came on 22 minutes when Mark ALBRIGHTON showed good skills to control a raking free-kick from Gary Martindale before cutting back inside the home penalty area and unleashing a rising drive beyond Paul Bastock.

The goal followed untaken chances at both ends, the best of which had fallen to the home side. The visitors then made the game's first breakthrough. But their lead lasted only six minutes. At that point, Cook was impeded 20 yards from goal and ANGEL stunningly whipped a free-kick over the wall and high into the net. Boston almost went ahead on 35 minutes when Paul Ellender flicked on a Mark Clifford throw only for Albrighton to hack the ball off his own line. But the home pressure told in the 41st minute when, from a fine run down the left by Jamie Gould, COOK seized possession and squeezed a low shot past Edwards. Either side of the interval Telford had half-chances with Scott testing Bastock and Kevin Jobling blazing too high. But the second period was generally a tale of Boston in the ascendancy, particularly when Jim RODWELL opened his scoring account for the club with a powerful header into the top corner direct from an Angel corner. That goal effectively put the destiny of the points beyond doubt, although United might have added to their tally when Mickey Brown, Clare and man-of-the-match Simon Rusk all went close. And Telford's already fading recovery hopes were dashed on 80 minutes when striker Mark Quayle was red-carded for swearing at the referee after fouling Angel.

Boston team: 1. Bastock, 2. Clifford, 3. Gould, 4. Ellender, 5. Monington (Elding 85), 6. Rodwell, 7. Brown, 8. Cook (McGarry 88), 9. Clare (Town 88), 10. Angel. Subs (not used): Beesley, Conroy (gk).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.