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Stanhope puts his foot down

Pilgrims 2-1 Morecambe

Nationwide Conference

The Pilgrims have finally got back into the winning habit. After starting the season without a win in their first seven games, they have now won two on the trot. Their opponents today were Morecambe, who finished last season in third place in the Conference, but since selling top scorer Justin Jackson to Rushden & Diamonds in the close season, have been having trouble finding the net. Prior to this game they had failed to score in their previous four matches and have yet to win away from home this season. Boosted by their midweek win, an unchanged Pilgrims side started the game confidently. Andrew Stanhope came close to opening the scoring early on. A long range shot was just wide, then the keeper made a good save after a flicked header from Paul Fewings had opened up the Morecambe defence for Stanhope. Miquel de Souza then saw a powerful shot go just too high. Surely it would only be a matter of time before the floodgates opened. But it was half an hour before Boston took the lead. A poor headed clearance fell to Paul Fewings, whose killer cross found STANHOPE, giving him the simple task of shooting past the keeper.

De Souza, Fewings and Raynor all came within inches of increasing the Boston lead, but at half time the score was still 1-0. Six minutes into the second half the Pilgrims increased their lead. A poor punched clearance by the Morecambe keeper was collected by Stanhope on the right edge of the area. His cross found De Souza, whose powerful header could only be parried by the keeper into the path of Jim Dick to sidefoot home. Whether Boston began to relax, or whether they just began to tire, Morecambe now started to come back into the game. The "Shrimps" cause was helped when they got a goal back in the 77th minute. Following confusion in the Boston penalty area, the ball fell nicely to Andy HEALD whose piledriver of a shot was too hot for Paul Bastock to prevent from getting into the net. Consequently the remaining minutes of the match were very nervewracking for Boston supporters, but despite a few near misses they held on for the win that lifted them two points clear of the relegation zone.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Wooding, 3. Lucas, 4. Hoyle, 5. Gowshall, 6. Wilson, 7. Stanhope, 8. De Souza (Rawle 80), 9. Raynor, 10. Fewings (Elding 87), 11. Dick. Subs not used: Curtis, Minett, Martin.

Photo and match report by Ken Fox.