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Elding huffs and puffs

Accrington Stanley 2-1 Pilgrims

Coca-Cola League

Most of the Boston United squad will be old enough to remember the iconic milk advert on TV from the 1980s where one boy tries to persuade another to drink some of the white stuff. "It's what Ian Rush drinks. And he says if I don't drink lots of milk, when I grow up I'm only gonna be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley" "Who are they?" "Exactly". On today's performance it seems that the Pilgrims aren't even good enough to reach the standards of the much derided team from Lancashire. Perhaps they're not drinking enough milk. Boston were out-played in the first half by last season's Conference Champions Accrington - buoyed up by their midweek 5-0 thrashing of Wrexham - and went a goal down. A switch of formation in the second half made Boston more competitive and they were able to equalise and looked the more likely side to score again until Accrington snatched an unlikely winner deep into added time. Boston made one change to the side that drew with Barnet on Tuesday - Mark Greaves was fit again so he joined the starting line-up in place of Richie Ryan. Accrington took the lead on 11 minutes when a sloppy pass by Mark Albrighton was intercepted by Gary ROBERTS who jinked forwards into the box before firing the ball across the goal from a tight angle - the shot beating Andy Marriott and creeping in at the back post. Accrington had another good chance five minutes later when the ball fell nicely for Ian Craney just inside the box but Marriot got down well to save his low drive.

Boston switched to a 4-4-2 formation for the second half with Albrighton being replaced by Paul Tait. Boston now began to create some real goal-scoring opportunities. Three minutes into the half David Farrell broke clear down the left but his shot was saved by Ian Dunbavin. A minute later in what began like an action replay FARRELL found himself clear again in the same position, but this time he buried his shot between the 'keeper and the post. Francis Green and David Farrell began to cause havoc in the Accrington defence with penetrating crosses and corner kicks. Both Tait and Greaves headed great chances inches wide. With the clock ticking down the match looked like it was heading for a draw, especially when a shot by Andrew Mangan rebounded off the post. But there was just time for one more Accrington attack and Andy TODD eventually found the net after the ball pinged around the Boston area in the closing seconds. After the match Steve Evans ranted: "I think the referee has been awful all afternoon. For the far side assistant not to give offside is an absolute disgraceful decision. It's beyond belief. And people like him should not be officiating at this level. He's absolutely shocking. Wibble."

United team: Andy Marriott, Jamie Clarke, Tim Ryan, Mark Albrighton (Paul Tait 46), Paul Ellender, David Farrell, Stewart Talbot, Mark Greaves, David Galbraith, Anthony Elding (Dany N'Guessan 80), Francis Green. Subs not used: Ben Kirby, Richie Ryan, Bob Davidson.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2006.