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Pilgrims 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers

Coca Cola League

When Steve Evans announced that Andy Kirk was the best striker in the Coca Cola League Two, many fans took it with a pinch of salt, remembering a similar statement from the Scot about underachieving midfielder Jim Dick during the club's first season back in the Conference. Kirk however is looking like the real deal, especially after adding two more goals to his tally and giving Boston a comfortable home win against Wycombe. Boston began the match having to make some enforced changes to the starting line-up as both Jason Lee and Tom Bennett were out suspended. Tam McManus stepped into the striker's slot and Mark Greaves was given an unaccustomed midfield role. There was also a bit of extra spice in the encounter. Wycombe manager Tony Adams had recently added Zema Abbey to his squad and he named him in his starting eleven. Zema is the older brother of Boston keeper Nathan Abbey and a couple of weeks earlier had been playing for Boston during a loan-spell from Premiership side Norwich City. Wycombe started the game looking for an early breakthrough. Their pressure was almost rewarded when Zema Abbey headed just over, then a couple of minutes later saw his powerful shot parried by his brother in the Boston goal. Against the run of play Boston took the lead on 14 minutes when Andy KIRK drilled home from the edge of the area.

Wycombe now resumed their attacks as they searched for an equaliser. Nathan Abbey had to make a good save to stop a header from Ian Stonebridge after he had been picked out by a cross from Danny Senda. Joe Burnell then fired in a long range shot that went wide of the post. Then Nathan Tyson also saw his well struck shot go wide. Five minutes into the second half Boston increased their lead. KIRK got on the end of a through ball from Courtney Pitt and slammed the ball past Wycombe keeper Frank Talia. Things might have been different if Nathan Abbey had failed to tip over Danny Senda's 20 yard free-kick with a beautiful one-handed save. But from then on it was all Boston. The home side had a seemingly good penalty appeal turned down when Pitt clattered to the ground in the box. The referee just waved play-on. Matt O'Halloran forced a good save from Talia with a dipping shot from 25 yards out. Then in injury time Kirk came close to getting his hat-trick when his 35 yard free kick went wide of the left post. The win took Boston up to seventh in the table - into a play-off place and only three points away from top slot.

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Dean West, Paul Ellender, Mark Greaves, David Noble (Simon Rusk 86), Matt O'Halloran, Andy Kirk (Danny Thomas 90), Tam McManus (Lee Thompson 80), Courtney Pitt. Subs not used: Greg Strong, Steve Melton.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2004.