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Huddersfield Town 2-0 Pilgrims

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Two second half goals condemned Boston United to a 10th away league reverse of the season. Defeat was perhaps a touch disappointing. But the Pilgrims gave their all for the cause in an encounter which again amply illustrated the divide between the Third Division “haves” and “have-nots.” The Terriers’ prestigious McAlpine Stadium was a magnificent backdrop to a match which only a couple of years ago could have only been the wildest of pipedreams for Boston to have on a regular fixture schedule. The plush surroundings almost mirrored the sense of awe many in United’s travelling band of 400-plus followers that was felt on the earlier visit to Hull’s KC Stadium. Playing at such venues is a tremendous part of life in the Football League. The only dismay is that rewards have not been prised from such fixtures. But here, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. And certainly if luck had been on their side, it might have been a different outcome, notably in the 10th minute when Neil Redfearn’s 20-yarder was tipped onto the inside of a post by Phil Senior and the ball bounced kindly for Huddersfield as Adam Boyd was unable to capitalise. A minute later, Senior clutched Paul Ellender’s header following a long free-kick forward from Bennett. The home side replied and Nat Brown smacked the ball wide of Paul Bastock’s upright. Moments later, Bastock made a tip-over save to divert Danny Schofield’s 20-yarder over the crossbar. The dangerous Jonathan Stead later drilled inches wide after seizing possession 25 yards from goal.

Boston always maintained their threat on the break and Boyd’s cross into the box in the 36th minute caused confusion and Stuart Douglas’ deft touch was blocked before Lee Beevers was unable to capitalise on the loose ball. Huddersfield hit back and Brown’s shot on the turn following Schofield’s corner was brilliantly pushed aside low down by Bastock at the expense of the first of seven successive corners which Boston managed to repel. At the beginning of the second half Schofield’s long-range effort was well handled by Bastock in slippery conditions. In reply for Boston, Senior was equal to Redfearn’s ambitious 35-yard free-kick as United looked for only their eighth away league goal in 14 matches. Then, Beevers’ neat ball across found Douglas, who in turn played in Rusk, but he could only blaze over from 25 yards. Huddersfield looked dangerous and Worthington’s surge into the box resulted in a shot that was spilled by Bastock and Brown could only send the rebound wide, under pressure from Hocking. Next, Bastock did well to hold Stead’s header from a Schofield corner. But Huddersfield took the lead in the 71st minute when SODJE pounced on hesitancy in the Boston box to bundle the ball home from close range following Andrew Holdsworth’s pass into the area. Boston rallied and went close again in the 80th minute when Redfearn fired a free-kick over from 20 yards. However, six minutes later, the game was put beyond the brave Pilgrims when LLOYD ran onto Stead’s throughball to slip the ball underneath the advancing Bastock.

United team (3-4-3): Bastock; Greaves, Hocking, Ellender; Beevers, Rusk (Weatherstone 77), Bennett, Potter (L Thompson 82); Redfearn, Boyd (Duffield 70), Douglas. Subs (not used): Hogg, Croudson (gk).

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2004.