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Len Curtis goes for a header

Pilgrims 2-1 Notts County


by Barbara Singleton

Goals late in each half from Andy Lodge and Mark Rawle steered Boston United to a notable pre-season success at York Street last night. The Pilgrims, fielding completely different teams in each 45 minutes, more than matched their Nationwide League Second Division opponents and were good value for their victory. The encounter never hit any great heights with the first half-hour barely yielding an attempt at either goal from either side. But things sprang to life just before the break, with Boston suddenly hitting a note of ascendancy. First Micky Nuttell got on the end of an Andrew Stanhope cross, only to see his header flash inches over the crossbar and the Pilgrims denied. Stanhope then saw another attempted centre blocked by Alex Dyer, and seconds later David Rennie fired over another pass from which Nuttell again went close with a header.

The breakthrough came with a minute to go to half-time and it was the home side who took the upper hand, with Nuttell involved again. He and Paul Fewings linked up well with LODGE, who then burst clear before firing past the advancing Darren Ward for United's opener. County responded more purposefully following the interval and drew level on 58 minutes. Craig RAMAGE fired home after an initial volley from Mark Stallard had been parried by Pilgrims keeper Paul Bastock. Stallard for Notts and then Anthony Elding for Boston then both went close to hitting the target again. But in the 82nd minute, United settled the issue when last season's leading scorer Mark RAWLE beat substitute keeper James Lindley in a 50-50 challenge and guided the ball home.

United team: 1. Martin (Bastock 46), 2. Gowshall (Rawle 46), 3. Lucas (Hayes 46), 4. Lodge (Hoyle 46), 5. Howarth (Herbert 46), 6. Rennie (Minett 46), 7. Stanhope (Elding 46), 8. Garrety (Curtis 46), 9. Nuttell (Costello 46), 10. Fewings (Van der Velden 46), 11. Raynor (Wooding 46).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo. Photo by Adam Upsall.