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Pilgrims 1-2 Dagenham & Redbridge

Nationwide Conference

by Barbara Singleton

Boston United missed out on the chance to reclaim pole position in the Conference. The Pilgrims lost out on home territory to fellow high-flyers Dagenham and Redbridge, with manager Steve Evans citing defensive mistakes as the reason for his team's downfall. United succumbed to strikes either side of the interval from Mark Stein and Lee Goodwin which sandwiched an equaliser by Simon Weatherstone - his sixth goal of the season. But it was the "leaks" which perturbed Evans. He said: "One or two players let the team down with individual errors. These are things a manager cannot legislate for. But if people are not capable of cutting them out, then changes will be made. They affected us last week at Dover. And it was a similar tale against Dagenham. And two defeats in three matches just isn't championship form." United fell behind last night on 16 minutes. Paul Terry seized on a misplaced pass by Peter Costello and fed Danny Shipp on the left. His low cross was then converted with aplomb by STEIN. Earlier at the other end, Costello had twice gone close to breaking through for Boston - first blazing too high and then forcing Tony Roberts into a solid diving catch with a rising drive from 20 yards. Once ahead, the visitors almost doubled their lead on 24 minutes when Stein cut in from the left and rattled a shot against a post.

Boston tired to respond. But against a compact and well-organised visiting outfit, they found clear-cut openings difficult to prise out. Ken Charlery and Daryl Clare exerted pressure with half-chances while a Mickey Brown header from a Costello cross was well clutched on the line by Roberts. But in general, the commanding figures of Mark Smith and Lee Goodwin held the Daggers' back line together. However, Boston got on level terms three minutes into the second half when SIMON WEATHERSTONE cut in from the left, inter-changed passes with Clare and drove low under Roberts. For a spell, the game developed into a battle for midfield supremacy. But in the 64th minute the visitors restored their lead. Terry hoisted a free-kick to the far post where GOODWIN rose unchallenged. His header seemed to catch Paul Bastock by surprise and the ball evaded the grasp of the United keeper to drop over the line. Boston tried to respond and in the dying stages Charlery headed over from close range following a cross by Brown. And then substitute David Town hooked a shot too high when well placed to have at least hit the target. But Dagenham held on and almost added a third when Mark Janney rounded Bastock only for a sprawling Mark Monington to head off the line.

Boston team: 1. Bastock, 2. Clifford, 3. Lodge (Town 85), 4. Costello (Cook 82), 5. Monington, 6. Ellender, 7. Marsh, 8. Charlery, 9. Clare (Murphy 75), 10. S Weatherstone, 11. Brown. Subs (not used): R Weatherstone, Conroy (gk).

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.