Woking 0-2 Pilgrims
by Barbara Singleton
Boston United turned on a stylish power show to land their first three-point haul of the embryonic Conference season. Victory at Woking was achieved via a two-goal margin. But in truth, the cushion could have been substantially greater. There was a clear gulf in class between the sides with the Pilgrims producing a feast of free-flowing football laced with a regular supply of chances - and they could even afford the luxury of fluffing two second half penalties such was their control. Last night's win went a long way towards burying the memory of a frustrating opening day home 1-0 loss against Margate - a match in which Steve Evans' side did everything but score. The catalyst for the success at Woking was the creative midfield partnership of Mike Marsh and Paul Ellender while winger Jamie Cook was a constant tormentor of the home defence's right flank. Early on, Boston striker Daryl Clare was the first to threaten when his curling shot was well held by home keeper Tony Tucker. United's bright start paid dividends in the ninth minute when SIMON WEATHERSTONE netted from 10 yards after Clare had retrieved a long cross from the left by Cook before sliding the ball into the scorer's path. Eight minutes later Simon Weatherstone again went close when heading wide from a Mark Clifford centre.
Woking rallied briefly when Barry Moore found space on the edge of the box. But Paul Bastock marked his return to the Pilgrims' team with a fine tip-over save. Both teams had opportunities within a 60-second spell midway through the half with first Moore firing over the Boston bar and then Clare seeing a shot on the turn flash inches too high after good set-up play by Ellender. Five minutes before the break United pressed again with Mark Monington meeting a Cook corner, but his firm header was booted off the line by Steve West. But, Boston were not to be denied. And they went further ahead in the 44th minute when Cook fired a long pass forward to CLARE who beat the offside trap, rounded Tucker and slotted into an empty net. The first penalty miss came in the 50th minute when Ellender was tripped by Paul Steele. Marsh stepped up but saw Tucker pull off a fine save. Eighteen minutes later the 12-yard jinx struck again, this time with Ken Charlery blazing too high after the hapless Steele had committed a handball offence. Despite this double blot on their copybook, Boston still continued to hold the upper hand, giving Woking little chance to impress. The Pilgrims were playing with tremendous poise and could have scored twice more in the later stages. First Cook saw a drive safely held by Tucker and then 10 minutes from time the home keeper produced another good save to deny Clare.
Boston team: 1. Bastock, 2. Clifford, 3. Lodge (Gould 90), 4. R Weatherstone, 5. Monington, 6. Ellender, 7. Marsh, 8. Charlery (Murphy 89), 9. Clare (Town 89), 10. S Weatherstone, 11. Cook. Subs (not used): Brown, Conroy.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.