Carlisle United 4-2 Pilgrims
by Barbara Singleton
Today was the first day of the post Steve Evans era following his resignation as manager. His departure opened the door for Neil Thompson to take over the job on a permanent basis. Following Wednesday's 1-0 win over Swansea City that saw Boston finally move off the foot of Division Three, Thompson made one change to his starting line-up. Mark Greaves who limped off with a foot injury in that game was replaced by Matt Hocking. Tom Bennett, Ben Chapman, Mark Clifford and Mark Angel were not yet fit for selection. Daryl Clare, still in dispute with Thompson, hadn't travelled so Stuart Douglas and Steve Burton continued in attack. Prior to kick-off, today's hosts were one place above Boston in the league table, one point better off. Included in their line-up were highly rated Irish striker Richie Foran and Mark Summervell - the latter played in the Premiership for Middlesborough last season. Boston were unlucky not to take an early lead when, in the third minute Douglas got beyond defender Kelly's challenge and with the keeper coming off his line saw his shot come back off the crossbar. Burton picked up the rebound and played it to Simon Weatherstone, but his long-range effort flew over the bar. Bastock's kick out in the eighth minute went straight to McGill, he cut inside and advanced to the edge of the Boston area, but Hocking made a crucial clearance. Then, in the 11th minute, Foran fired over after Wake had knocked the ball back to him after Summervell had played a long pass into the box. The home side took the lead on 14 minutes when Rusk conceded a free-kick out on the left touchline for a hand-ball offence. Freeman played the ball low into the six yard area where WAKE beat Bastock to the ball to sweep it home. Boston looked to hit back and Douglas set Cook on his way. He rode Andrews' challenge before playing the ball inside to Redfern and curled a long-range shot just wide of the post. Carlisle were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute when Weatherstone was adjudged to have pushed Foran in the box. The Boston player was shown a yellow card before FORAN stepped up to score from the spot with Bastock getting a hand to it but unable to prevent it from going in. Boston won a corner in the 26th minute when Andrews' back-pass was mishit by the keeper and out of play. Cook's flag-kick was headed clear by Shelley. At the other end three minutes later Murphy cut inside before seeing his low shot easily gathered by Bastock.
Bastock made a great point-blank save to block Kelly's header in the 33rd minute. There then followed moments of desperate Boston defending as shots rained in on the Boston goal, being blocked, partially cleared and blocked again including another good save by Bastock until WAKE'S shot finally found its way into the net to make it 3-0. The Pilgrims pulled a goal back in the 40th minute when Douglas crossed from the right after being played in by Gould and an unmarked COOK headed home. Wake came close to his hat-trick in the 42nd minute when his long-range shot went just wide of Bastock's post. In time added on, Carlisle made it 4-1 when WAKE did get his third when headed in from close range from Murphy's cross. Boston made a change for the start of the second half when Lodge replaced Rusk. Then Elding replaced Burton on 50 minutes as Thompson looked for new ideas in his attacking form. Weatherstone went on a run down the middle of the field in the 54th minute and with Elding on the left and Douglas on the right calling for the ball opted to keep going before almost being halted by McDonagh, recovering and finally winning a free-kick. Redfearn's resulting free-kick was gathered by Keen with Douglas being unable to pounce. Weatherstone saw his shot charged down by Kelly on the hour mark as Boston were trying to get back into the game. Two minutes later an acrobatic overhead kick by Weatherstone from the edge of the box dropped on top of the net as Keen back-pedalled. Thompson made his final substitution in the 66th minute when Ross Weatherston replaced Hocking. DOUGLAS finally opened his scoring account with a spectacular overhead kick in the 69th minute after Ellender had flicked on Ross Weatherstone's throw-in from the right. The home side made a change on 71 minutes when Galloway replaced McDonagh. Gould beat the Carlisle offside trap in the 64th minute, but his attempted ball across the box to Elding was intercepted by Kelly. Carlisle made their second substitution of the afternoon when Nixon replaced hat-trick man Wake in the 78th minute. In the 83rd minute, for the home side, Murphy cut inside Ross Weatherstone before firing over the bar. At the other end a minute later a poor defensive ball across Carlisle's box saw Elding intercept, but his shot was blocked by the keeper. The final substitution of the game saw Birch replace Shelly on 85 minutes.
United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Rusk (Lodge 46), 3. Hocking 9R Weatherstone 65), 4. Ellender, 5. Gould, 6. Redfearn, 7. Warburton, 8. S Weatherstone, 9. Douglas, 10. Burton (Elding 48), 11. Cook. Subs not used: Monington, Conroy.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.