Crawley Town 1-6 Pilgrims
Dr Martens League
by Barbara Singleton
The bandwagon continues to gain momentum. Boston United's pursuit of the Dr Martens League Premier Division title was given a six-shooting boost by their massacre of Crawley - enhanced by title rivals Bath dropping two points in a draw at Ilkeston. The overall effect of the two events is that the Pilgrims today sit 12 points clear at the top of the Premier, a healthy state of affairs even though Bath have half-a-dozen matches in hand - because all six of those games are on away soil. And although United manager Steve Evans is taking nothing for granted, he is delighted at the way his team made mincemeat of Saturday's opposition with a display which further illustrated their championship credentials. He said: "It was a day when things could have gone wrong for us. We were delayed by nearly two hours on the way down there due to a lorry fire on the motorway. And even though the kick-off was put back slightly, we didn't have anywhere near enough time to warm up properly. But we started well and once we got a goal up, we went from strength from strength. In the second half, the gulf between the sides became even more evident." United's success was built around a solid all-round team effort in the opening 45 minutes and a goal-grabbing solo show from teenager David Norris after the break. The highly-rated youngster helped himself to a marvellous hat-trick as Boston overran their lowly hosts. Evans paid tribute to his young midfielder, saying: "David is a special talent, and lots of scouts from league clubs are tracking his progress."
Norris's scoring contribution helped to put the icing on a fine afternoon for Boston who also missed several other chances to have added to their tally, while Crawley's threats increasingly diminished as the match wore on. Leading scorer Mark RAWLE put them on the way with his 13th goal of the season, netted in the 23rd minute. Home keeper Jason Curtis made a complete hash of trying to kick clear out of his area, and succeeded only in presenting the United front man with a simple chance. The lead was doubled on 35 minutes when defender Colin HOYLE netted from close range to convert a curling corner from Paul Wilson. Crawley halved the deficit when Clinton Moore crossed in the 44th minute and Keith SHARMAN beat Paul Bastock with a far post header. But Boston responded again almost immediately with Gary CHILDS cracking home a 20-yard drive. And Boston wasted no time in strengthening their grip on proceedings in the second half, NORRIS sweeping the ball home in the 53rd minute following an inviting pass from Wilson. Twelve minutes later United rattled up their nap hand with NORRIS again on target - this time heading in from a Steve Charles centre after a raking cross-field pass from Rawle had set the move in motion. The sixth goal came two minutes from time when NORRIS established himself as the first United player this season to net a treble, emphatically smashing a long range drive beyond Curtis.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Gary Childs, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Steve Charles, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Andy Kiwomya, 14. Steve Appleby, 15. Andy Lodge.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.