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Nuneaton Borough 3-1 Pilgrims

Nationwide Conference

by Barbara Singleton

All of a sudden life in the Conference has a tough look to it. Boston United can testify to that after suffering a 3-1 defeat away to Nuneaton last night. And now, a return of one point from a possible six illustrates the testing nature of the challenge which lies ahead. The newly promoted Pilgrims suffered at the hands of fast-raiding opponents and were generally unable to fully get into their stride until the later stages. By that time, though, Borough had opened up a 3-0 advantage. Boston responded with a 70th minute penalty from the boot of Jason Minett, but it was little more than a crumb of comfort. Boston boss Steve Evans had gone into the contest with a reshuffled pack, opting for a 4-4-2 line-up with skipper David Rennie slotting into midfield. But the formation was split when Borough scored on six minute with new signing Lee CHARLES firing past Paul Bastock from 12 yards. Throughout the first 45 minutes, Borough generally looked to carry the greater threat, although the Pilgrims still had a trio of opportunities. In the 11th minute Stanhope tried his luck with a low drive, but keeper Ryan Young pushed the ball aside.

Next, Cramman fired wide from distance. And then in the 17th minute a Lee Howarth header from a Cramman corner was held by Young. At the other end United had cause to thank keeper Paul Bastock who superbly tipped away a Charles drive and then saved well from a Barry Williams shot. MCGREGOR made it 2-0 two minutes after half time with a 20-yard curler after a neat one-two with Charles. And the home advantage was extended on 51 minutes when MCGREGOR scored again, slotting in after Bastock palmed aside a shot from Charles who had beaten the offside trap. In between, Miquel De Souza almost halved the deficit, only for keeper Young to tip his drive onto the bar. Then Micky Nuttell saw a header well saved before United finally got on the scoresheet when MINETT fired home from a 70th minute penalty after Rawle had been tugged back by Simpson. There was certainly more purpose about United's display in the final quarter and in the dying seconds Richard Lucas drilled a shot across goal following good work by Rawle. But it was too little too late.

United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Wooding, 3. Lucas, 4. Gowshall, 5. Howarth, 6. Rennie, 7. Stanhope (Minett 46), 8. De Souza (Rawle 68), 9. Nuttell, 10. Cramman (Livett 46), 11. Raynor. Subs (not used): Hoyle, Fewings.