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Swansea City 3-0 Pilgrims

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Boston United suffered their first league reverse of the season at the hands of a resurgent Swansea City side who maintained their free-scoring start to the campaign. Defeat in the cauldron of Vetch Field spelled gloom for the Pilgrims who succumbed to a home side whose victory was sparked via a spectacular power show in the second half. But United certainly had good opportunities of their own - only to fail in the execution of them. And in the end, they had to admit second best to their more clinical hosts, although a three-goal deficit was probably a harsh outcome. The nature of the second period came as something of a contrast to a somewhat less than exciting first half which had largely seen an injury-hit Boston do well to tame the home side and turn in some creditable resistance. The opening period had seen Swansea launch into an attacking frenzy, but Boston weathered the storm and gradually became more of a force - particularly in midfield and as a defensive unit. Clear-cut chances were generally at a premium, although Swansea went close early on when the ever-dangerous Bradley Maylett forced Paul Bastock into a fine tip-over save with a solid shot. And later on Leon Britton cut in from the right but fired over. In reply, Boston had something less of a cutting edge. But they still had close calls, first when Tom Bennett shot wide after good work by Daryl Sutch and impressive full debutant Lee Beevers and then when Graham Potter headed wide from a Richard Logan cross. But the key phase of the match came within a few minutes of the start of the second half when Swansea cashed in on two golden moments while the Pilgrims failed to take advantage of opening which came their way. The first decisive incident arrived on 49 minutes when home danger man Lee TRUNDLE found space close to the edge of the United area and sent a well-executed looping shot high into the net with Bastock unable to intervene.

Almost immediately Boston came close to equalising. Douglas got into a great position but saw Murphy push out a hand to produce a good save. The ball instantly broke loose to Bennett but his effort on goal was deflected wide by a solid challenge from Jones. In the 52nd minute Boston's woe doubled when Kevin NUGENT showed good reactions to score with a follow-up header after his first effort from a Britton centre had rebounded off the Pilgrims' bar. Far from being dead and buried, though, Boston resumed on the offensive and Douglas again somehow missed out when bundling a shot against a post following a goalmouth scramble when well placed to have done much better six yards out. Then, moments later substitute Redfearn was desperately out of luck when he seized possession 30 yards out and unleashed a thunderous volley which skimmed away off the top of the home bar. After a hectic spell, the impetus of the match subsided as both sides seemed to take stock of proceedings. Boston threw on Mark Angel and Peter Duffield in a bid to find a way back into the argument but the next chance arrived on 78 minutes and fell to Kristian O'Leary whose header from a Leon Britton cross seemed destined for the net but for a great reaction save from Bastock. The United keeper then had to pull out the stops again when saving from further efforts by Trundle and Britton before Boston hit back with a close call from a Duffield header five minutes from time. The final nail in the United coffin came in the 87th minute when Andy ROBINSON played a neat one-two on the edge of the area with Nugent before skipping into space and firing past Bastock. Boston almost claimed a consolation goal in the final moments when Duffield rose to meet a Logan cross only to see the ball drift inches wide of the target.

United team (4-3-3): Bastock; Beevers, Hocking, Balmer, Chapman (Redfearn 48); Ellender, Bennett, Sutch (Angel 66); Logan, Douglas (Duffield 70), Potter. Subs (not used): L Thompson, Croudson (gk).

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2003.