Northwich Victoria 0-3 Pilgrims
by Barbara Singleton
A third successive league win fired Boston United into the top half of the nationwide conference. The Pilgrims were in dominant form in Cheshire and heaped more woe on a Northwich side now struggling in the basement area. Two goals inside the first 10 minutes - one of them a dream debut strike by club record £25,000 signing Ken Charlery - laid the foundation for Boston's first away triumph of the campaign. Paul Wilson's third successful penalty conversion in four appearances five minutes into the second half effectively put the issue beyond doubt. But a post-match flare-up in the tunnel area took the shine off the win as the teams left the pitch - an incident apparently sparked as the aftermath to the 89th minute sending off of home defender John Robertson following a foul on Paul Raynor. He was one of two Northwich men red carded on the afternoon - Rose was red carded for an elbow on Fewings in the 54th minute and then Robertson was dismissed on 89 minutes for a second bookable offence - taking the Vics' tally of dismissals for the season to seven. A brief scuffle developed before tempers were cooled. Boston manager Steve Evans said: "I didn't really see what happened. I was already down the tunnel. But understand something was thrown at Paul and certain things were shouted. But it seemed to be calmed down as quickly as it started."
Although Evans was pleased with the result, he felt his team should have capitalised more in the final stages. He said: "We were sloppy for the last 20 minutes. Obviously I was delighted with the win. But I still wanted to see more consistency and determination when we had the game at our mercy." The Pilgrims got off to a sensational start on Saturday when CHARLERY fired in after just four minutes from close range after Tim Wooding had flicked on a Wilson free kick. Things got even better three minutes later when Paul FEWINGS made the first contribution in his man-of-the-match display, rounding off a flowing move which had seen Charlery spray a raking pass out to Paul Raynor whose cross was met sweetly eight yards out by the scorer. Elsewhere in the first half, Fewings was also out of luck with a shot just wide of a post and in the 21st minute he was thwarted by the legs of keeper Malcolm Rigby. The home side had spells of good possession and territorial ascendancy, but only threatened Paul Bastock's goal on rare occasions. Their best openings saw a Colin Rose shot and a header from Peter Holcroft being saved by Bastock while a drive by Darren Vicory flashed just wide. United's third and killer goal came in the 50th minute when WILSON scored from the spot after John Robertson had fouled Fewings. In the later stages Charlery and Jim Dick on two occasions each went close to adding to the victory margin.
United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Wooding, 3. Lucas, 4. Hoyle, 5. Gowshall, 6. Wilson, 7. Stanhope, 8. Charlery, 9. Raynor, 10. Fewings (Rawle 77, Elding 86), 11. Dick. Subs (not used); Curtis, Minett, Martin (gk).
Photo by Simon Ellison.