Pilgrims 2-0 Lincoln City
by Craig Singleton
Derby day success had double significance for Boston United on Saturday. Not only did they comfortably beat county rivals Lincoln City, but the Pilgrims also hoisted themselves out of Third Division negative points status in the process. Their 2-0 success finally wiped out the four-point penalty imposed by the FA for financial irregularities after the much-publicised summer investigation. A goal on the half-hour from Simon Weatherstone set the United on the way to the victory and Daryl Clare's strike a minute from time wrapped up the win. Lincoln's cause was not helped by having Simon Yeo red-carded in the 66th minute for an act of petulance. He kicked out at Simon Rusk after losing possession and was sent-off by Premiership referee Phil Dowd for his inexplicable act. By that stage Lincoln were battling well to recover from Weatherstone's goal. But the red card hindered the Imps in their comeback attempts and any hopes of a dramatic City comeback were finally extinguished by Clare's 89th minute goal. Both sides had chances in the opening stages, with Lincoln seeing a fifth minute Simon Yeo goal ruled out for offside. At the other end, Weatherstone fired too high after Alan Marriott had punched clear a corner by Mark Angel. Home keeper Paul Bastock was then forced into make two brilliant saves. First he parried a low drive from Yeo following a Lincoln breakaway and then held a fierce cross-shot from Peter Gain.
Boston hit back with their own spell of attacking pressure. A 25-yard free-kick from home player-manager Neil Thompson deflected away off the Lincoln wall on 22 minutes. Then came the breakthrough when WEATHERSTONE curled home a spectacular shot from the edge of the area after an Angel corner had dropped at his feet. On 36 minutes a great run by Steve Burton opened the way for Thompson to storm through and drill inches wide with a right-foot drive. After the half-time interval, Lincoln almost equalised when Paul Smith broke free and forced a low save from Bastock. Yeo fired the rebound into the side netting. Lincoln created further chances when Scott Willis drilled wide of the target on 62 minutes and then United were grateful to Bastock for another good save when he denied Mark Bailey when the Imps' wing-back fired goalwards after connecting with a partially cleared Stuart Bimson free-kick. Then came the drama of Yeo being sent off for kicking Rusk in full view of the referee who quickly brandished the red card. Boston went close moments later when Burton drilled over, after Marriott had parried a shot by Angel. Then, seven minutes from time home substitute Neil Redfearn forced a fingertip save from Marriott with a forceful and rising drive as Boston sought to double their advantage. And in response, the comfort zone for United was achieved in the 89th minute when CLARE swept home a cross from Rusk - after good initial build-up play from Redfearn - for his first goal of the season.
United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Hocking, 3. Ellender, 4. Warburton, 5. Thompson, 6. Rusk, 7. S Weatherstone, 8. Bennett, 9. Angel, 10. Clare, 11. Burton (Redfearn 75). Subs (not used): Cook, Monington, Gould, Conroy (gk).
This report originally appeared in the Boston Target.