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Len in control

Lancaster City 3-1 Pilgrims

Unibond League

Yet again the Pilgrims failed to get the right result against lowly opposition. This more than anything else has been their downfall this season and is why Barrow are going up and Boston will be spending another season in a division lower than their fans deserve. After the dramas of the last few weeks this was very much an anti-climax. With nothing to play for this was more like a pre-season friendly than a serious league encounter. Paul Watts and Paul Cavell were the two preferred strikers in the starting line-up which apart from missing Martin Filson contained the usual suspects. What was more unusual was that the "home" home kit with the black shorts rather than the usual "away" home kit with the amber shorts was used. Perhaps that explains why the result was more typical of our home performances this season! Lancaster certainly showed more enthusiasm and started the game by winning two corners in the first five minutes. However it was Boston who took the lead against the run of play after twenty-four minutes. Danny Marshall beat the offside trap and headed off to the right of the goal taking goalkeeper Mark Thornley with him. He then simply crossed the ball into the centre for Steve APPLEBY to fire the ball into the net. The lead was short lived as five minutes later Lancaster equalised. They broke through down the left side and crossed into the middle where an initial shot was parried by Paul Bastock but it rebounded into the path of Mark CHEAL to slot home. Lancaster then won a penalty after Chris Withe upended a Lancaster player, but Paul Bastock guessed correctly to make a brilliant save. Justice was done however when Jay FLANNERY lobbed the ball over Paul Bastock following a corner three minutes from half-time.

The second half was fairly even with both sides having good chances. Simon Bailey came on for Paul Cavell for the last twenty-five minutes and again looked lively and dangerous. Chris Aiken soon replaced Danny Marshall and Chris Withe now pushed forward more. As well as often being the target of crosses on the break he also saw a long range shot hit the bar. With ten minutes left Lancaster nearly went further ahead. A long ball down the middle saw Chris Aiken outwitted in a one against one tussle with Lancaster's No. 12, leaving him a clear run at goal. Fortunately Paul Bastock showed once again what a good shot stopper he is. Chris Cook came on for Len Curtis for the last five minutes, just in time to see Lancaster clinch the match with a goal from Graham TAYLOR. The only booking of the game occurred when Andrew Stanhope made a poorly timed tackle near the end of the match.

So another season is almost over and who knows what next season will bring. We will certainly need to score a few more goals if we are to be serious promotion contenders and it is probably time that youth started to replace some of the more senior members of the team. With two "northern" clubs being relegated from the Conference it is not even certain that we will be in the Unibond League next season. We may be forced into the Dr. Martens League where we could be up against old rivals such as King's Lynn and newly promoted Grantham Town and Ilkeston Town.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Chris Withe, 4. Greg Fee, 5. Martin Hardy, 6. Danny Marshall, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Steve Appleby, 9. Paul Watts, 10. Paul Cavell, 11. Len Curtis, 12. Chris Cook, 14. Simon Bailey, 15. Chris Aiken.