Forest Green Rovers 0-3 Pilgrims
by Barbara Singleton
Another powerful performance propelled Boston United up to second place in the Nationwide Conference. Two goals from prolific striker Ken Charlery and a third from influential winger Jamie Cook helped the Pilgrims to replicate last season's 3-0 away success against Forest Green. The victory came hot on the heels of a similarly impressive and decisive success at Woking a few days earlier. And in truth, there was seldom any doubt that Steve Evans' side would return to York Street with maximum points. Boston had midfielder Mike Marsh pulling the strings in the centre of the park while Charlery showed astute finishing power in attack and a well-organised rearguard gave the home side little scope to shine. As a result, United dictated play for long spells and were full value for their triumph - a fact not lost on the United boss. Evans said: "We came to a difficult place, played exceptionally well and got three excellent points. But I just felt there were a few things we should have been sharper with in the first half. A few individuals were asked a question or two at half-time and to be fair there was a good response in the second half. In the end it was another important win, but now we have to prepare for what will probably be another difficult match at home to Stalybridge on Wednesday." CHARLERY's scoring prowess was evident as early as the eighth minute when he put the Pilgrims on their way. He fired home in fine style after good build-up play involving a Mark Clifford cross and a Simon Weatherstone flicked-on header.
That breakthrough had followed an even earlier effort from Daryl Clare, whose low shot had forced Steve Perrin into saving action. Rovers made a brief riposte with Carl Heggs - who had a trial with Boston during the summer - firing an 18-yard drive straight at Paul Bastock. The Pilgrims duly responded and in the 25th minute Marsh saw a fierce drive smack away off the underside of the bar. And shortly afterwards Daryl Clare tested Steve Perrin. But the Pilgrims were soon back in the ascendancy and on 36 minutes CHARLERY doubled their advantage when smacking home from six yards after the Weatherstone brothers - Ross and Simon in turn - had created the opening with some neat play. Charlery might have completed a first half treble, but fired off target in the 38th minute following a good cross from Cook. Either side of the interval Rovers exerted a brief spell of pressure, first with a Lee Howey header bouncing down and then over the bar and then when Bastock dashed out to thwart Alex Meechan. However, once again Boston made their general superiority tell with some more excellent play. And in the 69th minute they went 3-0 ahead when COOK ran on to Clifford's long clearance before cutting inside and driving high past Perrin. Three minutes later Clare almost netted a fourth, only for Perrin to make a brave close range save after Mark Monington had helped on a Mickey Brown cross. In the final seconds Boston went close again when a low drive from Gez Murphy was pushed away by Perrin.
Boston team: 1. Bastock, 2. Clifford, 3. Lodge, 4. R Weatherstone (Brown 52), 5. Monington, 6. Ellender, 7. Marsh (Gould 87), 8. Charlery, 9. Clare, 10. S Weatherstone, 11. Cook (Murphy 82). Subs (not used): Town, Conroy (gk).
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.