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Pilgrims 1-0 Carlisle United

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Wily old campaigner Neil Redfearn continues to belie his advancing years. The Boston United midfield general was his team's match-winning hero with a sweetly-struck 31st minute 20-yard drive to give the Pilgrims their first win of the season and sentence opponents Carlisle to a fourth straight Third Division loss. In the end, one goal decided the issue. But in truth it could - and should - have been more. The Pilgrims were the dominant force for most of the game apart, perhaps, from 10 minutes at the start of each half when the Cumbrians flexed their attacking muscles. But as things turned out a solitary goal was enough to plunder maximum spoils and hoist Neil Thompson's men back into mid-table. And Boston did the deed without the services of seven injured players, most notably centre back trio Matt Hocking, Mark Greaves and Stuart Balmer. But in their place, a reshuffled back line with Paul Ellender and Lee Beevers providing an excellent central barrier, possessed enough know-how to frustrate their rivals. The match began with early exchanges generally even although Carlisle went close on 10 minutes when Craig Farrell flicked a header goalwards from Brian Shelley's chipped pass. But Paul Bastock did well to push the ball over. The first testing moment for Matt Glennon at the other end came in the 20th minute when Mark Angel's trickery down the left created a heading chance for Richard Logan. But his downward effort was well saved. REDFEARN's telling intervention then arrived on 31 minutes when he started and finished a move which initially involved a pass sprayed out left to Angel and then a run towards the edge of the Carlisle box where he met the winger's stabbed ball and swept a firm drive beyond Glennon's reach.

Then twice within a minute Boston might have added to their lead when first Carlisle defender Lee Andrews almost bundled the ball into his own net and then Tom Bennett cut in from the right only to see a low shot bounce out off a post. The first chance after the break feel to visiting substitute Adam Rundle who fizzed a long range effort inches over Bastock's bar. But it wasn’t long before the Pilgrims regained the ascendancy with some intense pressure and at least half-a-dozen corners forced in a short space of time. During this phase, Peter Duffield twice saw acute angled shots pushed aside by Glennon while Carlisle defenders threw themselves into the paths of pile-driver efforts from Bennett, Redfearn and substitute Stuart Douglas as another goals seemed imminent. But frustratingly for Boston, it didn't arrive. When Carlisle had defender Lee Maddison sent off on 76 minutes for a second yellow card offence, it arguably helped the Boston cause. But all the time the lead stayed at 1-0 there was a continual nagging doubt. The Pilgrims continued to dominate with Duffield and Redfearn again seeing shots deflected away from more creative work by Angel. But despite their numerical deficiency, the Cumbrians took the fight to Boston late on with Bastock having to show good concentration to save from Richie Foran and Craig Farrell. Right at the death Boston might have doubled their lead when Duffield again found space to shoot. But once again, Glennon pushed his effort away.

United team (4-4-2): Bastock; Sutch, Ellender, Beevers, Chapman; Redfearn, Bennett, Potter, Angel (L Thompson 87); Logan (Douglas 37), Duffield. Subs (not used): Croudson, Clarke, N Thompson.

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2003.