Pilgrims 3-0 Weymouth
Dr Martens League
by Barbara Singleton
Fortress York Street is what Boston United manager Steve Evans wants every visiting team to fear. And that ambition was bolstered when the Pilgrims decisively overwhelmed Dr Martens League Premier Division rivals Weymouth with an emphatically stylish and dominant display. The platform for success was laid most notably in an enterprising first 30 minutes when United rampaged forward with such flourishing regularity that it was remarkable only one goal separated the sides at that point. However, further strikes were eventually to follow and in the end a 3-0 margin was the least Boston deserved for their efforts. Evans said: "Our performance in the first half-an-hour was superb. We set out to play at a high tempo right from the off. It was great to get an early goal, but we ought to have had at least four or five such was the way we dominated. I felt it was the best we had played all season. And several long-standing supporters have since told me that it was the best opening spell of action they have seen from a Boston United side for years. But this is the sort of football we want to repeat on a regular and consistent basis. We know teams will come here and try to contain us for the first 20 minutes of matches. So it's important that we press as hard as possible and try to make our pressure tell. And so far this season, we have been rewarded with a succession of wins. The Weymouth management told me how glad they were that they wouldn't have to come back and face us again at York Street this season. But that is the type of fear we want to see visiting sides have about coming to Boston. We want to make our ground into a fortress. And at the moment things are shaping up in the right fashion." Certainly the statistics bear out Evans' belief. United have now played five home Dr Martens League Premier Division matches and harvested a maximum 15 points with a goal difference of 19-1 into the bargain.
The latest notches in these impressive figures were chalked up at the expense of Weymouth. United took a fifth minute lead when Andrew STANHOPE curled a 12 yard left-footer beyond Scott Cooksey after Gary Childs had squared possession following a partial punch-out by the keeper to deny an original shot from David Norris. Then for the next 25 minutes, it was a tale of one-way traffic as untaken chances came and went with headers from David Rennie and Joby Gowshall, plus shots from Paul Wilson, Mark Rawle, new signing Kevin Noteman and Norris - the latter pair being thwarted by a superb save from Cooksey and a defender's deflection respectively. It took Weymouth until the 32nd minute to offer a threat, but even then Ian Hutchinson's tame header was easily saved by Bastock. Boston responded by doubling their lead on 40 minutes when STANHOPE slid in at the far post to scramble the ball home after Noteman and Rawle had both seen close-range efforts blocked. Home keeper Bastock's ambition of protecting as many clean sheets as possible this season was tested only once after the break - a 48th minute palm-aside of a strike by Paul Adcock. After that it was another story of Boston domination, although they had to wait until the 71st minute to make the game totally safe. The killer goal came from the trusty left boot of WILSON, who blasted home his fifth penalty of the campaign, despite some bizarre goal-line "dancing" tactics of Cooksey. The spot-kick was awarded after Norris had been felled by Matthew Hare, whose infringement yielded a second yellow card, followed by red, having earlier been cautioned for dissent.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Lennie Curtis, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Kevin Noteman, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Kevin Slinn, 14. Jim Dobbin, 15. Ross Nicholls.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo. Reproduced here with the author's permission.