Pilgrims 1-0 Scunthorpe
Lincs Senior Cup
by Barbara Singleton
Star striker Mark Rawle was Boston United's last-gasp hero as he propelled the Pilgrims into the semi-finals of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup. Last season's leading scorer hit the target again as Boston accounted for a strong-looking Scunthorpe outfit. Besides securing knockout progress, the result also maintained the Pilgrims' impressive unbeaten pre-season record which now stretches to five matches. But manager Steve Evans is not reading too much into this sequence. He said: "Yes, we are delighted with the way things are going. But we won't get carried away with anything. And we are not losing sight of the fact that we are still working towards getting it totally right on August 19 - the date when the Conference kicks off. Against Scunthorpe, I thought we were comfortably worth our win. I don't think we had a weak link anywhere on the park." The goal which clinched the tie came when the hugely influential Paul Raynor fired a pass downfield for RAWLE to pursue. He twisted and turned twice to free himself finally of the attentions of defender Mark Jackson before slotting the ball past keeper Tommy Evans.
That was the icing on Boston's cake - a result fashioned from solid all-round team work in which particularly notable displays came from midfield trio Raynor, Jim Dick and Jason Minett in tandem with a man-of-the-match performance by Joby Gowshall in the centre of a back three. In the opening exchanges, both sides enjoyed moments of ascendancy with Boston going close with half-chances for Raynor and Fewings while a raking pass from Dick was met with a wild over-the-top 12-yard volley from Rawle. In response, Scunthorpe's best moments saw Darryn Stamp and Lee Hodges both bring saves from Paul Bastock while Steve Torpey ought to have done better than glance a 28th minute header wide of a gaping net. After the interval, Boston almost broke the deadlock when Minett saw a header saved by Evans while later on Fewings and Rawle also saw other efforts flash close to the target. Scunthorpe looked dangerous in phases, especially when Hodges had possession. First he saw a shot blocked by the retreating Gowshall and then drew two good saves from Bastock. Elsewhere, Brian Quailey and Torpey again went close before Boston grabbed their late winner.
United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Gowshall, 3. Lucas (Cramman 55), 4. Wooding, 5. Howarth, 6. Rennie, 7. Minett (Stanhope 89), 8. Dick, 9. Fewings (Nuttell 71), 10. Rawle, 11. Raynor. Subs (not used): Hayes, Martin.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.