Pilgrims 1-2 Grimsby Town
by Craig Singleton
Last-gasp substitute Jonathan Rowan netted Grimsby Town a 2-1 friendly victory at York Street on Saturday. The striker, who had only been on for four minutes, popped up in the 87th minute to secure success for the Mariners who had come from behind to secure their win. Boston used the match as another important part of the pre-season build-up and gave trial goalkeepers Steve Croudson and Danny Gay 45 minutes each while there was more involvement for trialist midfielder Scott Brough (ex-Scunthorpe). The Pilgrims made the early running and Stuart DOUGLAS put Boston ahead in the third minute when he prodded home from close range after Daryl Sutchs centre had eluded Mike Edwards following initial good work by Tom Bennett in his own half. Ryan Clarke almost doubled the lead in the ninth minute but fired just wide after good play involving Bennett and Richard Logan. Next, Douglas smacked a rising drive marginally over Aidan Davisons bar after playing a neat one-two with Clarke. Grimsby subsequently enjoyed a spell in the ascendancy with Michael Bouldings shot-on-the-turn being well blocked by Stuart Balmer following Laurens Ten Heuvels neat through ball.
When the Mariners pressed again, home defender Mark Greaves last-ditch tackle denied Boulding a goal in the 43rd minute as Chris Bolders centre had looked set to be turned in by the front man close to the goalline. However, less than a minute later, the Mariners were level when TEN HEUVEL headed home the resultant Stuart Campbell corner. Boston made five substitutions at the start of the second half, which opened well for the home side with Douglas and Brough both having long-range efforts fly just off target. Grimsbys Graham Hockless cracked a 64th minute drive against Gays upright before Ten Heuvel drilled another effort into the side-netting. Gay then made a good stop from Paul Groves, before Davison produced a great one-handed tip-over save at the other end to thwart Logans 20-yard pile-driver. Just when a draw seemed the most likely outcome, ROWAN popped up with the winning goal in the 87th minute when he waltzed through the home defence after collecting a pass from Stuart Campbell and slotted a high shot over Gay and into the net. Boston almost pulled level in the 90th minute but Paul Ellenders header dropped onto the roof of the net following Neil Redfearns free-kick.
United team: Croudson (Gay 46), Sutch, Chapman (Redfearn 46), Rusk, Greaves (Hocking 46), Balmer (Ellender 46), Bennett (Higgins 64), Clarke, Douglas (L Thompson 75), Logan, L Thompson (Brough 46). Subs (not used): N Thompson.