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Pilgrims 3-0 York City

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Strike duo Stuart Douglas and Richard Logan produced the front line firepower which delivered a second successive victory for Boston United. The pair terrorised the York defence all afternoon and their clinical finishing accounted for all three of the Pilgrimsí goals in a festive follow-up to the six-goal demolition of Shrewsbury a few days earlier. And by virtue of their success, United hoisted themselves two more places up the Third Division table to 20th - the highest position of their debut season in the Football League. However, manager Neil Thompson is not getting carried away with the euphoria of the moment. He said: ďIt was a cracking match and one that was probably closer than the final score suggests. But from our point of view, we created a lot of chances, took three of them and kept a clean sheet and you canít ask for much more than that. However, we have got to build on our last two results and get greater consistency into our performances. There is still half the season left and a lot of things can happen.Ē The match itself was a terrific advert for football with United being the dominant force for most of the first hour and grabbing two goals in the process. York hit back with some forceful pressure in the second period ó all to no avail ó before being picked off by a killer goal in the dying seconds. Boston found themselves enjoying the early ascendancy as Loganís cross-cum-shot drifted over after just 26 seconds. York keeper Alan Fettis was then forced to make a good save to deny Douglas after Simon Weatherstone had floated a ball into the box. Weatherstone was then denied by a fine save from Fettis, as the Northern Ireland international tipped his long-range effort over the crossbar. Next, Douglas fired into the side-netting after Logan had hooked the ball across from the right. Weatherstone came within a whisker of putting Boston ahead on 18 minutes but inexcusably fired inches wide when clean through after latching onto Loganís flick-on, which left the visiting defence standing. Back at the other end, Bostonís defence, superbly marshalled by Matt Hocking and Stuart Balmer, was standing firm although Bastock did well to gather Reddyís shot on the turn after a free-kick had only been half cleared. Sunderland loanee Reddy then stabbed the ball well wide from 12 yards after Tom Cowan had surged down the left to cross. Boston took the lead on 30 minutes when DOUGLAS latched onto Ben Chapmanís ball over the top to fire home.

Hocking did extremely well to block a fierce drive from Lee Nogan on 35 minutes as York looked to exert some pressure. The visitors threatened briefly moments later when an off-balance Peter Duffield tested Bastock, but the United keeper was more than equal to his effort. Lee Bullock headed well wide from a Graham Potter corner on 41 minutes after Hocking had done well to cut out a teasing centre from Richard Cooper. At the beginning of the second half, Duffield was denied by a fine blocking save from Bastock. In reply, Angelís superb first-time volley from Weatherstoneís centre was brilliantly parried by Fettis and hooked clear by a relieved Jon Parkin. But Boston increased their advantage in the 51st minute when LOGAN side-footed home after Douglas had burst clear down the right to cross. Then Angelís curling right-footer was expertly tipped over by Fettis following a one-two with Redfearn. Moments later Alex Higgins saw a rising drive smothered by Fettis before the Minstermenís keeper produced a phenomenal save to deny Redfearn after he had fired goalwards following Loganís powerful run and cross. Loganís surge into the box a minute later resulted in his shot being parried by Fettis and he bravely dived at the feet of Douglas as the striker threatened to prod home the rebound. Boston received a let-off on 64 minutes when Hocking somehow managed to clear the ball off the line from Bullockís shot. And moments later, Bastock produced a fine save to tip away Noganís drilled effort. Douglas then found himself one-on-one with Fettis but the keeper saved well and as the ball bobbled around, Boston could not force home the rebound. Bastock produced a good save on 71 minutes to deny Nogan after Douglas had cleared Potterís corner off his own line. York were penalised when Fettis handled the ball outside of his box under pressure from Douglas and was booked for his troubles. The keeper made amends when he held Angelís subsequent free-kick. Bastock produced another good save to deny Bullockís low free-kick on 85 minutes. And then his counterpart, Fettis, did well to deny Douglasís 10-yard shot, moments after substitute Lee Thompson had blazed high and wide. DOUGLAS made it 3-0 in stoppage time, via a deflection off Smith, after Redfearn had seen his shot parried by Fettis from Thompsonís cross.

United team: (4-4-2) 1. Bastock, 2. Chapman, 3. Hocking, 4. Balmer, 5. Costello, 6. Redfearn, 7. Higgins (L Thompson 74), 8. Angel (Gould 88), 9. Douglas, 10. Logan (Battersby 89), 11. S Weatherstone. Subs (not used): McCarthy, Conroy (gk).