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Worcester City 1-2 Pilgrims

Dr Martens League

by Barbara Singleton

Title glory inched even closer for Boston United when they widened the gap between themselves and their increasingly distant rivals. Victory at Worcester last night fired the Pilgrims into a 14-point lead at the top of the Dr Martens League. And although main challengers Bath City have three matches in hand, the pressure to respond decisively will be heaped on the Romans tonight when they take on Halesowen. But Boston know that Premier Division top honours and a coverted return to the Conference now rest firmly in their own hands. Last night they overcame awkward opposition in what was truly a cliche of two halves - the Pilgrims dominant in the first, then more edgy in a nerve-racking second 45 minutes, particularly when Worcester cut Boston's 2-0 interval lead. In the first half, some of United's play was a joy to behold with fit-again striker Mickey Nuttell leading the line in superb fashion. And four times inside the first seven minutes they went close. Worcester responded briefly with Steve Lutz and Mark Owen being thwarted by fine tackles from Colin Holye and Joby Gowshall.

But Boston answered emphatically. First there were more near misses for the likes of Peter Costello, Paul Raynor and David Rennie before the breakthrough arrived on 29 minutes - RAWLE firing into the bottom corner after Nuttell had flicked on a lofted pass by Gowshall. Some 14 minutes later it was 2-0 when NUTTELL slid in to convert from close range. It wasn't the same tale after the break with Worcester re-invigorated and with a stiffening breeze at their backs. United keeper Paul Bastock was much busier, with good saves to his credit - first denying Jon Purdie, and then later, as the tension grew, blocking efforts from Steve Knight and Steve Forst. But he was helpless to prevent Ian COTTRILL from netting 59 minutes when the home midfielder drilled in from a tight angle after a Nathan Jukes free kick had deflected off the Boston wall. Boston were less fluent as an attacking force, although man-of-the-match Rawle was out of luck with a fine 55th minute chip and a 71st minute shot which rattled the bar. And in the dying stages, substitute Paul Watts wanted too much time when opportunities beckoned - giving Watson the chance to save.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Len Curtis, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Mick Nuttell, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. Paul Raynor, 12. Adie Hayes, 14. Paul Watts, 15. Lee Power.

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.