Stamford AFC 0-1 Pilgrims
Lincolnshire County Cup
Match Report by Barbara Singleton
It might only have been a slender margin of victory. But it's execution could not have been more decisive. Boston United made comfortable progress through to the semi-final of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup at the expense of manager Steve Evans' former club. A solitary first half goal from striker Kevin Slinn was sufficient to separate the sides as far as the scoreline was concerned. But in truth there was a class gap which Stamford rarely looked like bridging. Apart from a couple of brief scares, the Boston rearguard enjoyed a thoroughly competent 90 minutes of action with centre-back Andy Taylor, Colin Hoyle, and Joby Gowshall all in dominant form. Their combined displays were allied to some good midfield work by Peter Costello and David Norris in particular in the first half and Garry Porter and David Rennie after the break. The whole unit laid the foundations for a solid all round display which culminated in Slinn and Mickey Nuttell in attack both getting plenty of chances in front of goal. The only disappointment, possibly, was that the Pilgrims didn't take more of the openings which came their way. Evans said: "It was a solid performance. I don't think we ever looked in any particular danger.
It was nice to come back and win at my former club, but the biggest plus factor that was we got in another useful 90 minutes of good organised football." Right from the off, it was largely one-way traffic and inside the first seven minutes Slinn (twice) and Nuttell both narrowly missed out. The all important goal came on 12 minutes when a towering clearance by keeper Paul Bastock was helped on in turn by Andrew Stanhope and Nuttell for Slinn to drill home from 12 yards. Later on, the tenacious Norris saw a 22nd minute shot and then a 33 minute header go close while Nuttell and Slinn had further efforts blocked. Stamford's only chance of note fell to former Pilgrim Dave Venables. But he dragged a shot wide with only Bastock to beat after evading the United offside trap. In the second half, Stanhope went close with a header after a sustained period of United pressure and then Taylor drilled into the side netting after a Hoyle header had bounced back off the bar. As the second period wore on, there were further close calls for Slinn, Stanhope, Rennie and Rawle while Stamford threatened just once - Bastock and Stanhope combining to force a Danny Rhule effort off the line.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Andy Taylor, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Peter Costello, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Kevin Slinn, 11. David Norris, 12. Gary Porter, 14. Ian Stringfellow, 15. Mark Rawle.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo. Reproduced here with the author's permission.