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Pilgrims 5-0 Cambridge City

Dr Martens League

by Barbara Singleton

Normal York Street service was resumed - eventually. That was the assessment of Boston United's decisive-looking victory over Cambridge City last night. Five goals courtesy of five different scorers brought up the Pilgrims' sixth success in seven home Dr Martens League outings. United duly pulled three points clear in the Premier Division title race. But in truth, it wasn't until the final half-an-hour that they really stamped their authority on proceedings. But once superiority was established, victory was wrapped up at something of a canter. Arguably a recent spell of four tough matches in succession, mostly without the sort of reward which their efforts merited, probably took a cutting edge off Boston's early-season buoyancy. But the triumph over Cambridge ought to at least do big things in the confidence stakes. And the hefty winning margin saw the Pilgrims return to the free-scoring form readily seen on home soil up to October 23 when goal-grabbing was achieved with great regularity. For lengthy spells last night, however, United had to toil hard to make any genuine impression on a workmanlike City side for whom ex-Pilgrims midfielders Ian Stringfellow was an influential orchestrator, while the coincidentally named striker Ian Cambridge looked a constant threat. Indeed, both had a brace of near misses in the early stages at a time when Boston frequently squandered possession with hasty and misdirected passes.

However, the home side still managed to look dangerous on occasions, notably with Mark Rawle and Mickey Nuttell heading over and wide respectively from crosses by David Norris and Paul Wilson. But there was more than a touch of good fortune about the goal which put Boston ahead. A 21st minute Andrew Stanhope corner from the left bounced awkwardly in the six-yard box and the ball bounced in off a bemused Andy PINCHER - swapping his day job as Cambridge United secretary for his part-time role as City midfielder. Boston were lifted by the gift and Kevin Noteman, Norris and Stanhope all went close to doubling the lead while Ian Cambridge once again threatened in reply. More home pressure early in the second half yielded untaken chances for Nuttell, Rawle and Norris. But then defender David Rennie produced possibly the game's pivotal moment - a 55th minute goal-line clearance to deny Stringfellow. Eight minutes after that incident, NUTTELL rose at City's far post to supply a headed conversion to a Stanhope cross. City keeper Martin Davies then produced stunning saves to deny Nuttell and Noteman. But in the 63rd minute the lead widened to 3-0 when the assured RENNIE volleyed in after a Stanhope corner broke loose to him 15 yards out. RAWLE grabbed his ninth goal of the campaign with a glancing header from a Norris cross on 82 minutes. And then substitute Paul WATTS rounded things off when climbing well to nod in a Gary Childs centre with the match ticking toward stoppage time.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Kevin Noteman, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. John Walker, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Gary Childs, 14. Paul Watts, 15. Steve Appleby.

This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo. Reproduced here with the author's permission.