Pilgrims 1-2 King's Lynn
Dr Martens League
by Barbara Singleton
Big occasion, big crowd and high expectations. But it all fell flat for Boston United as their derby clash against King's Lynn yielded no festive cheer at York Street. Defeat brought to an end the Pilgrims' proud unbeaten home league record and further loosened their grip on top spot in the Dr Martens Premier Division. United had plenty of possession and territorial advantage. But not for the first time in their history the Pilgrims were found wanting with a huge attendance watching a crucial encounter. The majority of the 3,119 gate had been hoping to see United take another important step along the title trail. But instead all they had to reflect on was the fact that several of Boston's championship rivals had edged closer. To be fair, the unavailability of Colin Hoyle, Lennie Curtis, Gary Childs, Steve Charles and Paul Watts meant several positional changes were forced upon manager Steve Evans. However, he refused to blame stretched resources for his team's defeat. He said: "It wasn't what we were looking for. And the fact that we lost was hugely disappointing because we must have had at least 80 per cent of the possession. We had a big crowd watching us, and I think that most of them will have gone away wondering, like me, just how we lost. I know we had to make a few changes, but I felt that the people we asked to do different jobs for us did well. On another day with the amount of changes created we might have scored five or six." King's Lynn built their victory on two goals inside 60 seconds towards the end of the first half. Boston responded with a Peter Costello penalty in the second period, but despite concerted later pressure, United were unable to make further inroads into a well organised visiting defence.
The opening goal which contributed to Boston's setback came on 40 minutes when Dave ROBINSON spotted home keeper Paul Bastock off his line and netted with an audacious 40-yard lob which went in via the underside of the bar and a frantically back-pedaling goalie. Sixty seconds later the deficit was 2-0 when Lee WILSON raced on to flick from Lyndon Roylands to fire a shot under Bastock. The Boston goal came on 68 minutes when COSTELLO drilled home a spot-kick after Mark Rawle had been shirt-tugged by Glenn Fuff. Elsewhere, further chances came and went at both ends - although the majority were in Boston's favour. Early on Paul Wilson went close with a lofted shot and later Kiwomya fired just wide after good link-up work between Rawle and Mickey Nuttell. Next, David Norris brought saves from Chuck Martini with forceful effort. In response, Lynn's best chances were when Lee Wilson tested Bastock on 23 minutes and Robinson drilled a 30-yarder high and wide. Boston dominated the second half with a succession of close calls - Kiwomya firing straight at Martini and then Costello and Norris seeing shots blocked, the latter's being hacked off the line by Harbottle. Later on Kiwomya and Rawle both saw shots saved by Martini, while a header from David Rennie drifted wide and a drive from substitute Kevin Noteman was blocked. Lynn's replies were few and far between, although David Puttnam swerved a shot off target while Lee Wilson was denied by a brave save from Bastock.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Mark Rawle, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Andy Kiwomya, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Lee Power, 11. David Norris, 12. Ross Nicholls, 14. Kevin Noteman, 15. Leigh Taylor.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.