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Torquay United 2-0 Pilgrims

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

There is still no sign of an all-round upturn in Boston United’s fortunes on their travels. Defeat away to promotion-chasing and in-form Torquay was the Pilgrims’ 12th league away-day loss, still leaving them with one of the poorest records outside of their own stadium in the whole of the Nationwide League. But in the final assessment at Plainmoor, there can be no real complaints about the outcome to one of United’s longest treks of the season. It was a disappointing end to an afternoon which had started with a degree of optimism given the fact that Boston began proceedings with new signings Jermaine Brown and David Noble in their ranks. But although both put in tidy and hard-working displays they were unable to raise Boston’s overall performance level anything above average to mediocre. There were a few bright signs early on with Brown firing off target and the Pilgrims showing some neat invention across the middle of the park through the efforts of Noble and Tom Bennett in particular. But gradually Torquay started to gain the ascendancy and in the 12th minute a first time shot by Kevin Hill was deflected for a corner by Lee Beevers. Moments later more good build-up work down the right by Brian McGlinchey led to another chance for Graham, but his looping header flew too high. Boston answered briefly with an untaken half-chance header from Graeme Jones In the 20th minute home midfielder Alex Russell fired in a shot from 25 yards but Paul Bastock saved well.

However, the Boston keeper was unable to prevent Torquay from taking the lead on 27 minutes when Russell threaded a pass into the path of GRAHAM who showed good instant control before firing high into the net. Moments later Torquay almost made it 2-0. Russell burst through and found Jo Kuffour who raced past Paul Ellender only to see Bastock make a good save. Boston’s only clear shot on target came on the half-hour when Jones knocked the ball down for Peter Duffield, but his shot from 20 yards was held by Kevin Dearden. Then Lee Thompson cut in from the right but fired wide. Boston had to replace neck injury victim Ellender at the interval with winger Mark Angel being introduced to try and redress the balance. But it was the home side who generally held sway. Graham shot wide again and then twice inside a minute both Graham and Kuffour saw efforts fly off-target. But it wasn’t long before the Boston deficit doubled when Steve WOODS fired home from the penalty spot on 57 minutes after Ben Chapman had tripped Tony Bedeau moments after Boston had failed to clear a dangerous free-kick. Boston tried to find some sort of response and an Angel free-kick went close to finding Duffield and Brown. Then later on, substitute Stuart Douglas fired too high when a shooting chance opened up. However, Torquay had gained the upper hand and generally looked comfortably in control. They might even have increased their lead but for missed chances for Graham and Woods. Boston’s only real reply late on came when Douglas wriggled into the penalty area and tumbled under a challenge by Craig Taylor. But the referee waved aside claims for a spot-kick.

United team (4-3-3): Bastock; Beevers, Ellender (Angel 46), Balmer, Chapman; Thompson, Noble, Bennett; Brown, Jones (Douglas 59), Duffield. Subs (not used): Croudson (gk), Clarke, Rodwell.

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2004.