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Pilgrims 2-0 Rushden & Diamonds

Coca Cola League

This was a dire match. The football by both sides was Conference standard, which is where the once mighty Rushden & Diamonds will be playing again next season as two Boston goals in the last three minutes were enough to confirm their relegation. The Diamonds have lost their sparkle since their wealthy backer Max Griggs pulled out two years ago and they have been in free fall ever since. Boston made a couple of changes to their starting lne-up. Mark Greaves was out injured and Lawrie Dudfield dropped down to the subs' bench and in came David Galbraith and Peter Till. The first half was virtually devoid of any entertainment and totally devoid of any footballing skill. On twenty-two minutes David Galbraith picked up an injury following a clash with Phil Gulliver and was replaced by Steve Melton. Ten minutes later Peter Till limped off to be replaced by Dudfield. The only good move of the half saw Danny Thomas combine well with Steve Melton to set up Dudfield but his effort was just wide. The second half wasn't much better.

Simeon Jackson got booked following an outrageous dive as he tried to claim a penalty. Brad Maylett came on for Jamie Clarke on 65 minutes and he soon forced a save out of Tynan with a long range effort. Rushden should have taken the lead on 85 minutes when Wayne Hatswell was presented with an open goal after being picked out by a cross from the right by Jackson, but he somehow managed to put the ball over the bar. Boston put the Diamonds out of their misery two minutes later. Julian Joachim flicked a long ball forward from Conrad Logan to DUDFIELD who rounded the keeper and bundled the ball over the line. As the Diamonds pushed forward, Boston broke, and Joachim turned provider again, this time picking out Danny THOMAS who fired home in spectacular style from the edge of the area. After the match Steve Evans said: "It's a warning to us all. We have got to make sure we don't get involved in a day like this."

United team: Conrad Logan, Lee Canoville, Austin McCann, Alan White, Paul Ellender, Chris Holland, David Galbraith (Steve Melton 22), Jamie Clarke (Bradley Maylett 65), Danny Thomas, Julian Joachim, Peter Till (Lawrie Dudfield 32). Subs not used: Gary Silk, Richard Chinn.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2006.