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Pilgrims 3-1 Chester City

Coca Cola League

After many false dawns, Paul Gascoigne finally started his first League match for Boston United on Bank Holiday Monday at York Street. He was lucky to stay on the pitch all the way to his substitution in the 68th minute after picking up a booking in the first half for kicking the ball away after Chester had been awarded a free kick, and early in the second half committing a series of poor challenges any of which could easily have resulted in a second yellow from a less lenient referee. Boston made the perfect start when after just three minutes, Danny THOMAS, one of four changes to the side beaten at Cheltenham on Saturday, slotted home from close range after a cross from Lee Beevers was flicked on by Jason Lee. Ten minutes later Chester's Alan Navarro saw a powerful long range effort go the wrong side of the right post. Gascoigne was then guilty of missing a golden opportunity to increase Boston's lead when he headed wide when picked out by a Danny Thomas corner. Chester, under new manager Ian Rush, now applied the pressure in search of an equaliser. Shots by Ben Davies, Kevin Ellison and Michael Branch all tested Nathan Abbey in the Boston goal.

Just before half time Boston went further ahead when their latest signing ZEMA ABBEY headed a cross initiated by Danny Thomas past Chester keeper Wayne Brown. Chester missed more chances in the second half before substitute Courtney PITT made the game safe for Boston. He scored from the penalty spot at the second attempt after being brought down by Danny Collins and being asked to retake the spot kick after his initial effort was saved. Chester got a consolation goal six minutes from the end when they were awarded a penalty of their own after Paul Ellender pushed Michael Branch. BRANCH made no mistake from the spot. So Boston finished off the long weekend with a victory to take them back up towards the middle of the table. Chester, without their star striker and former Pilgrim Daryl Clare, out injured, were left looking for their first win since being promoted back to the League from the Conference, rooted firmly to the bottom of the table.

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Mark Greaves, Paul Ellender, Tom Bennett, Paul Gascoigne (Lee Thompson 68), Chris Holland, Jason Lee, Zema Abbey (Courtney Pitt 55), Danny Thomas (Martin Carruthers 81). Subs not used: Paul Bastock, Simon Rusk.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2004.