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N'Guessan chases the ball

Rochdale 4-0 Pilgrims

Coca-Cola League

Once again Boston United were totally outplayed by one of the worst sides in League Two as Rochdale provided a 4-0 drubbing to go with their 3-0 win at York Street back in September. With transfer target Tim Ryan missing along with Richie Ryan and David Farrell, Evans switched Lee Canoville to left back and brought in former Rochdale midfielder Jamie Clarke at right back. This just didn't work as Rochdale had players on both wings who could skip past the sluggish Boston defence and send in dangerous crosses. Rochdale invested in a new drainage system over the summer and it proved its worth in the persistent rain. There were a few tricky areas where passing the ball along the ground became problematical, but the surface was nowhere near as bad as last season's quagmire. The first half was all Rochdale. The only surprise was that it took them until a minute from half-time to open the scoring. Yet another attack down the left wing ended with a half-clearance by Paul Ellender and the ball fell into the path of Gary JONES on the edge of the area who directed his well placed shot into the bottom right corner. A few minutes earlier Boston had lost Jason Kennedy following a challenge by John Doolan. He was replaced by David Galbraith. Boston began the second half showing some promise, but any hopes of getting back into the match were dashed in an eight minute spell when Rochdale found the net three times.

On 62 minutes a cross from the right by Alan Goodall was smashed home by Chris DAGNALL. Three minutes later French winger William MOCQUET put the result beyond doubt when he headed home a corner by Adam Rundle. On 70 minutes Glenn MURRAY completed a miserable afternoon for Boston when he shrugged off a challenge by Paul Ellender to curl the ball past Andy Marriott from 10 yards out. Boston played some neat passing football in the final twenty minutes, but the only chance of note created was a shot by Drewe Broughton that was well wide of the post. The defeat let Rochdale leap frog Boston leaving the Pilgrims in 21st place, just one point above the relegation places. Rochdale will be praying that Boston don't fold before the end of the season as if Boston's record is expunged, Rochdale will lose their six points gained and +7 goals from their goal difference. After the club had already missed two deadlines to pay players and staff in December and with payments still not made self proclaimed socialist Steve Evans said: "I don't want to be associated with a group of players that talk about things like having strikes". Evans is also still refusing to leave, despite his promise after the FA Cup defeat at Bournemouth that if results didn't improve he wouldn't hang around.

Boston United: Andy Marriott, Lee Canoville, Jamie Clarke, Paul Ellender, Ian Miller, David Rowson, Mark Greaves (Chris Holland 76), Jason Kennedy (David Galbraith 43), Anthony Elding, Dany N'Guessan (Brad Maylett 56), Drewe Broughton. Subs not used: Francis Green, Jamie Stevens.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2006.