Pilgrims 2-1 Winsford United
Match Report by Chris Donkin
United fans are now beginning to think the unthinkable! Come August Boston could be back in the Conference. Although it was close - and indeed the winning goal was scored 5 minutes from time - The Pilgrims are beginning to look like a championship winning side. Bastock, Gowshall, Fee, Hardy, Curtis, Withe, Appleby, Charles and Armstrong all look like Nationwide League players at the moment and the only thing that can stop the Pilgrims now is the vulnerability of a small squad. Today they thrashed Winsford 2-1!
After three minutes of the game CHARLES scored the type of goal that he has become notorious for. The ball broke to him just outside the box and he thumped it into the net with his left foot. If the York Street faithful had a feeling of deja vu it was hardly surprising - the veteran is making a habit of this.
The rest of the first half was relatively non eventful - The Pilgrims well on top without looking particularly dangerous.
The second half seemed to be going the same the same way as the first, and I was considering an afternoon nap, when Winsford scored a freak goal. A harmless lobbed through ball was floating into the Boston penalty area when suddenly it took a "Sabina Park" bounce and reared up above The Great Bald One's head. He leapt to control it but a combination of the outrageous bobble and the illegal attentions of the Winsford centre forward made the ball run loose. The Winsford number 9 (Mark CAME) had the presence of mind to run the spherical object into an empty net. Surprisingly the Ref allowed the goal to stand.
The game then reverted to its earlier pattern - Boston attacking without menace and Winsford defending in numbers. Andrew Mason was proving to be a handful. Gowshall and Withe made some promising sorties and Appleby and Charles huffed and puffed.
However it did seem unlikely that the Pilgrims could blow the house down ... and then 5 minutes from time I went to the toilet - this usually does the trick!! While I was in the urinal at the York Street end I heard first an "ooooh" then an "ohhh" and then finally a "yeeeeessssss". When I emerged I saw a joyous Steve APPLEBY being congratulated by his team mates. My good friend Jim Morrison (whose bladder is stronger than mine) tells me that Appleby finished with some aplomb from 12 yards after terrific approach play from Filson and Cook. Jim reckons that in terms of teamwork it was the best goal he has ever seen United score - and he is a regular.
A workmanlike and thoroughly professional performance from the men in amber. Steve Appleby revelled in his captain's role and his winning goal capped a fine individual display. Simon Armstrong was woefully off form, but given his outstanding contribution over the last few weeks we can forgive him. Lenny Curtis is a tremendous acquisition - a very tidy player. Len rarely gives the ball away and has a tremendous positional sense. Charles was great. He is already my player of the season and he is an inspiration to players at all levels who will never see 35 again. The others were solid - but I must mention Martin Filson's contribution. The Big Man is fast becoming a cult hero. Today he played as a centre back and he seems to be more comfortable in this position - he quite clearly prefers facing the play than trying to do something with his back to goal. His main problem is that he seems to think that he is "Roy of the Rovers". During the first half he could be heard giving advice on the "Art of Defensive Play" to Fee and Curtis. Any controversial incidents occur and Martin is sure to get involved. He was booked in the first half for becoming involved in an incident that had nothing to do with him. I keep expecting him to burst into a chorus of Gary Glitter's "I'm the leader of the gang I am". However, you can't help but admire his enthusiasm ... and he did get a Unibond League Winner's medal with Leek last season. Let's hope he doubles his collection come May.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Chris Withe, 4. Greg Fee, 5. Martin Filson, 6. Steve Charles, 7. Simon Armstrong, 8. Steve Appleby, 9. Chris Cook, 10. Andy Mason, 11. Len Curtis, 12. Danny Marshall, 14. Martin Hardy, 15. Andrew Stanhope