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Boston United Football Club News

Here is the news about the club received in the 2002/3 season, in date order with the latest news at the top.

Centre of Excellence

2 June Boston United Centre of Excellence will be starting in earnest in August 2003. Four age groups with boys ranging from 8 to 15, will be competing against the likes of Lincoln City, Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United, Chesterfield, Mansfield Town and Notts County over the season with the emphasis being on individual performances rather than results. The scheme will be run by Daral Pugh, the Head of Youth / Centre of Excellence Director and Neil Richardson, the Youth Development Officer. Intake will be small this season with a maximum of sixteen players per age group. All players that register will have a minimum of one season with the Club, apart from the under 16's who will be given a decision on their futures regarding a scholarship by Christmas. Coaching staff have been identified, although any local coaches with a UEFA 'B ' licence qualification who may be interested in joining the scheme can contact either Daral or Neil.

Coaching will take place a RAF Cranwell twice a week with the players receiving quality coaching at what is an outstanding facility. Although the scheme receives funding for the season it is still on the look out for prospective sponsors to enhance the program. Details of sponsorship are as follows:

Training Kit and Travelling Tracksuits
Under 9/1O'S £1500.00
Under 11/12'S £1500.00
Under 13/14'S £1500.00
Under 15/16'S £1500.00
Match Kit
Under 9/1O'S £1000.00
Under 11/12'S £1000.00
Under 13/14'S £1000.00
Under 15/16'S £1000.00
Staff Kit
10 People £1000.00

Again for further details on sponsorship packages contact Daral or Neil.

This is an exciting time for all connected with Boston United Centre of Excellence and it is hoped that with the backing of the public and local businesses we may well see a future home grown player represent the first team or even his country.

Support your local team.

Contact numbers:

Daral Pugh 07971 616063
Neil Richardson 07905 281891


31 May The Boston United Invitational Golf Tournament 2003 takes place at Boston Golf Club on Thursday 3 July, Lafarge Aggregates are the main tournament sponsor.

Entry Form

Contact Details:



Telephone Number:

Team Name:

  Player Club / Society Handicap

Tee off times are between 9.30am and 3.45pm, followed by a meal on completion of the round. The prize award ceremony will take place at approximately 8.30pm. The entry fee is £130.00 per team (inclusive of VAT). Teams will play as a four.

To enter please print the above Entry Form and send it with a remittance for the entry fee (payable to Boston United FC Limited) to:

John Blackwell, Boston United Football Club AM-AM, 14-16 Spain Place, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 6HN

Please state a preferred tee-time, the organisers cannot guarantee to meet a requested time but will endeavour to meet competitor's preferences on a first come first served basis.

Competition Rules

  1. The competition will be known as: “The Boston United Invitational Am-Am Golf Tournament”.
  2. The competition will be run in accordance with the R&A Rules and local rules applicable to Boston Golf Club.
  3. Competitors must be 18 years old or over on the day of the competition.
  4. There will be a handicap limit of 18. Players of a higher handicap may enter.
  5. With the exception of members of Boston Golf Club, all competitors will be required to produce a handicap certificate signed by the secretary of their home club or society. Players not having a handicap certificate must play off scratch.
  6. The competition will be a stableford competition played over 18 holes with players receiving full handicap allowance.
  7. The best two stableford scores at each of the first seventeen holes will count towards the aggregate score, with all four stableford scores at the eighteenth hole counting towards the aggregate score.
  8. The competition will be limited to teams of four amateur players, one of whom must be nominated as the team captain.
  9. The nominated captain will mark the card and sign it on completion of the round. The card will be countersigned by one other player and handed to the scorer as soon as possible after the completion of the round.
  10. The team with the best aggregate score over 18 holes will be the winners.
  11. In the event of a tie the competition will be decided on a count-back over the last nine, last six, last three, last hole.
  12. The Secretary of Boston Golf Club will act as adjudicator in the event of any dispute.

Boston United would like to thank Boston Golf Club for once again allowing them to stage the event at the premier course in the local area. As always Boston United will endeavour to maintain the high standards of previous tournaments, which have been widely acknowledged as being amongst the very best of their kind in the County.

Hole Sponsorships

Boston United would like to invite individuals and business's to be additional sponsors of the Tournament. Benefits will include:

The cost is £35.00 (inclusive of VAT) which can be for sponsoring a hole, one of the two “Longest Drive” holes, one of the four “Nearest The Pin” holes, etcetera.

To arrange sponsorship contact John Blackwell at the above address.

Season Tickets

30 May The period during which season tickets for next season are available at the discounted price expires at 12.00noon tomorrow. The club office will be open from 9.00am to 12.00noon tomorrow for the sale of season tickets.

Former Players

28 May David Town has joined Havant and Waterlooville of the Dr Martens League Premier Division.

Stevenage Borough's website has re ported that they have signed Peter Costello and James Gould.

Contracts, Golf

22 May Paul Bastock has agreed to extend his contract with Boston United for one year. Contract talks with Paul Ellender, Mark Angel and Lee Beevers are still in progress, it is hoped they will be completed by the middle of June. Neil Thompson has made an offer to another player and again hopes to have an answer by the middle of June; he is also still looking for another goalkeeper to add to the squad. Most of the squad changes were made last year, which enabled the players to get to know each other; the benefit of this will be taken into pre-season training and next season.

The Boston United Invitational Golf Tournament will take place on Thursday 3 July 2003 at Boston Golf Club; entry details will be available shortly.

Matches, Commercial

19 May The home pre-season friendly match with Grimsby Town has been re-arranged for Saturday 26 July 2003 at 3.00pm. The Lincolnshire Senior Cup match against Scunthorpe Town has been scheduled for 3.00pm on Saturday 2 August 2003 at York Street. Away pre-season friendly matches have been provisionally arranged for Goole Town on Tuesday 15 July and Lincoln United on Wednesday 16 July.

Boston United wish to augment their existing management team with the appointment of a Commercial Manager. The successful applicant will be responsible for optimising income received from all commercial opportunities from sponsorship negotiations to matchday hospitality. Previous experience in a similar role would be advantageous. Remuneration will be on the basis of a salary plus commission. To be considered for this position, apply in writing to: The Chief Executive, Boston United Football Club Limited, 14-16 Spain Place, Boston Lincolnshire, PE21 6HN.

The following announcement has appeared on the Football Association's website concerning Steve Evans: On 19 May 2003, an Appeal Board convened by The Football Association sat to hear appeals against both conviction and sentence in the case of Steve Evans. As to the appeals against conviction, these were dismissed in their entirety. As to the appeal against penalties, the decisions were as follows: the total period of suspension imposed, which was 20 months, was not reduced at all but the date from which it was to commence was put back from 3 March 2003 to 4 July 2002, the date upon which Mr Evans was suspended by Boston United Football Club; the appeal against the fines imposed was dismissed. Additionally, Mr Evans was ordered to pay a proportion of the Appeal Board's costs.

Signing, Matches

15 May Daryl Sutch has agreed to sign for Boston United on 1 July 2003 when his contract with Southend United expires. Daryl was born in Beccles on 11 September 1971; he is 6ft 0in tall. Daryl joined Norwich City as a trainee on 6 July 1990 and moved to Southend on 3 January 2003. During his career Daryl has made 365 first team appearances (60 as substitute) and scored 10 goals, he has also been capped four times at Under 21 level by England. Daryl was a member of the Norwich City team which beat Bayern Munich in a UEFA Cup match. Neil Thompson has said that he has played against Daryl a number of times. Daryl has a good pedigree and a lot of experience from playing at a higher level with Norwich City, he has a good engine and is keen as mustard to come to Boston United. Daryl may primarily be earmarked for the right back position, but he is a versatile player who can also play centre back, midfield or on the left; he will be a good addition to the squad.

Daryl's views on joining Boston United appeared in an article in the sport section of the Eastern Daily Press on Tuesday 13 May.

A pre-season friendly match has been arranged away to Lincoln United on Tuesday 15 July 2003, kick off at 7.30pm, and a match away to King's Lynn has been provisionally arranged for Thursday 24 July 2003.


13 May Saga Radio on 106.6FM are planning to have coverage of Boston United next season, along with Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Chesterfield, Mansfield Town, Notts County and Lincoln City. Saga have local news bulletins on Monday to Friday between 6.00am and 7.00pm, Saturday 7.00am to 2.00pm and Sunday 7.00am to 2.00pm, they preview matches in the afternoon before an evening match and in the morning for a midday or afternoon match and carry results the day after a match if it is a late kick off, from 5.00pm onwards.

Frank Riches, a long standing supporter of Boston United, collapsed and died last week. In recent years Frank has been working for the Alphabet Forecast to raise funds for Boston United. Frank's funeral will be at Boston Crematorium on Tuesday 20 May 2003 at 1.30pm, all are welcome.


12 May Work has commenced to prepare the York Street pitch for next season. The top layer of the pitch has been removed which has removed the shallow rooted meadow type grass and left the deeper rooted rye grass. The pitch was then slitted and verti-drained to improve drainage, circulation of air to the roots of the grass and to provide a looser base for new seed to germinate in. Next the pitch was re-seeded and covered with a new layer of top soil, the top soil was brushed to produce a level surface and remove any surplus.

A water tank has been installed underneath the Finn Forest stand to supply a pitch irrigation system to ensure the new seed and existing grass have the required amount of moisture to aid their growth.

Squad, Match, Sony

9 May Neil Thompson has advised that Simon Rusk and Ryan Clark have signed for next season. A contract has been offered to Paul Bastock, Mark Angel, Paul Ellender and Lee Beevers. Lee Thompson and Alex Higgins have been retained. Robert Dickinson who has been on loan from Ipswich Town is not being offered a contract. Peter Costello and James Gould have been released in addition to David Town and Nick Conroy. It was a tough decision to make to release these players who have given good service to Boston United and we wish them well for the future. Players already under contract for next season are Ben Chapman, Mark Greaves, Tom Bennett, Graeme Jones, Peter Duffield, Simon Weatherstone, Matthew Hocking, Neil Redfearn, Stuart Balmer, Stuart Douglas and Richard Logan. Neil is planning to meet with other players with a view to building the squad for next season.

A friendly match has been arranged away to Holbeach United on Saturday 12 July 2003, kick off at 3.00pm.

The club office will be open tomorrow from 9.00am to 11.00 for the purchase of season tickets.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire last night scooped one of the radio industry's most prestigious awards. The station's success came at the Sony Radio Academy Awards - the radio world's version of the Oscars. It won a Sony Bronze award in the event category for its coverage of Boston United's historic promotion from the Conference to the Football League. The win was revealed at a star-studded ceremony at London's plush Grosvenor House Hotel. The Sony judges had this to say about the entry:

BBC Radio Lincolnshire's coverage of one of the greatest days in Boston's history was a perfect example of a local radio station's absolute partisan reporting of a tremendous occasion for the small Fenland town. The presenters and formatting of the coverage immersed the listener in the event and conveyed a true feeling and emotion of a community rejoicing in unashamed glory. A fantastic entry based on a simple formula and true passion.”


Michael and Scott celebrating at the Sony Awards

Delighted BBC Radio Lincolnshire managing editor Charlie Partridge said: “This is an amazing achievement for the station. We always said we were happy just to be nominated but to take bronze was fantastic. We beat off competition from 5 Live's coverage of the Ryder Cup which is magnificent. It is a very proud day for us.”


7 May An additional pre-season friendly match has been arranged at home to Grimsby Town on Saturday 19 July 2003, kick off at 3.00pm.

Season Tickets

6 May Season Tickets for the 2003 / 2004 season will be available for purchase from the club office from 9.30am on Thursday 8 May 2003. The tickets are priced at: Finn Forest Stand Adults £249.00, Concessions (supporters aged 65 and over) £174.00, Juniors (supporters aged 16 and under) £119.00;
Terraces (York Street and Spayne Lane) Adults £224.00, Concessions £154.00, Juniors £99.00. There will be a discount available on a limited number of tickets for purchases before 31 May 2003 of Adults £25.00, Concessions £15.00, Juniors £10.00.

Cambridge, Season, Future

4 May Neil Thompson has commented a good end to the season which has given us a good basis to build for the future. We have finished the season in fifteenth place, our highest ever position. If we hadn't suffered the four point deduction we would have been one point behind Hull which is very creditable considering all that we have been through. Our form since the home game with Shrewsbury Town on 21 December 2002 has been good; we have won ten, drew nine and lost six matches.

Stuart Balmer tweaked his groin in the warm up before yesterdays match with Cambridge United and it was decided not to risk making the injury worse. Mark Greaves came in for his first match since his injury against Shrewsbury Town two weeks ago and had a good match, which shows the benefit of strength in depth in the squad. When Richard Logan was substituted for Mark Angel Neil wanted to change the formation and our attacking style which was vindicated by Mark's goal. Overall we played good football, especially in the first half. After Mark's goal, subconsciously we appeared to sit back, but when Cambridge equalised we were spurred on to go in search of another goal. This culminated in Simon Rusk's goal which resulted from some good attacking football on the left wing. The creditability of the performance can be gauged by appreciating that Cambridge have been challenging for a play off place for most of the season.

The progress we have made is indicated by the team for yesterday's match containing only four players who were in the team for the home fixture against Cambridge United on 28 September 2002. Neil had to make tough decisions and perform surgery on the squad during the season. We want to improve for next season to make the squad solid, but we now have a good basis to build on. There is a good nucleus in the squad under contract which can be developed further with good additions. We are looking to have a squad of 19 first team players together with five youngsters who will hopefully be pushing for a first team place by Christmas. Discussions with the players who out of contract will be held this week. David Town and Nick Conroy have been released; they have been terrific servants of the club and good professionals. Goalkeeper, Michael Price has been on loan from Leicester but it isn't planned to extend further his career with Boston United, we are, therefore, looking for another goalkeeper to provide competition for Paul Bastock. Ryan Clark from Notts County, who has been making appearances for the reserves, has been offered a contract for next season. Lee Beevers and Robert Dickinson, who have been on loan from Ipswich Town, are to have discussions this week about a contract for next season.

Neil has thanked the players for their terrific efforts this season, the supporters, the Board of Directors, Des Wood, Dave Pickett, John Blackwell and all the other staff at the club for their support during a tough season. The experience has made us stronger. The team spirit with in the squad has always been good and if we can build carefully and add quality in one or two areas we can, hopefully, make progress next season. Successful teams, such as Hartlepool United and Rushden and Diamonds this season, have had stability in their squads which enables the players to get to know each other's strengths and weaknesses and to have trust in the ability of each other.

We hope to have a quieter Summer than last year and we report back for training on Monday 30 June 2003 to begin preparing for next season. Two pre-season friendly matches have been arranged against two of Neil's former clubs; Barnsley on Wednesday 23 July and Ipswich Town on Wednesday 30 July. Joe Royle, manager of Ipswich, has been good to us this season and has said he will bring their first team squad for the match.


2 May Neil Thompson has commented that we will be aiming to finish the season on a good note with a good performance away to Cambridge United tomorrow but there isn't the pressure to gain points that there has been in past weeks. It will be a tough match tomorrow as Cambridge have been near the top of the division for most of the season but the players are capable and we have done well since Christmas. The fitness situation will be assessed today and it is not intended to risk anyone with a knock tomorrow. Alex Higgins was examined by a specialist concerning his thigh injury on Tuesday; the specialists report is still to be received but Alex will have the Summer to get right.


30 April The referee for Saturday's match away to Cambridge United is scheduled to be Graham Poll who represented the Football Association at the World Cup last year and recently took charge of the FA Cup Semi-Final between Arsenal and Sheffield United.


28 April Neil Thompson has commented on gaining a very important three points against Macclesfield Town on Saturday to maintain our Football League status through our own efforts. Neil had said to the players before the match that he wanted them to get a result so that they didn't have to come off the pitch at the end of the match having to look for other results for our league status. We played well for an hour with good passing, which had been assisted by the recent rain taking the edge off the pitch. We have now won three matches on the bounce which is a fantastic achievement considering the pressure we were under before Easter. We are now looking forward to the match with Cambridge United at the weekend and hope to finish the season on a high note.

It has been a tough season with a lot of obstacles in our way; the first four months were very difficult. It has been good to achieve maintaining our league status through our own efforts. There is a big step up from the Conference to the Third Division, tough decisions regarding the squad had to be made and were made. Over the season 12 players have come in and 12 players have left the club. The four point deduction was a big downer psychologically and if they are added back to the points we have gained show where we could have finished. Since Christmas we have averaged a point and a half per match, which if this form had been achieved over the season would have produced a mid-table finish. The season changed between the match away to Southend United and the 6-0 victory at home to Shrewsbury Town, even during the Southend match there were signs that results would pick up. The end result shows the benefit of stability due to the support of Des Wood, Dave Pickett and John Blackwell. Neil also says a big thank you is due to Neil Redfearn for his support during the season. We have a new ground to look forward to and the establishment of a Centre of Excellence and hope to make further progress next season.

Heroes of the Fifties

27 April York Street was graced by the presence of six former Boston United stars at the match against Macclesfield yesterday. General manager John Blackwell had invited the players to get together for a reunion at the club. All of them had played in the Boston United squad that had been put together by manager Ray Middleton to challenge for honours in the 1955/6 season. They went on to produce the best performance of any Boston United side up to that time. This included a record breaking away win at Derby County in the FA Cup, which was rewarded with a third round tie at Tottenham Hotspur. The side also achieved their best ever position in the Midland League, finishing as runners-up to Peterborough United.

The heroes

Don Hazledine, Ralph Robinson, Reg Howlett, Ray Wilkins, Geoff Snade, Peter Williams
(Photo by Ken Fox)

Player of the Year

27 April The annual Player of the Year awards were made after the match against Macclesfield. Paul Bastock, who has had an outstanding season, will now be spending as much time polishing trophies as he currently does windows having picked up five awards, including the main one, voted for by the club's supporters. It is ten years since he first won the award, in his initial season with the club. Ben Chapman got the York Street Veteran Supporters Award and Peter Costello received a special award from BUSA for his outstanding contribution to the club over the years - playing a key role in both the Dr. Martens League and Conference title winning sides and continuing with a successful season in the Nationwide Football League.

Paul Bastock picks up the main award

Ben Chapman gets Veteran Supporters' award

Peter Costello gets BUSA award

Photos by Colin Woodcock

Macclesfield, Awards

25 April Neil Thompson has advised that Graeme Jones and Mark Greaves are unavailable for tomorrow's match due to their respective hamstring and thigh problems. Alex Higgins came on as a substitute for 30 minutes in the reserves match against Notts County on Wednesday and still had a problem with his thigh; he is due to see a specialist next week to try to resolve the problem. Neil Redfearn is doubtful for tomorrow due to a calf injury.

There has always been a good spirit in the squad but the six points gained last weekend have given everyone a boost. There is another tough match tomorrow against Macclesfield Town who have picked up some good results lately, but our fate is in our own hands.

The annual ends of season awards are due to be presented after the match with Macclesfield Town tomorrow. The Football Association have issued a communication regarding end of season celebrations stating that they consider pitch incursions by supporters pose a threat to the safety of players, officials and spectators. In view of these instructions from the Football Association supporters will not be allowed to stand on the pitch to watch the presentation of the awards.


23 April Boston United will be pleased to welcome six members of the squad from the 1950s back to York Street for a long awaited reunion at the home match with Macclesfield Town on Saturday 26 April 2003. The former players are: Don Hazledine, Ray Wilkins, Ralph Robinson, Reg Howlett, Geoff Snade and Peter Williams; they were part of the squad which played under Ray Middleton in the epic FA Cup matches against Derby County and Tottenham Hotspur during the 1955/56 season.

Easter, Des Wood

22 April Neil Thompson has commented on a good return from the two matches over the Easter weekend and was pleased to take six points. Against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday we changed our formation to 4-3-3 for the specific circumstances of the match. We rode our luck and scored through two quality strikes from Peter Duffield and Neil Redfearn. The match went our way; it was a massive win which set us up for the match against Southend United yesterday. We were the driving force during the Southend match and deserved to get the three points.

Mark Greaves was substituted during the Shrewsbury match due to a thigh injury and is unlikely to be fit for the weekend. Richard Logan was substituted yesterday due to a persistent knee injury which is being irritated by the hard ground. Following Richard's substitution Stuart Douglas came on and did well as did fellow substitutes Mark Angel and David Town. It was a good strike from Mark from the penalty spot yesterday to secure the three points.

We now have two remaining tough matches against Macclesfield Town and Cambridge United but our fate is in our own hands.

The Boston United chairman Des Wood has told BBC Radio Lincolnshire that he will be making a planning application for his York Street relocation plans in the next few weeks. Mr Wood says the application to Boston Borough Council could come "within days rather than weeks" as soon as the Pilgrims' Football League status is assured. The Pilgrims are almost certain to retain their Division Three place, but need a point from their last two games to be mathematically safe. Mr Wood told the radio station that he hoped that if the planning process ran smoothly the Pilgrims could be in the new stadium by the 2004-2005 season. He admitted, though, that in the now unlikely event of the Pilgrims being relegated it would be "very difficult" for the move to a new stadium to go-ahead because of the funding available.
In the interview Mr Wood also talks about the appointment of Dave Pickett as the club's new chief executive, his plans to make the Pilgrims financially viable, and the club's decision to cut admission prices for Saturday's match with Macclesfield.

You can download the full 11 minute interview from the BBC Lincolnshire website at bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire

BBCi at http://www.bbc.co.uk/


21 April For the Nationwide League Third Division match at home to Macclesfield Town on Saturday 26 April 2003 the admission price will be £5.00 for all spectators who will be paying on the match day.


18 April Neil Thompson has advised that Matt Hocking, Mark Greaves and Stuart Douglas have trained this week and are available for selection against Shrewsbury Town tomorrow. Alex Higgins has tentatively returned to training, he is getting back to full fitness after being out for a long time and may be able to be considered for part of a reserves match next week. Graeme Jones had a long training session with Jim Woods yesterday where he did everything that was asked of him, but at the end of the session Graeme had a little reaction. Graeme was looking forward to the weekend's matches and was very disappointed in case he had tweaked his hamstring again as this would mean at least another week to recover.

The squad have got over the disappointment of the Hull Match, which can't be dwelt upon, and are now focussing on tomorrow's match. The players are capable and now need to get out on the pitch and earn points. It will be a tough weekend and at the moment the concentration is on Shrewsbury tomorrow.

Hull, Matches

14 April Neil Thompson has commented on a disappointing result on Saturday against Hull. We should have defended better at the free kick when Hull scored and created good chances for ourselves which we didn't capitalise on. We didn't test Alan Fettis enough; most of the shots on goal were too close to him. On the other hand we must give credit to Hull, they were big, strong and defended well and they stopped us doing what we wanted to do. Everyone was upset and hurt after the match and will now be preparing for important matches at the weekend. Our fate is still in our own hands; we have four matches left and must kick on.

Mark Angel was substituted due to having blurred vision but it is hoped he will have recovered and Matt Hocking was substituted due to a tight hamstring. It is hoped that Graeme Jones and Stuart Douglas will be available again for the matches at the weekend.

On Wednesday the reserves are at home to Hull (kick off at 7.00pm) who are the new champions of the Avon Insurance League Eastern Division.

This afternoon at York Street in the Final of the Holland Schools Pitcher Cup Giles School beat Donington Cowley School 3-1.

In the Lincolnshire Senior Cup for 2003 / 2004 Boston United have been drawn away to Scunthorpe United. The competition has a new format whereby the Lincolnshire Senior Cup is to be contested by four clubs: Boston United, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City and Scunthorpe United. The other clubs who have taken part in the Cup in previous seasons will be in a different competition.


11 April Neil Thompson has reported that there are one or two injury concerns in preparation for tomorrow's match with Hull. Stuart Douglas has not trained all week due to a groin injury and Graeme Jones will not be available due to his hamstring problem but it is hoped he will ready for next weekend. It will be a big match tomorrow; it should be one of the highlights of the season, with a big crowd and a good atmosphere. The players are up for the match and we need to get results.

Hull tickets NOT for sale on Saturday

8 April The Nationwide League Third Division at home to Hull on Saturday 12 April 2003 is all ticket for both home and away supporters. Ticket sales for the home areas are going very fast, the remaining tickets are on sale until 7.30pm on Friday 11 April 2003 from the club office in Spain Place during normal office hours. Admission to the ground for the match will not be allowed without a ticket.

The Avon Insurance fixture at home to Darlington has been re-arranged for Monday 28 April 2003 at 7.00pm.

On Wednesday 30 April 2003 the Lincolnshire County FA Senior B Cup Final will be played at York Street between Sleaford Town and Harrowby United.


7 April Neil Thompson was disappointed with the performance away to Leyton Orient on Saturday, we started poorly and Orient looked sharper, possibly because they had had a week without a match. We looked lethargic and didn't deal with balls at the back as we have been doing. It was commendable to score two goals away from home but we shot ourselves in the foot by conceding three goals. We didn't clear our lines as well as we have been doing, on the bobbly pitch we needed to get to the bounce of the ball. We had enough of the ball but weren't at the races; overall it was a poor performance.

We picked up a few knocks on Saturday, Peter Duffield had been suffering with flu symptoms during the week and Mark Greaves and Stuart Balmer came off due to knocks to their knees but hopefully they will be ready for Saturday. Simon Rusk and David Town should be available this week but Graeme Jones is unlikely to be ready and Alex Higgins is getting their slowly. We need to get back to what we have been doing.


3 April The Lincolnshire Echo has reported that Simon Rusk and Matt Hocking have both signed year extensions to their contracts and that Mark Greaves, Paul Bastock and James Gould are still mulling over similar proposals.


1 April At half-time in tomorrow's match with Wrexham, in conjunction with the Football Association, there will be a presentation of cheques to organisations nominated by Boston United to receive money from the Football Community Shield Fund which comes from the FA Community Shield Match played prior to the start of the season. The organisations nominated by Boston United are LIVES First Responders and Boston and South Holland Blind Society.

Torquay, Trophy

31 March Neil Thompson was delighted with the performance on Saturday against Torquay United, we played well to create a lot of chances and Torquay's goalkeeper made some good saves. We gained a good point and more than held our own against one of the better footballing teams in the division. We went a goal down the players were disappointed for a few minutes but we showed good resilience to respond and score an equaliser.

Paul Bastock collided with the post during the match but he showed a terrific attitude in carrying on with the match. The swelling went down after the match and Paul appears to be OK. Neil Redfearn and Mark Greaves incurred knocks to their knees and they will be assessed to day for the match with Wrexham on Wednesday. Every match is massive for us now, Wrexham are a good team who play good football under Dennis Smith but we're in good form ourselves.

The Nationwide Conference Championship Trophy was today returned to the Conference Office in accordance with the rules of the competition.

The Lincolnshire County Under 16 Cup Final will take place at York Street on Sunday 6 April 2003 at 11.30am between Boston Town Juniors and Ermine Junior Colts. Admission is £1.00 for adults and free for concessions.


28 March The squad were planning to leave Boston>at 10.00am this morning to travel to Torquay and hopefully have a training session when they arrive this afternoon to get the journey out of their legs. Neil Thompson has advised that Simon Rusk and David Town are unavailable due to their hamstring strains but they hope to be available again next week. Alex Higgins is making slow progress with his thigh injury but he hopes to be playing again within the next ten days. Lee Thompson is unavailable as he is still recovering from the operation on his knee. Stuart Douglas has a slight groin strain, he has been nursed through recent matches and training sessions and is expected to be available.

For the run in to the end of the season we need luck with the number of players attending the treatment room, but the situation is better than earlier in the season when there were eight or nine players needing treatment. There is a good team spirit in the squad, the players are up for matches, the players know the importance of the League position and their attitude is spot on.

Lee Beevers and Robert Dickinson have joined us this week from Ipswich Town; they have been at a good club and brought up in the right way. Lee and Robert give us more numbers in the squad, they have been signed with a view to the future but depending upon how things develop they may also get an opportunity this season.

Signings, Released, Radio

27 March The loan signings of Lee Beevers and Robert Dickinson were completed earlier today.

Mark Clifford has left Boston United; his contract was cancelled by mutual consent this afternoon. Mark is talking to Burton Albion, Nuneaton Borough and Halesowen Town with a view to joining them for the rest of the season.

Boston United's historic promotion to the Football League could still be a winner a year on - for BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

The station's coverage has been nominated for a top radio industry award. It's been short listed at The Sonys in the Event category. But it faces tough competition from the likes of Radio Five Live's coverage of the Ryder Cup and the Cheltenham Festival.

Jubilant BBC Radio Lincolnshire managing editor Charlie Partridge said: “We're thrilled to even be nominated for an award. The Sonys are the radio version of the Oscars. The best people in business will be there for the awards night and for our coverage to be sitting alongside huge outside broadcasts like the Ryder Cup and Cheltenham is outstanding. “Our broadcasts really captured the imagination of our listeners and this nomination is just rewards for the fantastic effort our staff put into the coverage.”

The station's nomination centres on a six-hour live programme which included full-match commentary of Boston's last-day 2-0 victory at Hayes which clinched the championship for the Pilgrims.

Sports producer Michael Hortin said: “We spent weeks planning our coverage of Boston's championship run-in, not knowing how it would end or whether or not it would go to the final day of the season.

“On the air fans hear people like myself, Rob Underwood and Scott Dalton, but behind us there is a dedicated team that keeps things running smoothly and this nomination is a huge recognition for them as well,” he added.

The winners will be announced at a star-studded ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in London on May 8.


Maybe Dreams Do Come True - BBC Radio Lincolnshire

The Ryder Cup - BBC Radio Five Live

Cheltenham> Festival - BBC Radio Five Live

The Queen's Visit to Harewwood - BBC Radio Leeds

The Jubilee Long Weekender - 95.8 Captial FM

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Charlie Partridge, Andy Farrant or Michael Hortin on 01522 511411.


26 March Boston United are currently in talks with Lee Beevers and Robert Dickinson with a view to signing them on loan from Ipswich Town until the end of the season. Lee is a defender who was born in Doncaster on 4 December 1983; he is 6ft 2in tall and joined Ipswich as a trainee on 1 July 2002. Robert is a midfield player who was born in Leeds on 27 November 1983; he is 5ft 9in tall and joined Ipswich as a trainee on 1 August 2001.

The Standard has reported that Peter Costello has been put on the transfer list at his own request.

Rushden, Fixture

24 March Neil Thompson thought we gained a good point against Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday, he felt we were the better team in the first half and were resilient when Rushden put us under pressure in the second half. Rushden are a good team with quality in a number of positions. There was a good goal from Graeme Jones; he is a quality striker who has been scoring good goals over the years. Graeme is a good addition to the squad; he is a different type of player to the other strikers and gives us different options. Simon Rusk tweaked his hamstring just before he was substituted. Simon has just returned from injury and puts everything into the match, it is hoped the injury isn't serious and he may be unavailable for two weeks.

The situation in the league table is very tight, we need to keep performing to give ourselves a chance. A positive aspect is that Rushden's goal was only the second conceded at York Street since the New Year.

The transfer deadline is this Thursday (27 March); Neil is hoping to bring in two players, possibly in loan, to bolster the squad for the run in to the end of the season.

The Avon Insurance League match at home to Scunthorpe has been re-arranged for Monday 7 April 2003, kick off at 7.00pm. The match was originally scheduled for Wednesday 2 April but has been moved due to the Nationwide League Third Division match at home to Wrexham being re-arranged for this date. The new date will mean the reserves will have two fixtures that week as they are away to Darlington on Wednesday 9 April, kick off at 2.00pm.

Signed, Released

21 March Striker, Graeme Jones, has signed a contract with Boston United until the end of next season after obtaining release from his contract with Southend United. Graeme was born in Gateshead> on 13 March 1970; he is 6ft 0in tall. Graeme commenced his career with Bridlington Town on 1 August 1992 and has since played for Doncaster Rovers, Wigan Athletic, St Johnstone and Southend United. During his career Graeme has made 299 first team appearances (57 as substitute) and scored 90 goals.

Boston United have released Liam George who has been on non-contract terms.

Rushden, Hull City

20 March For the match with Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday the Pelican Crossing on John Adams Way at the end of Spayne Road nearest to the end of the ground used by away supporters is closed. People using the NCP Car Park off John Adams Way will have to cross it at Rowley Road or at the junction with Main Ridge.

The home fixture with Hull City on Saturday 12 April 2003 will be all ticket for both home and away supporters. The tickets will go on sale next week, the times and dates will be announced later.

Boston United hope to sign a new striker tomorrow.

Rochdale, Wrexham

17 March Neil Thompson was disappointed with the performance on Saturday at Rochdale where both teams struggled to get going on the bobbly pitch. There was an unusual match atmosphere with the bright sun, breeze and bobbly pitch. We had enough of the ball but didn't take sufficient responsibility and it was a match where one mistake was likely to be decisive. We waited for things to happen and weren't as positive as we need to be to make things happen. The players are capable and will now prepare for another big match at home to Darlington on Wednesday. The teams who can get away from the bottom of the table will be those who can find another gear.

The home fixture with Wrexham has been re-arranged for Wednesday 2 April 2003, kick off at 7.45pm. The scheduled Avon Insurance fixture with Scunthorpe United for this date has now been postponed with a new date to be arranged.


14 March When we played Carlisle last Saturday, Neil Thompson felt that we bossed the game, created decent opportunities, were disciplined and professional but didn't put the ball in the net. A positive aspect was that we gained a point and prevented Carlisle from going above us.

The Reserves had a good win on Wednesday against York. Of the trialists Ryan Clark and Robert Dickinson did well, David Town scored the goal and Mark Greaves had the opportunity for a game. The match was a good opportunity to have a look at a few people in a match situation.

For tomorrow's match away to Rochdale Richard Logan, Stuart Douglas and Peter Duffield all have knocks, bumps and bruises, but it is hoped that two of them will be fit to start the match. Richard Logan has had a problem with his knee for a couple of weeks and has been nursed through training and matches; against Carlisle the problem was restricting his movement which necessitated his substitution. Alex Higgins is still unavailable due to his thigh injury. Simon Rusk played the full 90 minutes for the reserves on Wednesday and Jamie Gould played for part of the match.

Radio One

10 March This evening Boston United were visited by Mark Chapman and Comedy Dave of Radio One. Mark and Dave are visiting all 92 League clubs this week; they started their journey at Carlisle United at 5.00pm on Friday 7 March and plan to complete their tour this Friday. At each club they visit Mark and Dave are collecting memorabilia which is being used as the prize in a competition being run by Radio One for Red Nose Day. Boston United have donated a football signed by the squad, a championship scarf and a copy of the 2003 Boston United calendar.

Swansea, Carlisle

7 March Neil Thompson has advised that in the circumstances we gained a valuable point at Swansea on Tuesday and watching the video emphasised the view that we were the better team. It was a tight game but we created the better opportunities, even when we done to ten and nine men. The referee had a
disappointing match, it wasn't a dirty match but there were a lot of bookings, it is a contact sport and there was a lot at stake.

There is a fantastic team spirit in the squad; there is a togetherness and a willingness to work hard for each other which comes from getting results. In the circumstances on Tuesday there was a huge sense of achievement in drawing the match and preventing Swansea from gaining three points. Every game is important and the players want to do well and stay in the division. The nature of the Third Division this season is that all games will be hard as there are few teams in no-mans land. This can help with the tempo of games.

No new major injuries were incurred on Tuesday; just the expected knocks and bruises. Mark Greaves is available again for tomorrow's match with Carlisle United. Nick Conroy is out due to his broken fingers. Jamie Gould is not expected to be available due to his hamstring strain but it is hoped he will be able to appear in the reserves match next week. Alex Higgins will need longer to recover from his thigh injury which is taking longer to mend than was expected. Alex is disappointed about the injury as he is desperate to get playing again. It is hoped to bring in players to strengthen the squad, either permanently or on loan, before the transfer deadline date later this month.


5 March Ross Weatherstone joined Nuneaton Borough on a free transfer yesterday.


3 March Neil Thompson was disappointed that we didn't get anything from the match with Oxford United on Saturday; as we were playing a top six side, this shows how far we have come. It was a strange game with a strange atmosphere, we had enough possession but we weren't positive enough and were poor defensively for Oxford's goals. For Oxford's first goal we conceded a free-kick and then didn't defend the cross and we were disjointed for their second goal. We didn't ask enough questions of Oxford's defence and until the last 15 minutes our tempo was too low. We possibly played too deep, but showed what we are capable of in patches.

We shall now re-group this morning for the big game against Swansea tomorrow evening, which we shall approach in a positive frame of mind and intend to ask questions of them. No new injury problems are anticipated. Mark Angel is available following his suspension. Neil Redfearn and Stuart Balmer are expected to be available following their injury problems. Stuart Douglas has scored goals after coming on as a substitute recently. Alex Higgins and Simon Rusk are expected to recommence training this week; it will be a boost to the squad to have them back.

Transfer, Oxford

28 February Jamie Cook has today joined Stevenage Borough who have taken over his contract.

Neil Thompson has advised that Paddy McCarthy has decided not to join Boston United permanently at the moment and to stay with Manchester City. Paddy has done well for us during the three months he was on loan and we wish him well for the future.

Alex Higgins is still recovering from his thigh strain and is not fully fit. Simon Rusk is still recovering from his injury. Jamie Gould is not available due to the hamstring injury he suffered last week against Kidderminster Harriers. Neil Redfearn is getting over his calf injury; he has done a bit of running and may be able to be considered for a place on the bench tomorrow. Stuart Balmer is a major doubt for tomorrow due to a groin strain. Mark Angel is unavailable due to suspension. Lee Thompson has had an operation for a problem below his knee which is likely to take 12 weeks to recover from; therefore he is likely to miss the remainder of the season. Nick Conroy will be unavailable due to his broken fingers. Peter Costello is due to be assessed to see if there is any reaction following his appearance for the reserves on Wednesday. The reserves match with Scarborough was a good opportunity to give a trial to some players who are available and for members of the squad who haven't played much lately, such as Mark Greaves, to have 90 minutes in a match situation.

Oxford United will present us with a massive challenge tomorrow. It will be a tough game, Oxford are an aggressive team and their manager, Ian Atkins, knows this division well. The injury problems amongst the squad will give opportunities to other players.

The Great BBC Radio Lincolnshire Pub Quiz, raising money for Comic Relief takes place on Friday 7 March 2003, the quiz starts at 8.00pm so. There are two simultaneous quizzes being held in Executive Club at Lincoln City FC and the Sports Bar at Boston United FC. The entry fee is £3 per person, with a maximum of five per team. There will be prizes for best teams at each venue and another prize for best team overall! Presenter Melvyn Prior is the compere at Sincil Bank and Scott Dalton is fronting the show at York Street.

Chapman, Bennett

26 February Ben Chapman has extended his contract until the end of next season.

BBC Teletext page 312 has reported that Stockport County would like to sign Tom Bennett.

The team for the Avon Insurance match with Scarborough this afternoon included the following trialists. Ryan Clark a defender from Notts County. Manny Muscat a midfielder from Australia. Keith Gilroy a midfielder from Middlesbrough. Steve Ferguson, a midfield player from Leeds United. Arturo Bernhardt a Brazilian striker from Middlesbrough who scored two of the goals against Scarborough.


24 February Neil Thompson was pleased the performance against Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday; he thought we played well, did the right things, were professional, created chances and deserved the win. After the match the supporters were happy which gave the players satisfaction. During February we have won three matches and lost one, the players can be pleased with this. The basis is there but we need to keep replicating these performances.

Paul Ellender was terrific; he and Tom Bennett complimented each other well. Paul has had a long spell out through injury which has restricted his chances, but he is professional and always tries his best. Paul won the ball and passed it well, which gave licence to other players to get on the ball. Liam George did well on his home debut, he did the things asked of him and fitted in well with the other players. Simon Weatherstone has had a tough time lately but he has stayed strong. Simon's goal will give him a confidence boost, he struck the ball and it is what Simon is good at. Peter Duffield complimens the other players very well; he is a clever footballer who comes deep to give us variety and options. James Gould suffered a hamstring injury and could be unavailable for two to three weeks. Paddy McCarthy's loan spell has been completed, we have offered him something but he has a lot to think about. Paddy has done well for us and we would like to keep him, he is quick, aggressive and has a terrific attitude.

There are 14 games left to the end of the season and we need to get on with the job. This game can turn on its head very quickly and there are likely to be more twists and turns to come.

The Avon Insurance League match away to Mansfield Town has been re-arranged for Wednesday 30 April 2003; kick off at 2.00pm.

Balmer, Kidderminster

21 February Stuart Balmer has today signed a contract with Boston United until the end of the 2003/2004 season and the registration has been accepted by the Football League.

Neil Thompson has advised that yesterday Stuart Balmer agreed a deal for the rest of this season and next season and Neil is delighted to have agreed the deal with Stuart. Stuart has done very well in the two months he has been with Boston United, he is enjoying being with Boston United and what we are trying to do, and he has earned the respect of everyone at the club. So far this season the loan deals have worked well. Neil is in discussions with Paddy McCarthy's agent regarding extending his career with Boston United.

Simon Rusk is back running and is expected to be two weeks away from returning to full training. Peter Costello has trained for two days and may be available for selection tomorrow. Alex Higgins thigh injury is taking longer to recover than was originally expected and may be available again next week. Neil Redfearn's calf injury will cause him to miss the match tomorrow but at a push he may be available for selection at Oxford next week. Nick Conroy is out of action with his broken fingers. Lee Thompson
still has a problem with his knee, he has done a bit of training this week and had a scan, next week he is due to see the specialist to see the results of the scan and decide on any action which is required. Mark Angel and Mark Greaves are unavailable due to suspension.

The postponement of the match with Wrexham on Wednesday disrupted the plans for the match and would have used up the suspensions currently in force, but it also gave the injured players an opportunity to recover. We expect another tough game with Kidderminster Harriers tomorrow, they are a good
attacking, footballing team, but we shall concentrate on our own game. The pitch softened up yesterday and hopefully the frost won't cause a problem tomorrow.

Wrexham, Radio

19 February Tonight's scheduled match with Wrexham was postponed following a pitch inspection at 11.00am due to the pitch on the Spain Road side of the ground being frozen. The mew date for the match is still to be arranged.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire Managing Editor, Charlie Partridge, has issued the following statement in response to correspondence received on the coverage of last Saturday's match at Exeter.

"I was impressed by the number of the letters and e-mails we have received from Boston United fans. What surprised me was the number of people who were clearly having difficulty picking up commentary on AM. There is also a lot of comment and discussion by people who are clearly passionate about their team and radio coverage. I don't think we should ignore people who have taken the trouble to contact us with their concerns in this way. I have therefore had a rethink of our coverage and for the rest of the season I think we need to revert to the system of "away team on FM" for both Boston and Lincoln. We will continue to provide our extra bonus commentary of home games on medium wave till the end of the season.

We may though for editorial reasons need to reassess this during the run in. For example if Lincoln drop of the playoff race and Boston United are still involved in the relegation fight or vice versa."

Michael Horton commented “So the bottom line is home on MW away on FM till the end of the season, subject to any need for editorial decisions. I will be interviewing Charlie on Sporting Lincs this week about coverage.”


18 February Due to the injury to Nick Conroy Boston United have taken Michael Price on loan for one month from Leicester and he is included in the squad for tomorrow's match with Wrexham. Michael was born in Newcastle on 4 March 1983; he is 6ft 3in tall. Michael joined Leicester as a trainee on 1 August 2001 and has yet to make a first team appearance.

Boston United would like to thank the Head Teacher and Staff at Boston High School who allowed them to use the indoor facilities at the school to train when they were unable to train outside due to frozen ground.

Heavy overnight frost has caused a problem on the Spain Road side of the pitch at York Street. Arrangements have been made with the Football League for the pitch to be inspected tomorrow morning at around 11.00am to see if the match with Wrexham can go ahead.

Mark Clifford has returned from his one month loan with Chester and today he has gone out on loan to Ilkeston Town for one month.


17 February Neil Thompson has advised that we gained three valuable points on Saturday. We well deserved the victory and were the better team throughout the match, even though we didn't play to our full potential but we showed battling qualities. Everyone played their part without being spectacular, Paul Bastock had a good game and the other lads at the back deserve a mention. We were the more likely team to score, there was a good opening goal from Neil Redfearn, and we played with a lot of spirit and character.

During this week Neil will be looking to extend Stuart Balmer's stay with Boston United. Stuart has done well for us; he is a good character and a good influence on the other players. There are some more tough games coming up where we will again have to cope with players missing through injury and suspension.

Nick Conroy was injured his hand during the warm up for the match at Exeter, he went to hospital after the match where it was discovered he had broken two fingers. Nick is expected to be unavailable for three to four weeks. Boston United are searching for a replacement goalkeeper.

Today's scheduled Avon Insurance match away to Mansfield Town was called off due to a frozen pitch following a pitch inspection at 11.00am. The match is to be re-arranged.


14 February Neil Thompson has advised that Peter Costello and Simon Rusk are not available for selection due to their long term injuries. Alex Higgins is not expected to be available due to the thigh strain he incurred last week; it is hoped that Alex, together with Peter Costello, will be able to take part in training on Monday. Lee Thompson is 50/50 to be available. Lee has a problem with his knee, which may be his cartilage; he is due to have a scan next week to see if the problem can be solved by microsurgery. In addition to these injury problems Mark Angel and Mark Greaves aren't available due to suspension.

Liam George has signed non-contract terms, after having a good match for the reserves on Wednesday, to enable us to have a longer look at him. Liam can play in midfield, up front, or play as a link between the two; he is bright and has talent. Liam had a good start to his career with Luton Town but may have suffered from a loss in form since then.


13 February Liam George, who played for the Reserves last night, has signed non-contract terms with Boston United. Forward player, Liam was born in Luton on 2 February 1979; he is 5ft 9in tall. Liam commenced his career with Luton Town on 1 August 1997 and has also played for Clydebank, Stevenage Borough and Bury; he has made 142 first team appearances (35 as substitute) and scored 26 goals. Liam left Bury on 31 January 2003 prior to which he appeared as a substitute against Boston United in the league match at Gigg Lane on 18 January 2003.

Mark Angel and Mark Greaves shall miss the matches against Exeter and Wrexham due to suspension. Mark Angel is also suspended for the next match against Kidderminster Harriers due to accumulating five yellow cards.


12 February Anthony Elding has been recalled from his one month loan with Gainsborough Trinity and at 12.00noon today he signed an eighteen month contact with Stevenage Borough.

The reserves team for tonight's match with Hartlepool United featured three trialists. Ryan Clark, a right-back from Notts County, Paul Thornton a midfield player who has been with Chelsea and Liam George a forward who stated his career with Luton Town and was with Bury until 31 January 2003.

Fixture, Scunthorpe

10 February The Nationwide League Division Three fixture at home to Wrexham is now being played on Wednesday 19 February 2003, kick off at 7.45pm, therefore the Avon Insurance League match away to Mansfield Town is now scheduled to be played at Field Mill Mansfield on Monday 17 February 2003, kick off at 2.00pm.

Neil Thompson was delighted with the match against Scunthorpe United on Saturday; the win gave everyone a lift. Following the previous match against Bournemouth when we conceded two late goals we showed character to bounce back and achieve a victory against Scunthorpe. We played well in the first 20 minutes, the second half was more scrappy and Scunthorpe appeared to sit back but we kept at it. When Scunthorpe were reduced to ten men we changed the formation to try to put more pressure on them.

Stuart Balmer reported a calf strain at half-time which hopefully isn't too serious. Stuart's substitution was more for tactical reasons, to enable the formation to be changed to be more adventurous, than due to his injury. Stuart's current loan spell expires after the Exeter match at the weekend, Neil is looking to extend Stuart's stay with Boston United. Ben Chapman was substituted due to attack of cramp, which he should soon recover from; this wasn't helped by the sticky pitch. Richard Logan had a mainly quiet game but he showed good awareness to score the goal with a good header. Shortly afterwards he was unfortunate not to set up Peter Duffield for a second goal. Richard showed good football intelligence in being aware of the opportunity and reacting quickly. Peter Duffield also showed good awareness and intelligence in his first home match for the club, he demonstrated he is a good link player between the midfield and forwards. Mark Greaves worked hard in covering a lot of ground to close down Scunthorpe's players. Overall every player made a contribution, the lads at the back did their job, Scunthorpe's wide players are dangerous, and the wide players got forward and helped to prevent Scunthorpe's full backs from overlapping. Maybe we could have given Mark Angel more of the ball to create more chances.

Over the last nine matches we have won three, drawn five and lost one. In the same period we have conceded three late goals, a penalty against Bristol Rovers and two goals against Bournemouth. This is a credit to everyone and shows the progress we are making.

Signing, Scunthorpe

7 February Stuart Douglas has signed an extension to his contract with Boston United to keep him with the club until the end of next season.

Anthony Elding has joined Gainsborough Trinity on loan for one month and he is in the squad for their match with Gateshead tomorrow.

Paul Hart and Brian Hardie have left Boston United by mutual consent.

Neil Thompson has reported that following last Saturday's match with Bournemouth the squad had a discussion about the match on Monday and then got back on track to prepare for tomorrow's match with Scunthorpe United. Peter Costello and Simon Rusk are expected to miss the match due to their long-term injuries. Alex Higgins is doubtful due to a thigh injury he picked up in the friendly match against Rushden & Diamonds on Wednesday. Alex is hoping the medical specialists have resolved his illness problem; he has a good first touch and a desire to succeed. Peter Duffield has had a week's training to become more familiar with the rest of the squad; he is intelligent and experienced and should be a valuable addition to the squad.

The match at Rushden on Wednesday was arranged at short notice following the cancellation of the Avon Insurance League match against Darlington. The match was a good opportunity for players to have time on the pitch in a match situation.

Tomorrow's opponents, Scunthorpe United, are a decent team; most of their players have been together for a few years.

Rushden, Scunthorpe

6 February Yesterday's friendly match at Rushden & Diamonds was abandoned after 75 minutes due to freezing weather conditions; Tony Battersby scored one of Rushden's goals.

Saturday's match with Scunthorpe United has been designated a Select Match, whereby Premiership officials are appointed to take charge of a Nationwide League match. The team of officials on Saturday will be headed by referee Andy D'urso, last night Mr D'urso took charge of the Sunderland versus Blackburn Rovers FA Cup match which went into extra time and was eventually won by Sunderland after a penalty shoot out.

The new President of the Football League, Sir Brian MaWhinney MP, will be attending Saturday's match.

Yorkshire Television will be recording Saturday's match with the intention of showing it as the main match on their Goals on Sunday programme, which is scheduled to be broadcast at 2.00pm on Sunday 9 February 2003.

Paul Ellender, Boston United's record transfer signing, has requested a transfer and all clubs have been notified.

Postponed, Radio

5 February This evening's Avon Insurance League match with Darlington> was postponed due to a frozen pitch, the decision was made at a pitch inspection at 10.00am. Following the postponement of the Darlington match an away friendly with Rushden & Diamonds was quickly arranged for 4.00pm. A strong Rushden team won the match 3-1 with David Town scoring Boston United's goal.

Two new dedicated radio services from BBC Radio Lincolnshire for Lincoln City and Boston United fans will start on Saturday.

With both the Imps and the Pilgrims involved in thrilling climaxes to the end of the season, BBC Radio Lincolnshire will be providing full match commentary from ALL of Lincoln's and Boston's remaining fixtures both home and away.

94.9FM and 104.7FM will become the dedicated home for match coverage for Lincoln; while Boston United fans will be able to tune into 1368 medium wave for specialised coverage of their team.

“With Lincoln hoping to get in the play-offs and Boston trying to stay up we didn't want either set of fans to miss a kick of what promises to be an amazing climax to the season for both teams,” explained BBC Radio Lincolnshire sports producer Michael Hortin. “By splitting our frequencies it means we can give both sets of fans the full picture,” he added.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire's managing editor Charlie Partridge commented: “By the end of the season we will have broadcast more live commentary games than ever before. Having dedicated services for both clubs shows our commitment to covering the whole county. It is also the biggest investment we've ever made in Lincolnshire sport and means each week we'll undertake a huge outside broadcast operation.”

The new era starts on Saturday to coincide with double derby weekend with Lincoln's match at Hull on 94.9 and 104.7FM frequencies and Boston United's clash at York Street; with Scunthorpe United on 1368 medium wave.

The commentaries will be backed up by the usual pre-match and post-match coverage which will be broadcast on all frequencies as part of Saturday Sport between 2.00pm and 6.00pm.

For more information contact Michael Hortin or Charlie Partridge on 01522 511411 or go to the BBC's website for Lincolnshire at bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire.

The Standard has reported that Paul Ellender has requested to be placed on the transfer list and that former Mansfield Town assistant manager, Neil Richardson, has been appointed as Daryl Pugh's assistant at the Pilgrim's Centre of Excellence.


3 February Neil Thompson has advised that the whole of the dressing room felt down and found it difficult to accept the result of the match against Bournemouth on Saturday. Before conceding two late goals, we had done well to go in front and deserved something from the match; Sean O'Driscoll manager of Bournemouth, agreed with this sentiment. After Mark Greaves was sent off we reorganised and still did well, creating two good chances for Simon Weatherstone and Richard Logan. We did well for 92 minutes of the match and were surprised when four minutes of injury time were announced. Peter Duffield did well in his first match; he played some intelligent passes and will be a good addition to the squad.

We have to take Saturday's result on the chin and re-group, there is a third of the season left and plenty of points to play for, and we can't dwell on this result. We have to keep going and during this week we have to get everyone bubbly again ready for the match with Scunthorpe at the weekend.

For the match with Scunthorpe United on Saturday visiting supporters are to use turnstiles 7, 8, 9 and 10 at the Town End of the ground only. A group of Premiership officials will take charge of the match, led by referee Andy D'urso.

People planning to attend the Avon Insurance match against Darlington on Wednesday (kick off at 7.00pm) are advised to check the state of the ground as there is currently a lot of snow on the pitch.


31 January The registration of Peter Duffield has been completed.

Neil Thompson has advised that Simon Rusk and Peter Costello are not available for tomorrow's match at Bournemouth due to their long-term injuries. Stuart Douglas has not travelled to Bournemouth due to his ankle injury. Richard Logan has been laid up with flu this week; his fitness will be assessed tomorrow. David Town and Mark Angel are available following their recent illness problems. Peter Duffield suffered a bump on the back of his leg whilst playing for York at Hull last weekend, he will be assessed tomorrow. Alex Higgins played the full 90 minutes for the reserves against Lincoln City on Wednesday but he suffered in relapse in training yesterday and has not travelled to Bournemouth. Alex is currently having a tough time, he has a lot to offer, and he is now trying to maintain his general fitness whilst the medical specialists get his medication right ready for a return for first team football.

Neil his delighted to have Peter Duffield in the squad, he is a player Neil has admired for a few years. Peter is an experienced goal poacher who can sniff out chances, he has already scored 15 goals this season and being different to the other strikers will give us variety and more options. The best of Peter may be seen in future weeks as he shows the benefit of more time and familiarity with the rest of the squad.

The reserves had a good match against Lincoln City on Wednesday; there was a good attitude and a lot of plusses. Simon Weatherstone scored three goals to give his confidence a boost. Lee Beevers did Ok, he is strong and aggressive. Neil is planning to have another look at Lee in a future reserves match as he is not out of the plans. The match was good for Mark Angel following his recent illness problems and Lee Thompson came through the match following his problem with a sore knee last week.

Signing, FA Hearing

30 January At 6.00pm today Boston United signed striker Peter Duffield from York. Peter was born in Middlesbrough on 4 February 1969; he is 5ft 6in tall. During his career Peter has made 485 first team appearances (96 as substitute) and has scored 153 goals, 15 of the goals have been this season including one in York's victory over Boston United at Bootham Crescent on 26 August 2002. Peter commenced his career with Sheffield United and has also played for Halifax Town, Rotherham United, Blackpool, Crewe Alexandria, Stockport County, Hamilton, Airdrie, Raith Rovers, Morton, Falkirk and Darlington. Earlier today Neil Thompson served 14 days notice to the Administrators of York City, pursuant to clause 17 of Peter's contract with York. The Administrators waived the 14 days notice and gave Peter his immediate release from his contract. Neil and John Blackwell then immediately drove to Yorkshire to meet Peter where he signed a contract until the end of next season. Peter should be available for the squad for Saturday's match at Bournemouth.

The Football Association's website has reported that Steve Evans has been given a full suspension of 20 months commencing on 3 March 2003, a fine of £8,000 and a contribution towards the cost of the commission. Pat Malkinson has been given a suspension of 13 months commencing on 3 March 2003, a fine of £5,250 and a contribution to the costs of the commission.

FA Hearing

28 January BBC Radio Lincolnshire will have extensive coverage of the Football Association's hearing in Birmingham on Wednesday. It will rule what punishment former manager Steve Evans and previous chairman Pat Malkinson will face after being found guilty of charges relating to an investigation into contract irregularities. The hearing starts at 10am and an announcement is expected around two to three hours later. Radio Lincolnshire's coverage starts in William Wright's Breakfast Show from 7am and continues throughout the day. Reporter Scott Dalton will be in Birmingham and will break into programmes as soon as the verdict is delivered. There'll also be reaction in Lincolnshire Tonight from 5pm and extensive coverage on the BBC website for Lincolnshire.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire is on 94.9FM and 1368 MW.
BBCi Lincolnshire is at bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire

BBCi at http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Bristol Rovers

27 January Neil Thompson was disappointed not to win the match against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, he felt we had two or three good chances in the first half and were the better team in the second half. It was a tense, scrappy and the sticky pitch wasn't conducive to good football. There was a good defensive performance again; over the last seven matches we have conceded three goals. Stuart Balmer had a good game again; he is experienced with a lot of knowledge and is a good influence on the other players which it is hoped will continue. If it is possible it would be good to have Stuart's services on a permanent basis.

During the match Ben Chapman suffered a knee in his backside which had an effect similar to a dead leg; he should recover in the next few days. Lee Thompson reported a sore knee after the match and is doubtful for next weekend. Stuart Douglas suffered another kick on the same ankle as his previous injury; again this should clear up this week. Mark Angel trained in the week and played for the reserves on Wednesday, but on Saturday he suffered a stomach illness and had to miss the match. Mark's creativity was missed against Bristol Rovers.

The Third Division is tight at the bottom, as it is at the top, the teams in mid-table will be looking over their shoulders for teams below them putting a winning run together. There is a fine balance between playing defensive football and free flowing football, in the past we have given the opposition a two or three goal start before we started to play ourselves. Now that we aren't conceding goals so easily we can gain points by taking chances to score. We now need a big push to get us up the table; two or three consecutive wins would put us in mid-table. There is still a lot to play for, especially if we can turn draws into victories. We could have won all of the last seven match and some of them have against teams at the top of the table.

The Lincolnshire Echo has reported that Mark Angel has been offered a year's extension to his current contract.

Ipswich Town's website has reported that Lee Beevers, a 19 year old defender, will play for Boston United in the reserves match against Lincoln City on Wednesday on a trial basis. Lee has been told he can leave pswich Town on a free transfer and he has been capped by Wales at the under 19 level.

Bristol, McCarthy

23 January Neil Thompson has advised that more of the squad are available for selection this week for the match against Bristol Rovers than there were last week. Simon Rusk's is still recovering from his knee injury; Peter Costello has a problem in the area behind his knee and his hamstring. Paul Ellender is still building up his fitness he has had rehabilitation treatment on his knee and has two full 90 minutes of match action. Paddy McCarthy has had his loan from Manchester extended for a further month. Alex Higgins played the full 90 minutes at Doncaster on Wednesday without suffering any adverse reaction, which was a psychological relief for Alex and everyone else at Boston United. The specialist has given Alex the green light to resume playing, he has done well since he joined us and is keen to continue to progress. Ross Weatherstone suffered a crack above his eye at Doncaster, he is sore and had a headache but he should recover in the next few days.

There is a good spirit in the club ahead of the match with Bristol Rovers tomorrow, it is a big game, the reason why people want to play football and everyone wants to be involved. It will be a tough match with pressure, but successful players respond to the pressure of situations like this and look forward to big matches.

The squad has changed since last season but this is the same with other teams who are promoted as the existing players raise their game to the new higher standard and new players come into the club. The squad need to back up their ability by obtaining results on the pitch. Neil is still looking to strengthen the squad before the transfer deadline if the right player becomes available, but the right player would need to be available at the right time and the right cost.

Logan, Weatherstone

22 January The transfer of Richard Logan from Ipswich Town was completed today.

During today's reserves match at Doncaster Ross Weatherstone suffered a bad head injury after 35 minutes, he was taken to hospital and had six stitches inserted to repair the injury.

The Standard has reported that Jim Rodwell looks set to join Grantham Town on loan from Farnborough Town.


21 January The Daily Telegraph has reported that Ray Warburton has joined Aldershot of the Ryman League Premier Division.

Logan, Bury

20 January Richard Logan who has just started his second month loan will sign a one and half year contract with Boston United tomorrow, after being given his release by his previous club Ipswich Town.

Neil Thompson felt we gained a valuable away point at Bury on Saturday. We put in a good performance, were solid as a team, restricted their shots on goal and we had the better chances to have won the match. We passed the ball and created opportunities. It was a tight game, Bury are a good side and it was all credit to the players for sticking to the task and following what had been put into practice in training in the week. The team was changed due to injury and illness but the players who came into the team did a good job. Mark Angel missed the match due to a virus, which enabled Lee Thompson to come back into the team. Lee is a different player to Mark; he did a good defensive job on Saturday and still made forward runs. The good recent performances are the result of a lot of hard work in training, for example through work on defending as a team, and through having improved strength in depth.

Paddy McCarthy current loan agreement expires this week. Neil is looking to extend his stay with Boston United, Paddy is enjoying his football and would like to stay but we will be dictated by Manchester City's requirements. Tony Battersby's contract also expires this week but Neil won't be extending Tony's stay with Boston United. Stuart Douglas's current contract expires early February; Stuart has done well and Neil plans to initiate discussions this week to extend Stuart's career with Boston United.

Next Saturday there is an important match at home to Bristol Rovers, during this week the current good work in training will be continued in preparation for the match where it is hoped everyone will play their part in trying to achieve a victory.

The first ever Boston United Sportsmans Dinner will be held at The Springfields Restaurant at Spalding on Wednesday 22 January 2003; the guest speaker is Tommy Docherty. The event is a sell out and it is expected a second dinner will be held in the very near future.

Tickets for the Nationwide League Third Division matches away to AFC Bournemouth and Oxford United are available from the club offices, both matches are all ticket for visiting supporters.

Mark Clifford made his debut for Chester in the televised match with Barnet on Saturday; the match ended as a 1-1 draw. Mark was substituted by another former player, Mick Brown, in the 60th minute.

Is there a local organisation, football club or school help with training facilities over the next few weeks? If so please contact John Blackwell on 01205 364406.


17 January Neil Thompson has advised that Stuart Douglas and Peter Costello have not a great deal since New Years Day but should be available for selection, Simon Rusk is not fit and Paul Ellender has just started his come back from injury by playing for the reserves against Grimsby Town on Wednesday. Alex Higgins has been diagnosed with epilepsy which can be controlled with medication to enable him to resume playing. Neil Redfearn is suspended for tomorrow's match which will give an opportunity to someone else such as Mark Greaves, who has played in midfield for Hull and played there for half of the game against Grimsby Town, Simon Weatherstone or Lee Thompson.

Neil went to Swansea> on Tuesday to see their match with Bury. Bury were excellent in the first half, they played with a lot pace and energy and are capable of causing us a lot of problems tomorrow, but the second half was different with Swansea coming back into the match.

It is hoped that the negotiations with Richard Logan are almost complete with one or two small issues to be decided, but we can't count our chickens before they are hatched.

Mark Clifford has joined Chester on loan for one month with a view to a permanent deal if things work out well for him.

Next Wednesday, 22 January 2003, the reserves play their final group match in the League Cup away to Doncaster Rovers, kick off is at 2.00pm.

The Avon Insurance League match away to Darlington has been re-arranged for Wednesday 5 April 2003, kick off is at 7.00pm.


16 January BBC Teletext page 394 has reported that Mark Clifford has been loaned to Chester.


15 January The Lincolnshire Echo has reported that Alex Higgins believes a MRI scan he underwent yesterday at Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire hospital will confirm he has epilepsy.

McCarthy, Blondish

14 January The Lincolnshire Echo has reported that Manchester City have instructed Paddy McCarthy not to play for the Republic of Ireland in the Under 20 tournament in Dubai.

On Saturday the Boston United Sports Bar will open at 5.00pm and later in the evening the entertainment will be provided by Blondish a tribute band to Blondie.

Wrexham, Balmer

13 January The Nationwide League Division Three match at home to Wrexham which was postponed on Saturday has been re-arranged for Wednesday 19 February 2003, kick off at 7.45pm.

Stuart Balmer has extended his loan from Oldham Athletic into a second month today.

Neil Thompson was disappointed that Saturday's match with Wrexham was postponed as the squad had prepared for the match and Neil Redfearn's suspension will have to be served over another match. There was frost on the pitch in the morning but the temperature didn't rise as expected to thaw the pitch. A consolation is that the injured players will have more time to regain fitness. Stuart Balmer has reached the end of his month loan spell from Oldham Athletic. Neil is pleased to retain his services for a further month as he is a big influence both on and off the pitch and was unlucky to obtain a training injury before the match with Bristol Rovers.


12 January The Nationwide League Division Three match away to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday 1 February 2003 is all ticket for visiting supporters. AFC Bournemouth do not take cash from visiting supporters at the turnstiles on the day of the match. Boston United supporters are being accommodated in the East Stand Left, Block ES5. The tickets are now available from Boston United office priced at £13.00 for adults and £5.00 for supporters over 65 and under 16.

Match Off

11 January Today's match against Wrexhan was postponed by the match referee at 1.00pm this afternoon as there two parts of the pitch which hadn't thawed sufficiently.

International, Wrexham

10 January Paddy McCarthy has been selected for the Republic of Ireland Under 21 squad to play in a week's tournament in Dubai in a fortnight's time; the tournament also includes France.

Neil Thompson has advised that Stuart Douglas has a 50/50 chance of being available for selection for tomorrow's match against Wrexham, Peter Costello is hopeful of being fit, Neil Redfearn is suspended but Paul Ellender and Simon Rusk are still unavailable. Neil is considering the options for the midfield positions, Mark Greaves has played in midfield during his time with Hull and Lee Thompson could come back into the team. Alex Higgins has had preliminary tests to try to discover why he has collapsed twice in recent matches and the results are awaited. It is hoped that the reason for Alex's collapses are quickly discovered and resolved as he has done well since he has come to the club and is determined to continue to do well. The reserves against Rushden & Diamonds on Wednesday provided useful practice on a grass pitch for some of the players who hadn't had a match for a few weeks. Due to the weather causing problems with the goal areas the pitch was shortened and the match was played with eight players on each side with revolving substitutions. Discussions are still ongoing with Richard Logan to sign him on a permanent basis.

At 4.30pm this afternoon the York Street pitch was fit to stage tomorrow's match. Hopefully there will be no further adverse weather conditions to jeopardise the match.


9 January For the Nationwide League Third Division match away to Oxford United on Saturday 1 March 2003 advanced ticket sales are now available from the Boston United office for the North Stand at the following prices: adults £14.00, students £10.50, under 16s £8.50, over 65s £8.50, wheelchair users and helpers £6.00. There will also be ticket sales on the match day from the ticket office next to the away turnstiles; there will be no cash admission at the turnstiles on the day. Tickets purchased on the match day from the ticket office will cost: adults £17.00, students £13.00, under 16s and over 65s £11.00.


8 January Tonight's edition of the Lincolnshire Echo has reported that Vice Chairman, Andrew Malkinson, resigned from the Board of Directors at the recent Annual General Meeting.

BBC Teletext has reported that Mark Clifford has joined Chester on trial for seven days.

Special VIP Package

7 January For the away match on Saturday 18 January 2003, Bury Football Club have made a Special V.I.P. Package available to Boston United supporters. The package includes: car park pass, bucks fizz reception, superb four course pre-match lunch in Starkies Pitchside Restaurant (served at 1.00pm), full bar facilities before and after the match, complimentary match programme, half-time refreshments, fun quiz and competitions, reserved main stand seat for the big game. The total all inclusive cost is £31.00 per person (£25.00 for juniors). The package must be pre-booked. To book contact Bury Football Club Commercial Department on 0161 705 2144, fax 0161 763 3103.

Hartlepool, Warburton

6 January Neil Thompson was disappointed not to get anything from the Hartlepool match on Saturday, he felt we had done enough to get a point. It was a match which appeared as though one goal would settle it, we had enough chances, but Hartlepool scored when they had a player who may have been in an offside position. We looked solid as a unit, finished strongly and weren't outplayed by a side which is at the top of the table. Hartlepool defended well with two big centre-backs, and looked to attack us on the break. The side has come on a lot. Over the holiday period the team has done well, we have played a lot of matches, some of them in difficult conditions, and included a long journey to play Bristol Rovers. The team changes were due to injuries, which apart from the players with log-term injuries has created opportunities for other players. Matt Hocking has been outstanding over the Christmas period.

Paul Ellender hopes to train again this week and start to build up his fitness. Ray Warburton is struggling to cope with matches and has decided to call it a day with full-time football as he doesn't want to let the team down. Ray may stay involved with the club in a coaching capacity and will discuss his future in the next few weeks.

We have gained 8 out of a possible 15 points over the holiday period and we need to maintain that return, there are some big matches coming up.

On sale shortly from the club offices will be discount tickets for the Nationwide League Third Division match away to Oxford United on Saturday 1 March 2003.

On Wednesday 8 January 2003 at 12 noon Boston United Reserves are away to Rushden & Diamonds Reserves in a friendly fixture.

Two special guests attended the match against Hartlepool on Saturday, Emlyn Hughes the former Liverpool and England captain was a guest of Hartlepool manager Mike Newell and Premiership referee Uriah Rennie was at the match prior to taking charge of the Manchester City versus Liverpool FA Cup Third Round match yesterday.


5 January Boston United have appointed former Huddersfield Town player, Daryl Pugh, as their new Soccer Academy Director. Daryl has been on the coaching staff at the Leeds United Academy and has managed Leicester's Academy, he is a UEFA A qualified coach and his first task will be to work with Tim Ruck to secure Centre of Excellence funding in time for next season.

Match On

4 January Today's Nationwide League Division Three match against Hartlepool United is on. The pitch was inspected by the match referee, Mr J J Ross at 9.30am this morning and passed fit for the match.

Lincoln, Hartlepool

3 January Neil Thompson thought that it was a game of two halves against on New Years Day. We expected Lincoln to come at us at the start of the match and   were up against it in the first half, there was a mistake for their goal otherwise we coped with their attacks. In the second half we came into the match a bit more and scored a deserved equaliser, with a better final ball we could have got more from the match. It was a tough game but the football was better than expected in view of the reports on the condition of the pitch. After taking the lead in the previous three matches it was a different situation to go behind but we rose to the challenge, got stuck in and came back into the match. Recently we have worked on defensive performances and have now had a four game unbeaten run.

Alex Higgins is to have a medical check up to try to discover why he has collapsed twice in recent matches. Stuart Douglas strained his ankle ligaments against Lincoln and is doubtful for tomorrow. Tom Bennett (kick on shin), Peter Costello and Stuart Balmer have had injuries and will be assessed prior to tomorrow's match. Simon Rusk has had an operation on a problem at the back of his knee and is expected to be out of action for six weeks. Richard Logan has quality, he is enjoying scoring goals and we hope he keeps the run going.

Hartlepool are top of the division on merit, they play good football. We need to keep our run going and the players are capable.

Logan, Hazledine, Bristol

30 December Richard Logan has signed for a further month on loan from Ipswich Town.

Geoff Hazledine's funeral will be on Friday 3 January 2003 at the village church in his home village of Edingley near Newark, starting at 1.30pm, anyone wishing to attend will be welcome. There will be an article on Geoff Hazledine by Rob Singleton in the Target which is published on Wednesday 8 January 2003.

The Boston United Sports Bar will be open on New Years Day for the use of supporters before the BUSA coaches leave for the match at Lincoln at 1.00pm. The Sports Bar still has tickets available at £10.00 for the function on New Years Eve; the entertainment is provided by Flashback.

Tickets for the match away to on New Years Day are available from Boston United's office until 7.30pm on New Years Eve. Boston United's initial allocation of 1462 have all been sold and a further allocation is being delivered tomorrow. Boston United supporters are reminded that they must purchase a ticket in advance from Boston United to attend the match.

Neil Thompson felt we gained a good away point at Bristol Rovers on Saturday but he was disappointed not to gain all three points after coming close to the end of the match before Bristol Rovers were awarded their penalty. There were no complaints about the penalty as if an opponent is touched in the penalty area there is always the risk of a penalty being awarded. In the first half we played well and got an early goal through Richard Logan. In the second half Bristol came at us but we defended well the two centre-backs (Paddy McCarthy and Matt Hocking) were superb along with the full backs (Peter Costello and Ben Chapman); the concentration was good. The second half was scrappy; Bristol closed us down and got in a lot of tackles. We can't have things our own way in every match, Bristol are fighting hard to avoid relegation and we can't switch off. Stuart Balmer had trained on Friday but when he woke up on Saturday he had a problem with his calf, therefore he wasn't risked in the match. Paddy McCarthy came into the team and did well and Mark Greaves is still regaining fitness after his hamstring injury. Alex Higgins has had no further problems following his collapse on Boxing Day. Richard Logan and Stuart Douglas have formed a good partnership in attack, it is hoped to extend Richard's spell with Boston United. will present a different challenge on New Years Day, they have done well this season, they are dogged and defend well. It will be a tough game with a cracking atmosphere in front of a large holiday crowd.


29 December Former Boston United striker Geoff Hazledine died in Mansfield last Saturday, at the age of 70. He leaves a wife, two sons and two grandchildren. Hazledine gained fame for his part in one of the greatest upsets in FA Cup history when along with his brother Don, he was in the Boston United team that beat Derby County 6-1 at the Baseball Ground in December, 1955. Geoff scored a hat-trick in the match and reckoned it was the best individual performance he had in his footballing career.

Former player Gary Jones has joined Gainsborough Trinity of the Unibond League.

York City

27 December Neil Thompson was again very pleased with the match yesterday, it was a cracking game for the supporters with end to end football, and we scored three goals and kept a clean sheet again. York are a decent team with good movement up front, in the second half York put us under pressure but we defended well to keep a clean sheet. We have now won two consecutive matches, scoring nine goals and keeping clean sheets which has done the world of good. We are now half way through the season, every match has its own significance, and we need to keep performing. In attack Richard Logan and Stuart Douglas are working well together, they have pace and are a threat to the opponents defence. Neil is working on retaining the services of Richard Logan. When Alex Higgins collapsed it is not certain what happened, he may have suffered a bang to his head earlier in the match. Alex was substituted as a precaution but appeared to be OK after the match and will be assessed prior to tomorrow's match with Bristol Rovers.

Shrewsbury, FBYF, Transfers

23 December Neil Thompson was very pleased with the performance on Saturday against Shrewsbury Town, describing it as fantastic. We defended well to keep a clean sheet which provided a platform to attack. We created a lot of chances and converted a good proportion of them. In previous matches we have been punished for mistakes, during the week the emphasis in training was on defending. There were a lot of good performances on Saturday which is a good starting point for the future. Richard Logan is talented and confident, he could have scored more goals, and he was withdrawn during the second half as his calf had tightened again when he stretched for the ball. During the next few days Neil is planning to discuss his future with Joe Royle at Ipswich Town. Matt Hocking was substituted when his hamstring tightened and Paddy McCarthy did well when he came on. Neil is also going to enquire about extending Paddy's loan spell from Manchester City. Mark Greaves is not expected to be fit for Boxing Day but he should be available for the weekend. There are some tough matches coming up and we shall need everyone fit. The players are capable of producing results, we now need to back up Saturday's victory and kick on for the rest of the season. There are some tough matches coming up where the opposition will provide different problems but it is about our own performances.

What better way to celebrate Saturday's The Taming of the Shrews than with.......... a brand new issue of BUFC fanzine "From Behind Your Fences" Issue 15 will be on sale on Boxing Day at the York game. Farmer Dan the Boston Fan is back for a brand new full two page strip (that's a comic strip, not a Full Monty moment.....) We will also be selling the fanzine by mail order: please send a cheque for £1.20 (or coins) to: FBYF, 4 Court Farm Road, Rose Hill, Oxford OX4 4UL. (Cheques payable to: R. Smith). This price INCLUDES postage and packing, so there is no need to bother with a SAE.

Boston United have re-signed defender Paddy McCarthy after today arranging with Premiership Manchester City to extend his loan period for a second month.

Mark Monington has left York Street after 18 months. After joining Halifax Town on a month's loan in November, he has agreed with the Boston United Directors, by mutual consent, to cancel the final six months of his contract. This will enable Mark to join Halifax tomorrow on an 18 month contract.

Tickets for the Lincoln City versus Boston United match on New Years Day will be on sale from the Portakabin in the York Street Car Park before and after the Boxing Day fixture with York City, which kicks off at 3.00pm.

The Boston United Sports Bar was declared open last night by Julian Joachim of Coventry.

BBC Teletext Page 311 has reported that Steve Evans and Pat Malkinson have been found guilty of contract irregularities and are expected to learn their fate on 29 January 2003. Steve Evans has said he intends to appeal.


20 December Neil Thompson has advised that Mark Greaves is out of contention for tomorrow's match with Shrewsbury but is hoped he will be fit for next week. Ray Warburton has not trained this week and Paul Ellender, Simon Rusk and Mark Clifford are also out of contention. There are more options available in defence with Stuart Balmer and Paddy McCarthy being available but Paddy hasn't had much match practice lately.

The postponement of the Avon Insurance League match at Darlington on Wednesday hasn't helped with the planning for tomorrow as Neil wanted to have a look at some options in a match situation. A pitch inspection at 2.00pm had declared the match was on but during a later inspection at 4.30pm the match was postponed by which time the squad had reached Ferrybridge. Neil had been informed about the availability of Juan Cobian at Swindon Town but the postponement meant he was unable to have a match, Neil may arrange to see him again in the new year.

The squad have worked hard in training this week, they need to take on board the lessons learnt and take them out onto the pitch on Saturday. We need to pick up points.

Darlington, Flag

19 December Last night's scheduled Avon Insurance League match away to Darlington> was postponed due to the pitch at Feethams being frozen. The squad were notified at 4.30pm by which time they were at Ferrybridge on the way to Darlington.

The new flag is ready and will be brought to the match on Saturday against Shrewsbury> . The flag will be flown as normal and and a photograph will be taken after the game at the York Street end. The announcer hopefully will ask the sponsors to collect at the York Street > end after the game by the goalmouth.

Tickets, Southend

16 December Boston United are making a one-off "Kids Christmas" offer. For the match at home to Shrewsbury Town on Saturday 21 December 2002 supporters aged 16 and under can gain admission for £5.00 to the Finn Forest Stand, York Street Stand and Spayne Road Terrace.

From January 2003 the admission prices for supporters aged 16 and under will be reduced to £6.50 for the Finn Forest Stand and £5.50 for the York Street Stand and Spayne Road Terrace.

The Boston United Sports Bar opens at 7.00pm on Thursday 19 December 2002 and will then be open daily. Tickets for New Years Eve are now on sale at £10.00 each, the entertainment will be provided by Flashback.

Neil Thompson was frustrated on Saturday because three of Southend's goals came from identical mistakes, which resulted in silly free kicks being conceded. Reports on Southend had identified the source of their goal threat and we let them play to their strength. In training we had practiced techniques in readiness for the match, but training is a no pressure situation, in matches major decisions need to be made. Players need to show responsibility on the pitch, it is no good being good at your job for most of the match. We had prepared as well as we could for the match but mistakes disrupted all the hard work. During the match overall we had enough of the ball and in the second half we pulled the score back to 3-2 and looked capable of getting something from the match but then we conceded another free kick. Richard Logan was substituted due to a calf injury, which is likely to be cramp due to his lack of playing 90 minutes in recent weeks and is not likely to be a long-term problem. Before he was substituted Richard was strong, quick and dangerous to Southend's defence with a good finish for his goal. Richard and Simon Weatherstone complimented each other well in attack. We need to keep searching for the extra 2 - 3 % in our performances to eradicate mistakes which will enable us to gain points from matches. We are not stranded at the bottom of the League, there is no points gap and other clubs have similar problems. We worked hard to achieve promotion to the Football League and now need to work hard to maintain the status.

Balmer, Southend, Sports Bar

13 December Boston United have signed defender Stuart Balmer on loan from Oldham Athletic. The signing was necessitated by Mark Greaves suffering an injury to his hamstring during training today. Stuart was born in Falkirk on 20 September 1969; he is 6ft 1in tall. Stuart commenced his career as a trainee with Celtic on 1 August 1989 and has been with Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic, Oldham Athletic and a loan spell with Scunthorpe United earlier this season when he played against Boston United. Stuart has made 443 first team appearances (31 as substitute) and scored 18 goals.

Neil Thompson has advised that the during the two week break between Third Division matches the squad has been able to do different work during training including different fitness routines in readiness for tomorrow's match at Southend. The break has also provided an opportunity to regroup to win points in forthcoming matches. For tomorrow's match Tom Bennett and Paddy McCarthy will be out through suspension and Simon Rusk and Ray Warburton are expected to miss the match due to injury, which provides opportunities for other players. The players are capable of winning matches and have taken heart from the second half against Orient. We are working as a ream on both defending and attacking. It is a long time since we have had a clean sheet, which is an important aspect towards winning matches. Southend are an aggressive direct team with big players at the back and up front and they are dangerous at set pieces. We will need to work hard but last week Bournemouth> were able to cause Southend problems in certain areas.

The website of the Football Association has reported that the Disciplinary Commission hearing the cases of Steve Evans and Pat Malkinson is considering the evidence.

The Boston United Sports Bar will be re-opening next week, further details will be available later.


11 December The new BUFC flag is in the process of being made and all being well will be collected on Friday 20 December ready to fly at our next home game on Saturday 21 against Shrewsbury Town. It is hoped to have a photograph taken with the donors on the pitch but due to security in moving from section to section we will not be able to do it before kick-off, we therefore intend to have a photo taken after the match has finished as supporters leave the ground, the donors can collect at the York Street end of the ground.

The Boston United 2003 Souvenir Calendars are now available from the office of the Target Newspaper.

The Standard has reported that Mark Clifford has been granted a free transfer and that Simon Weatherstone is to appear in a Channel 4 documentary along with Gary Neville of Manchester United.

Lincoln City

9 December Tickets for the away match with Lincoln City on New Years Day are now on sale from the club office at £14.00 for adults, £9.00 for supporters aged 65 and over and £5.00 for supporters aged 16 and under. Boston United supporters are to be accommodated in the Co-op stand.

The Boston United 2003 Souvenir Calendars have been delivered from the printers and are now on sale from the outlets below.

Calendar, Flag

5 December The Boston United 2003 Calendar will be available from Monday afternoon from the Club Office, the Standard Newspaper Shop, the Pilgrim Hospital Shop and the Club Shop during normal opening hours. The Calendar is being sold at £5.50 with £0.50 being donated to the Pilgrim Hospital. The Calendar may also be purchased by post by sending a cheque payable to Westpoint Media Sales for £7.25 per Calendar (£1.75 for postage and packing), to Boston United Football Club, 14-16 Spain Place, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 6HN, together with details of the name, address and post code to send the Calendar to and a contact telephone number. Payment may also be made by credit card by telephoning Simone Steventon on 0121 202 1596. BBC Look North are planning to feature the Calendar launch on Monday and it will also be featured on BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

During the game last Saturday a further £90.00 was donated towards the flag fund. As the cost of the flag was £380.00 plus VAT the total required was £446.50, it was decided that the club would pay the invoice and be able to reclaim the VAT saving £66.50 from the donated funds. The Club are desperate for a set of new nets so the extra funds are going towards the new nets. The flag should be available for the Shrewsbury game on 21 December 2002. The additional donors were: Michael May, Terry Wing, Ray Smith and Richard Hackford

Notts County are expected to bring a strong team for next weeks Avon Insurance fixture on Wednesday 11 December 2002.

Tom Bennett has incurred a three match suspension due to being dismissed in the recent Avon Insurance match against Scunthorpe United.

Orient, Lincoln City, Award

2 December Neil Thompson has advised that once again on Saturday we fell short of the required standard. In the first half we didn't pass the ball well enough, tackle or close down Orient's players and we conceded a sloppy goal, which should have been cleared. At half-time tactical substitutions were made to give us more momentum. There was an improvement in the second half but things didn't go for us. We now have two weeks to regroup from the bad run of results. We are not being turned over and beaten heavily. The players are capable and chances are being created but we need to keep clean sheets in order to win matches, we are contributing to our own downfall. Orient came with a game plan and the early goal gave them something to hang onto. In the second half Richard Logan showed that he has the talent and quality to succeed, he may play for the reserves at Hull on Wednesday.

The away match against Lincoln City on New Years Day will be all ticket for Boston United supporters. Tickets will be available on the day of the match in the Co-op Stand on the Sincil Bank side of the ground and on sale from the Boston United club office from next week. Admission prices will be available later.

At an awards ceremony last night Boston United won the BBC Radio Lincolnshire Special Achievement award for 2002 in the BBC Sports Awards in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Logan, Orient

29 November Boston United have signed striker Richard Logan on a one month contract after he was given a free transfer by Ipswich Town yesterday. Richard was born in Bury St Edmunds on 4 January 1982; he is 6ft 1in tall. Richard joined Ipswich Town as a trainee on 1 August 1998 where he has made five substitute appearances, he joined Cambridge United on loan for one month on 25 January 2001 where he made six appearances and 12 December 2001 he joined Torquay United on loan for three months where he made 20 appearances and scored four goals.

Neil Thompson has advised that the squad has trained well this week for tomorrow's match with Leyton Orient. There is a smashing attitude with no despondency as there is a belief that we played well in recent matches, as in the first half at Hull last week, but have had a mad few minutes and we have had good results in the past. Tony Battersby has shook off his flu bug and has trained this week, Tom Bennett played 20 minutes for the reserves on Wednesday, Simon Weathersone was hoping to train today, and Mark Greaves has been training this week which should provide more options. Stuart Douglas has a problem with his heel, which has meant he is not fully fit due to limited training and has made cameo appearances in matches. Stuart has had an injection in his heel and will be assessed for tomorrow's match. It is an important match for both clubs tomorrow with both being near the bottom of the League. Neil has been searching for new players this week, but he is finding it frustrating as clubs are reluctant to let players go out on loan over the Christmas period and are generally operating with small squads this season.


27 November Roy Hackford has raised the required amount of £380.00 to purchase a new BUFC flag; it is hoped the new flag will be fluttering over York Street for the Christmas games. Roy started the appeal by donating £100.00 himself towards the flag and with the help of the following supporters has made the scheme possible. Roy> stated, " I would like to thank all those who donated towards the flag, this small band of supporters raised nearly £300.00 between them and appreciate the gratitude shown." Donors: TownEnders, Duncan Browne, Richard Clayton, Mr & Mrs Roy Dawson, Mervin Goor, Dick Killick, Mick Knowles, Peter Niedermier, Ray Parker, Shona Ross, Martin Smith, Jim Stuart, Becky Thompson, Tim Upsall, Derek Whelbourn.

The Standard has reported that Boston United have met with the Football Association to discuss setting up a Centre of Excellence for youth teams for next season and the Jim Thompson Challenge Shield match against Stevenage Borough has been cancelled by the Nationwide Conference.


25 November Neil Thompson was disappointed with the result against Hull City on Saturday. During the first half we played to our game plan, coped with Hull's attacks at the back but we didn't have a cutting edge in attack. When Hull scored we wanted too many touches in dangerous areas and should have cleared the ball better. Paddy McCarthy was very disappointed to be sent off, he had a moment of madness when he reacted to a challenge, but his first booking was harsh. Paddy showed he is a decent player with a lot to offer; he has aggression, pace and can pass the ball. Even when we down to ten men we still coped with Hull's attacks. There was decent football, the ball was passed and there was good effort, but we still more penetration up front. Mark Angel had a good shot, which on another day may have gone in. A positive aspect is that we are not getting turned over and suffering heavy defeats. We need to keep going and to have better concentration. Tony Battersby played on Saturday even though he had been suffering with flu during the week and Stuart Douglas wasn't fully fit. Another positive aspect is that other clubs around us are having similar problems and we are not getting stranded at the bottom of the table. The players are capable, hopefully the fitness situation will improve for next weekend and efforts are being made to give us more potency in attack.

McCarthy, Hull City

22 November Boston United have signed central defender Paddy McCarthy on loan for one month from Manchester City. Patrick McCarthy was born in Dublin on 31 May 1983, he is 6ft 1in tall. Paddy signed for Manchester City on 1 August 2001 and has yet to make a first team appearance.

Neil Thompson has advised that the squad have worked hard in training this week in preparation for tomorrow's match at Hull City. There are a number of injury problems, Paul Ellender damaged a medial ligament in his knee on Wednesday and could be out of action for six weeks, Mark Greaves is suffering from a hamstring strain, Simon Weatherstone has a back strain, Tom Bennett has a hip problem, Simon Rusk has a hamstring strain and Neil Redfearn has a chest infection. Matt Hocking is fit to play after being withdrawn against Northampton Town last week. Neil has made enquiries about players this week but due to clubs operating with smaller squads and their injury problems the required players haven't been available.

There is a good pitch at Boothferry Park, Hull, together with a good atmosphere from a massive crowd this should produce a good match tomorrow. Tomorrow's match is scheduled to be Hull's second last home match before they move to their new ground.

Yesterday, Boston United's ground cleaner, John Revell, collapsed and died whilst he was cleaning the ground. The funeral will be at Boston Crematorium at 11.00am next Friday.

Share Issue

21 November Shareholders of Boston United have voted to approve the issue of more shares in the club. This took place at an Extraordinary General Meeting at the football ground on Monday 18 November 2002.

The club's chairman, Des Wood, told the meeting there had recently been some major events in the history of the club.

"We achieved promotion to the Football League and I would like to thank again the players and all the staff at the club and of course the supporters for enabling that to happen. Then we had the less welcome news of the FA Investigation. We were able to demonstrate that the club was not guilty of any fraud, but certain details had not been correctly registered with the FA, so the club was fined and had points deducted. On balance I think we came out of that investigation as well as we could and it is now time to look to the future."

"The next stage is to secure additional funding by issuing more shares. Our main purpose is to achieve financial stability. This will enable us to move forward with our key objectives which include staying in the Football League and moving to new premises with better facilities."

The shareholders approved plans for the company to issue shares and preference shares. The preference shares are redeemable in 2007 giving the club five years in which to build up its finances. The shares are being offered both to existing shareholders and to supporters of the club. The chairman asked for anyone who wants further details to contact him or one of the other directors by post at the Football Club or by telephone to 01205 364406.


20 November The Avon Insurance fixture at home to Hartlepool United has been re-arranged for Wednesday 12 February 2003, kick off at 7.00pm.

In tonight's Avon Insurance League Cup match against Sheffield United Paul Ellender suffered a knee injury and may be out of action for six weeks.

The Lincolnshire Echo has reported that Mark Monington has joined Halifax Town on loan for one month.

EGM, Northampton

18 November At 11.00am this morning an Extraordinary General Meeting of Boston United passed all proposals concerning a new share issue.

Neil Thompson was frustrated by the first half performance at Northampton on Saturday, what he had asked the players to do wasn't done. We then played well in the second half but by then we were 2-0 down and chasing the game. Northampton> were strong, we conceded a free kick which was deflected for the first goal and there was sloppy play for the second goal. In the first half we didn't impose ourselves on the match and let Northampton dictate the game, in the second half we played with a quicker tempo and a much-improved performance. The second half showed that we are capable; we have the ability, fitness isn't a problem and the problem isn't thought to be nerves. In the last nine matches there have been poor performances against Exeter and in the first half on Saturday. We made a good start against Bristol City, but are conceding too many goals. We need to get results not good performances for part of a match. Simon Weatherstone jarred his back during the warm up on Saturday which prevented is involvement in the match and Matt Hocking was stood on during a collision; both these injuries were due to be assessed today. The squad are now preparing for next weekend's match.

Sheffield United are expected to bring a strong team for the Avon Insurance match on Wednesday; former player Ronnie Reid is due to be in charge of their team.

Lodge, Bristol City

15 November Andy Lodge has left Boston United with his contract being terminated by mutual consent and has joined Ilkeston Town of the Dr Martens League Premier Division.

Neil Thompson was disappointed with the result of the LDV Vans Trophy match against Bristol City on Wednesday, he felt we played well for the first 25 minutes but didn't make any of the chances count, we conceded a goal our heads appeared to drop for a few minutes we then came back to equalise and then deserved to take the match to penalties. There was then a poor decision from the referee to award a corner to Bristol City from which they scored the winning golden goal in extra time. It has hoped that we don't have any more bad luck with decisions. Our performances in the last few matches have shown that we are capable of playing good football, we need to be more effective and ruthless in taking chances to win matches. Over the last eight matches there has been an overall improvement in the performances. When we play well we pass the ball at a good tempo and use the width of the pitch. On Wednesday Mark Angel put over a good cross for Lee Thompson's goal. Danny Wilson and Frank Burrows, manager and assistant manager of Bristol City, said that we gave them a good game and the referee's decision on the corner decided the match.

Mark Greaves was withdrawn on Wednesday with a re-occurrence of his hamstring problem; his condition will be assessed today for tomorrow's match at Northampton. Mark's hamstring is concerning as the problem keeps occurring and then he recovers quickly, it is a shame as he is making a good contribution and wants to do well. Simon Weatherstone was withdrawn on Wednesday due to a stomach bug; it is hoped he will be available for tomorrow. Simon Rusk came back into the team at right back on Wednesday and did well, Simon is a versatile player but it may be in his interests to nail down a position of his own. Ray Warburton's knee problem is getting better.

Northampton Town's pitch is good for passing football. We are the underdogs but if we play to our ability we are capable of getting a good result and having a run in the cup. There should be a good support there and we hope there is a similar atmosphere to the away match with Rushden & Diamonds and there is an enjoyable match. If a replay is required it will be at York Street on Wednesday 27 November.

Former player Joby Gowshall has joined Grantham Town of the Dr Martens League Premier Division.

Award, Dinner, Calendar

14 November Boston United have been nominated for the Team of the Year Award in the BBC in Yorkshire> and Lincolnshire Sports Awards. Votes for Boston United can be made by visiting www.bbc.co.uk/sportsawards or by post to BBC Sports Awards, Broadcasting Centre, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9PX.

On Wednesday 22 January 2002 Boston United are holding a Sportsman Dinner at Springfields Restaurant, Camel Gate, Spalding. The guest speakers will be Tommy Docherty and comedian Ian Richards together with a four-course meal. Individual tickets cost £27.00 and tables of ten are available. For more information contact Simone on 07876 757938.

During the first week of December the Boston United 2003 Calendar, featuring photographs of the players, will be available from the club shop and the club office. The calendar will be on sale at £5.50 each with £0.50 being donated to charity.

Tickets for the matches away to Northampton Town (800 sold so far) and Hull are still available.


12 November The Football Association's website has reported that the disciplinary hearing into the cases of Steve Evans and Pat Malkinson has been adjourned until 11 and 12 December.


11 November Neil Thompson was frustrated by Saturday's match away to Scunthorpe>, it was a scrappy match and there didn't appear to be much difference between the two teams. Decisions by the referee, however, had a major impact on the match. Neil watched the match video on Saturday night and couldn't see why the penalty was awarded; the subsequent goal gave Scunthorpe> a lift and put us on the back foot. For Scunthorpe>'s second goal it was difficult to see how the Assistant Referee could have had a clear view of the ball in order to make his decision. Apart from these two moments Scunthorpe> had half chances. In the first half we had two opportunities but the player's chosen option wasn't successful. When we were reduced to ten men the tempo was increased and if we had gambled more with some of the opportunities we may have been able to get back into the game. We also need to retain possession better in the forward positions. On the day a 0-0 result would have been taken for a point away from home. Even though other results went against us the division is still tight. We need to be more consistent and ruthless to obtain victories. The players are capable both mentally and physically.

We now have two cup matches coming up where, even though we shall be the underdog in both matches, we shall looking to progress. Danny Wilson of Bristol is a former manager of Neil from his Barnsley> days and there should be a good atmosphere at Northampton> for the FA Cup.

Weatherstone , Scunthorpe

8 November Simon Weatherstone has extended his contract with Boston United until 2004.

Neil Thompson was disappointed that the match against Stevenage Borough on Wednesday was postponed, as with no reserve match this week, this would have been an opportunity for players returning from injury to get some match practice. The pitch was very wet with puddles and was clearly not playable; a good training session was held instead. The fitness situation has improved from recent weeks; Mark Clifford is a regular visitor to the treatment room with his groin injury, which gives us other options. After a bad performance there is a concern as to the mindset of the players, but following the setback against Exeter there was a fantastic attitude in training this week. Work has been carried out on solving the problems and the need to back to not conceding goals. Scunthorpe tend to play 4-4-2 with a big lad in Steve Torpey up front. They have been on a good run lately, manager Brian Laws knows the division and another tough match is expected.

BUSA Coaches

6 November Tonight's match with Stevenage Borough has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, a new date for the fixture is yet to be arranged.

The BUSA coach for the away match with Scunthorpe United on Saturday 9 November 2002 leaves York Street at 12.00 noon and for the FA Cup match against Northampton Town on Saturday 16 November 2002 it will leave York Street at 11.00am. The cost of travelling on the coaches is £11.00 for BUSA members and £13.50 for non-members.

Signings, Admission Prices

5 November Lee Thompson is being transferred from Sheffield United to Boston United tomorrow. Stuart Douglas has been offered a three month contract and it is hoped it will be signed later this week.

The admission prices for tomorrow's match with Stevenage Borough are Finn Forest Stand £7.00 for adults and £4.00 for concessions and terraces £5.00 for adults and £3.00 for concessions. For the LDV Vans Trophy match with Bristol City on Wednesday 13 November 2002 the admission prices are Finn Forest Stand £10.00 for adults and £6.00 for concessions terraces £8.00 for adults and £4.00 for concessions.

Tickets for the FA Cup First Round match away to Northampton Town on Saturday 16 November are still available from the club office.

Exeter, Flag

4 November Neil Thompson commented on a well below par performance against Exeter City on Saturday, we didn't pass the ball well, close people down or win balls. These sort of matches happen but it is still disappointing. Exeter never let us settle and put us under pressure, we played too deep and weren't in touch with the strikers. After Exeter scored we were chasing the game. It is hoped this performance is a one-off. Another issue is that it is a long time since we kept a clean sheet, which will be worked on in training this week. Our short passing was poor and we appeared to lack imagination, we didn't have a spark for whatever reason. The players have shown that we can compete and play good football, we now need to work on returning to the standard we set in previous matches. Over the last month we kept churning out results but on Saturday there wasn't one player who could be picked out as being on top form. In training this week the highlighted areas to work on are closing players down and brighter passing. On Wednesday against Stevenage Borough the match will be used to match practice to players who need it. Football changes, we have taken steps forward but Saturday was a step backwards; we have been consistent apart from Saturday.

Roy Hackford received £135.00 on Saturday from supporters towards the cost of the new United flag,several other supporters promised to pass on a donation.Together with the £100.00 promised by Roy we are well on the way to obtaining the new flag. Roy hopes to have the new flag by Christmas - subject to donations received. Donations received to date from: TownEnders; Duncan Browne; Mr & Mrs Roy Dawson; Dick Killick; Mick Knowles; Peter Niedermier; Ray Parker; Shona Ross; Jim Stuart and Becky Thompson. Anyone still wishing to donate can forward it to Roy c/o BUFC Club Offices, Spain Place, Boston.

Tickets, Clare, Contracts

1 November Tickets for the FA Cup match away to Northampton Town on Saturday 16 November are now on sale, they will also be on sale before the match with Exeter City tomorrow.

Daryl Clare has been transferred to Chester City this afternoon and is in their squad to play Yeovil Town tomorrow.

Neil Thompson felt that we played some cracking football against Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday but we don't always get what we deserve from matches and it wasn't our day. We passed the ball well, created a lot of chances and can take a lot of credit from the match. The good pitch at Rushden helped with the passing. We had the lion's share of possession but Rushden took their chance. There are a lot of positives we can take from the match, the whole team played well. In the second half Rushden were restricted to breakaways but Paul Bastock stayed alert and contributed to the team performance. Performances have improved and if we continue to play like we did on Tuesday we should be able to pick up more points from future matches. Mark Clifford was substituted due to a groin injury and is struggling to be fit for tomorrow. Some of the injured players played for the reserves on Wednesday, Simon Rusk had 45 minutes, and they will be able to have further match practice against Stevenage Borough next Wednesday. Mark Greaves is hoping to train again today and Paul Ellender is hoping to commence training again next week.

Neil is planning to continue the discussions with Stuart Douglas today regarding extending his contact. Discussions are also planned to extend the contracts of Simon Weatherstone and Lee Thompson. Alex Higgins has today signed a contract to play until the end of the season. All members of the squad are contributing to the current performances.

For the match with Exeter tomorrow we can't rely on the League table to give an indication as to how the match will result. Hartlepool are top due to their performances, but other teams are capable of beating each other on the day. Exeter scored three goals away to Rochdale on Tuesday.

Northampton, Flag, New Arrival

30 October The original announcement that the FA Cup First Round match away to Northampton Town on Saturday 16 November 2002 was pay on the day has been reversed following consultation with Northamptonshire Police. The match is now all ticket for visiting supporters. It is hoped that the tickets will be in Boston this Friday.

Long time Boston United supporter of 30 years and one of Boston United's officials, Roy Hackford, is hoping with the support of other fans that the club can soon have a new personalised flag. The present Boston United flag, which is 10 years old, is now the worse for wear and has flown over many eventful games over the last 10 years. Roy has promised to donate £100.00 towards the cost of a new flag, which is estimated could cost around £400.00. Donations can be given to Roy on any match day or sent to Roy C/O Boston United, Spain Place, Boston. Roy will keep a record of all donations.

Boston United Physiotherapist, Jim Woods, is unable to attend tonight's Avon Insurance match against Scarborough as he has been at the Pilgrim Hospital helping his wife in the birth of their son this afternoon.

Rochdale, FA Cup

28 October Neil Thompson was pleased with the performance against Rochdale on Saturday, we passed the ball well, created a lot of chances and it was good to see players taking responsibility in having a shot at goal when the opportunity presented itself. It was good to see the three strikers names on the score sheet. Tony Battersby has made a good start his overall contribution was good and he has given us other options during the build up play. Tony is probably two to three weeks away from full match fitness. Stuart Douglas is chomping at the bit to be involved in the matches. Daryl Clare is still suffering from his back injury but it is hoped that it isn't a long-term problem. The midfield worked hard, as did the whole team, hopefully we can keep ticking over with this type of performance. Ben Chapman had an operation on his shoulder during the Summer and he jarred it when he fell on Saturday; Ben's fitness will be assessed today. We want the other injured players to be out of the treatment room as soon as possible to provide competition for places, but other clubs also injury problems.

There is now an improved league situation but we need to keep going. The squad is capable and should be confident, there will be highs and lows in the performances and there will be matches where the opposition will have the lion's share of possession and we will need to dig in and keep working.

We shall have another tough match against Rushden & Diamonds tomorrow, they have had years to prepare for League football and have a good set up.

For the FA Cup First Round match away to Northampton Town on Saturday 16 November Boston United supporters will be accommodated in the South Stand, which is a covered seating area. The admission prices are £14.00 for adults and £9.50 for concessions, admission will be by paying at the turnstile on the day of the match.

Cup Draws

26 October In today's two cup draws Boston United meet Bristol City at York Street in the second round of the LDV Vans Trophy, and travel to Northampton Town in the first round proper of the FA Cup. The Bristol City match takes place on Wednesday 13th November and clashes with the reserves home match against Hartlepool United, so the latter match will have to be rearranged. The FA Cup match will take place on Saturday 16th November.


22 October Tony Battersby has signed a three month contract with Boston United, after leaving Lincoln City on Friday, and he goes into the squad for tomorrow's match with Yeovil Town in the LDV Vans Trophy. Tony was born in Doncaster on 30 August 1975; he is 6ft 0in tall. Tony commenced his career with Sheffield United as a trainee on 5 July 1993 and has also played for Southend United, Notts County, Bury, Lincoln City and Northampton Town. During his career Tony has made 276 first team appearances (87 as substitute) and scored 47 goals.

Contract, Darlington

21 October Neil Thompson has advised that he has agreed the terms of a contract to be appointed manager of Boston United

Neil was delighted to obtain a back-to-back win against Darlington following the previous victory over Torquay United. Neil felt that the match was scrappy but we kept our shape well and the two centre-halves, Mark Greaves and Matt Hocking were excellent. We defended well as a team with good shape. Mark Clifford had an improved second half; he is still building up his fitness. We won the ball, there was good passing and it was good to achieve a 3-0 lead away from home. Lee Thompson scored the first hat-trick for Boston United in the Football League, he gambled for the first goal and there was good anticipation for his second and third goals, his finishing was fantastic. It is good for Lee to be playing first team football. There was good football for the goals, but there are times when it would have been useful to have a big forward as a target to give us a mix of options.

Simon Weatherstone was injured when he received a knee in his back and was sore this morning; it is not often that Simon is injured. Simon's injury meant that Stuart Douglas was introduced into action earlier than was anticipated. During the match Stuart received a kick to the same ankle that he injured against Cambridge United, but he still played with his usual commitment; his ankle injury was due to be assessed today.

Darlington's fightback after we were leading 3-0 demonstrated that we need to keep concentrating as the opposition don't give you a thing. For Darlington's second goal we may have been able to deal with the long ball better, but Barry Conlon is capable of shots like that.


18 October Neil Thompson has advised that Paul Ellender, Simon Rusk, Peter Costello, Mark Monington and Daryl Clare are expected to miss tomorrow's match at Darlington due to injury. Stuart Douglas recommenced training yesterday and may be able to be considered for the squad for tomorrow. Neil is also in discussions with Stuart regarding extending his contract with Boston United but a deal hasn't been agreed yet. Tony Battersby, formerly with Lincoln City has also been training with the squad, he is also in discussions about a deal but it hasn't been finalised yet. We gained a great result last week when a lot of players did themselves a lot of credit, but tomorrow we must concentrate again. It will be a difficult match against Darlington, they have experience in their team, play with wide men and a big lad up front, we shall have to work hard again.

There will be full-match commentary of Darlington against Boston United on BBC Radio Lincolnshire in Saturday Sport on 94.9FM tomorrow. For the latest on the Tony Battersby and Daryl Clare situations listen to Sporting Lincs on Friday night on BBC Radio Lincolnshire from 6pm when there'll be interviews with Neil Thompson and Lee Thompson. Both interviews will also be online at bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire.

BBCi at http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Second Division Plymouth Argyle have signed Bolton Wanderers midfielder David Norris on a one-month loan deal.

LDV Vans

16 October The admission prices for next week's LDV Vans Trophy match against Yeovil Town are £7.00 for adults in the Finn Forest Stand with concessions of £4.00 and £5.00 for adults on the terraces with concessions of £3.00

Higgins, Torquay

14 October Following his performance against Torquay United on Saturday, when Neil Thompson felt he had done well, Alex Higgins has signed a one-month contract with Boston United and he has the opportunity to earn a longer contract.

Neil Thompson has informed that Mark Greaves's injury is not too bad and later in the week he will know if Mark can be considered for the match at Darlington. Mark Monington, Peter Costello and David Town took part in training and they may play in the reserves match at York on Wednesday to gain match practice.

Neil Thompson said it was nice to get a positive result on Saturday, we grabbed the bull by the horns and turned in a good second half performance. Neil felt that in the first half we were passing the ball too deep, but in the second half we increased the tempo and passed the ball further up the pitch. We had the desire to keep the ball and impose ourselves on the match. This was helped by the inclusion of Lee Thompson and Alex Higgins who both did well, they were fresh players and gave us improved movement off the ball and thereby more options for the players in possession. Ben Chapman turned in a good performance on his return from injury, he is a strong character whose performances speak louder than his words, it is good to have a character like Ben in the team. Mark Angel showed us what he is capable of, which gave us width and good attacking options. Paul Bastock did well, especially in the second half, in collecting the ball from Torquay's set piece attacks. There was some dispute about Lee Thompson's goal, a representative from Torquay felt it was a mis-hit cross whilst Lee is claiming it was an intentional shot, but the important thing is that the ball ended up in the back of the net. Overall every player contributed to the victory.

The hard ground for matches and training may have contributed to the injuries we have suffered recently, today's rain should help, but this is the same for other clubs. Tony Battersby has been offered a short-term deal, but he has had other offers and we shall have to see what decision is made.

The reserves match at York on Wednesday has a 2.00pm kick off.

The Lincolnshire Echo has reported that former player Richard Lucas has joined Gainsborough Trinity from Hednesford Town.

Torquay, Hull

13 October Neil Thompson has informed that Mark Greaves was withdrawn at half time in yesterday's match against Torquay due to a hamstring strain, the extent of the injury is still to be assessed. In addition Andy Lodge was the only other fit player available for the match. An early goal was again conceded but on this occasion it was due to the ability of the goalscorer and wasn't due to a mistake by a Boston United player. Neil was pleased that after conceding the goal the player's heads didn't drop and they continued to play passing football. After the interval we increased the tempo and we achieved a well-deserved victory and didn't look like a team, which was at the bottom of the league before the match started.

Tickets are now on sale from the club offices for the match away to Hull City on Saturday 23 November 2002. This is to enable Boston United supporters to take advantage of an advanced ticket purchase discount. Prior to the game tickets can be purchased at £12.00 for adults and £7.00 for concessions. On match day the prices increase to £14.00 for adults and £8.00 for concessions.


11 October Neil Thompson has advised of the following injury problems within the squad, which were to be assessed today: Paul Ellender (groin), Mark Monington (hamstring), Daryl Clare (back), Simon Rusk (hamstring), Peter Costello (hamstring), David Town (groin), Stuart Douglas (ankle), Neil Thompson (hamstring). In addition Ray Warburton is suspended for tomorrow's match with Torquay United. Conversely, Ben Chapman is recovering well from injury and as been training all week. The reserves did well on Wednesday, with some good passing football, until Jamie Cook was sent off after an hour, then two late goals were conceded. Due to the nature of the competition, we are still in the Cup but the main aim of the reserves fixtures is to enable players to gain match fitness. After the match terms were discussed with Alex Higgins and Lenny Johnrose, Alex has agreed non-contract terms but no deal has been agreed with Lenny yet. Terms are also being discussed with Tony Battersby, but he still resolving his severance package from Lincoln City and a deal is unlikely to be agreed before the weekend. Torquay United are a good team who pass the ball well, but we need to eradicate mistakes, as we can't afford to give the opposition a start.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire has reported that Mark Clifford has requested to be placed on the transfer list.

Higgins, Thompson, Battersby

10 October Following last night's reserves against Scunthorpe United, Alex Higgins has signed non-contract forms with Boston United and is eligible to be part of the squad for Saturday's match at home to Torquay United.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire has reported that Neil Thompson has been formally offered the Boston United manager's job. Thompson has been offered the job on a "rolling contract" and is thinking over the offer. He is expected to give his decision before the Torquay game. Meanwhile, the radio station also reports that Thompson hopes to have Lincoln City striker Tony Battersby at York Street in time for the match. Battersby has negotiated a severance deal at Sincil Bank and has been training with the Pilgrims. He could join Boston on a short-term agreement with a view to a more permanent view.

BBCi at http://www.bbc.co.uk/


9 October Tonight's reserve match against Scunthorpe United featured trialists Lenny Johnrose, Alex Higgins, Mark Ward and Clint Marcelle. Midielder, Leonard Johnrose was born in Preston on 29 November 1969; he is 5ft 11in tall and has played for Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, Hartlepool United, Bury and Burnley. Alex Higgins, a midfield player, was born in Sheffield on 22 July 1981, he is 5ft 9in tall and has been with Sheffield Wednesday, Queens Park Rangers and Chester City. Forward, Mark Ward, was born in Sheffield on 27 January 1982, he has been with Sheffield United. Clint Marcelle was born in Port of Spain Trinidad on 9 November 1968, he is 5ft 4in tall. During his career Clint has played for Felgueiras, Barnsley, Scunthorpe United, Hull City and Darlington.

Steve Burton has returned to Ipswich Town.

Tonight's edition of the Lincolnshire Echo has reported that Lincoln City's out of favour forward, Tony Battersby, has been training with Boston United.


7 October Neil Thompson said he couldn't fault the effort at Macclesfield on Saturday but we weren't good enough at both ends of the pitch. We had possession of the ball but we needed to make better use of it, confidence can become dented by not winning, we need to improve our decision making on the pitch. The concentration problem is a mental issue it is not due to fitness or ability. We need leaders on the pitch; players need to be responsible for their own game and to be more ruthless. We need to do the simple things right, keep trying and don't shy away from challenges. There is a higher standard than last season, every week the opposition are fit and organised, the matches are intensive and the going will be tough.


4 October Boston United have signed midfielder Lee Thompson on loan from Sheffield United for one month. Lee was born in Sheffield on 25 March 1982; he signed for Sheffield United on 1 August 2001 but has yet to make a first team appearance.

The Nationwide website has reported a development in the situation with Daryl Clare.

Neil Thompson was due to assess the fitness situation for tomorrow's match at Macclesfield. Stuart Douglas took a heavy blow to his ankle ligaments last week and is expected to be out for another week. Neil has made enquiries about recruiting two players on loan without success but is hoping for better news on another player during the course of today. The reserves didn't play well in the first half on Wednesday, we didn't pass the ball as well as we can do, but the positive aspects from the match were that it gave match practice to Tom Bennett, Mark Angel and Mark Clifford following their injuries. Following the injury situation we are searching for the right combination to kick start the season; we need to be mentally stronger and stop conceding stupid goals.


3 October The Avon Insurance match away to Darlington, which was postponed on 16 September 2002, has been re-arranged for Wednesday 18 December 2002.

Next Wednesday, 9 October 2002, the reserves play away to Scunthorpe United in the Avon Insurance Cup, kick off at 7.00pm.


1 October Boston United are expected to play a strong team against Mansfield Town tomorrow in the Avon Insurance League, featuring Mark Clifford, Matthew Hocking, Tom Bennett, Daryl Clare, Steve Burton, Mark Angel plus three trialists. Mansfield Town are also expected to play a strong team including Wayne Corden and former Lincoln United defender Stuart Redington.


30 September Neil Thompson was very disappointed with the performance on Saturday, there were the same problems with concentration as in previous matches, which are nothing to do with ability or fitness. During the first part of a game concentration should be at its peak but we let Cambridge United have the run of the park. After Cambridge were two goals up we created a lot of chances, we scored a goal and were then back in the match. We weren't good enough in both boxes. Injuries are part of the game, we are capable but we need to be mentally tuned in.

Neil made enquiries about taking two players on loan last week, one went on loan to another club and scored, the other one was called into his club's first team and also scored. Other clubs are also operating with small squads this season. Stuart Douglas twisted ankle ligaments on Saturday; it is hoped it won't be a long-term injury. Stuart has done well; it is hoped to discuss his position with Boston United shortly.

We have now had a look at the division and it appears we need to make changes as people are making mistakes and we need to perform week in week out. The Reserves match on Wednesday will enable players recovering from injury to have a match plus the opportunity to assess any possible trialists.

Family Learning Day

29 September Boston United Study Support Centre are holding a Family Learning Day on Saturday 12 October 2002 from 10.00am to 12.00noon. The day will include a Tour of the Stadium, a Player Interview, Football Internet Quiz (prizes donated by ASDA and Freshtime), plus Tickets for the afternoon match against Torquay United. Places are limited; there is a maximum of four people per group including at least one adult and one child. The closing date for applications is Monday 7 October 2002. To apply write to Boston United Study Support Centre, 14-16 Spain Place, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 6HN, stating the names of the family group, together with a contact address and telephone number.


27 September Neil Thompson has advised that some of the injured players have resumed training but there are others still in the treatment room, an assessment of the injuries is to be carried out today and tomorrow. Ben Chapman is making good progress, his back running and kicking a ball; his general strength has helped his recovery. Neil predicts another difficult match tomorrow against Cambridge United who have scored 21 goals and conceded 16 goals, they are currently in eleventh position, we need to make a good start to the match. Neil has spent a lot of hours trying to recruit new players for tomorrow but so far he has been frustrated due to injury problems at the clubs he has made enquiries. Players which may have been available are either injured themselves or are required to cover for other injured players. David Town has returned from his loan with Kettering Town but he has a groin injury. Due to other priorities there hasn't been an opportunity to have further discussions on the managers position. Daryl Clare has submitted a written transfer request, which will be considered by the Board of Directors, in the meantime he is still part of the squad.


25 September BBC Teletext, page 12, has reported that Daryl Clare has submitted a written transfer request.

Challenge Trophy

24 September The Nationwide Conference Jim Thompson Challenge Trophy will be played at York Street on Wednesday 6 November 2002 at 7.45 between Boston United (Nationwide Conference Champions) and Stevenage Borough (FA Umbro Trophy Runners-Up).

LDV Vans, Cambridge, Reserves

23 September In the First Round of the LDV Vans Trophy Boston United have been drawn at home to Yeovil Town, the match is scheduled to be played on Wednesday 23 October 2002 at 7.45pm.

The next home Nationwide League Third Division match against Cambridge United on Saturday 28 September 2002 will not be all ticket for the Finn Forest Stand and Spayne Road Terraces, it will be pay at the turnstile for non-season ticket holders. Supporters wishing to use the Spayne Road Terraces are advised to arrive early due to the building of the new turnstiles.

Boston United Reserves play in the Avon Insurance League (Eastern) Division, in their first home game against Lincoln City Reserves 300 people watched the Pilgrims win 2-1. Such was the enthusiasm of the supporters for the next home fixture on 2 October 2002 versus Mansfield Town Reserves that Boston United are putting on 30 minutes pre-match entertainment from 6.30pm onwards with Young Pilgrims being put through their paces.

In addition local primary school Park Board have come forward to join up with Boston United to produce a match programme for this and future home reserve matches. Is there a local company or individual willing to sponsor the programme for the rest of the season? Boston United are not looking for a large sum, but for the sponsor to pay for the paper required, take an advertisement and generally help the youngsters produce this new programme, to help with their studies and promote the Avon Insurance League. For more details contact John Blackwell or Simone Steverton on 01205 364406 or 07860 663299.

Neil Thompson was disappointed with performance at Carlisle on Saturday; the team didn't defend set pieces sufficiently, which is a basic aspect of the game. In previous matches defending set pieces has been a strength but the team didn't do their job in marking Carlisle's attackers. Carlisle were there to be beaten if we had defended to the required standard. We need to back up the win against Swansea with another win. The Treatment Room is currently full; Mark Greaves has a re-occurrence of his foot injury, Simon Rusk was substituted on Saturday with a hamstring strain and Paul Ellender has a groin strain. Neil is planning to have further discussions this week regarding the manager's position.

Steve Evans Quits

20 September Boston United's suspended manager Steve Evans has resigned. The acting manager, Neil Thompson, has been offered the job. The revelation was made by chairman, Des Wood, with Steve Evans by his side at a York Street news conference carried live on BBC Radio Lincolnshire. You can hear everything they said at the news conference at the BBC's site at www.bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire. There'll also be more on the story on BBC Radio Lincolnshire throughout the day and on Sporting Lincs between 6 and 7pm on Friday night. And don't forget there's full match commentary of Carlisle against Boston tomorrow on Radio Lincolnshire on 94.9MHz FM and 1368KHz mediumwave between 2pm and 6pm tomorrow. You can have your say after 5pm in the sports phone-in on 01522 511219 or by going to the message board of the BBC Lincolnshire website.

Neil Thompson Returns

19 September The Nationwide Football web site has reported that Neil Thompson has been pursuaded by Boston United Chairman Des Wood to tear up his resignation and stay on as acting manager.

Neil Thompson Stands Down

18 September After tonight's match against Swansea Neil Thompson told BBC Radio Lincolnshire that he was standing down as acting manager. The statement from Neil Thompson and the reaction from Boston United chairman Des Wood can both be heard on the Radio Lincolnshire website at www.bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire. Neil Thompson explained that his position had become untenable and that he told the club before tonight's game that he would be standing down.

No Way Forward For Clare

17 September Daryl Clare has told BBC Radio Lincolnshire he can see no way forward in the row over him being put on the transfer list. The station revealed today that Clare and Thompson had spoken about the situation for the first time this morning, but the matter appears still not to be resolved. Thompson says he has offered Clare an olive branch, but Clare says he doesn't see a way back. You can hear the full uncut interviews between both Thompson and Clare on BBC's website for Lincolnshire> at www.bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire.

There'll be more on the Daryl Clare saga and the latest on the Steve Evans situation on BBC Radio Lincolnshire's Breakfast Show on Wednesday from 7am. And then there's full match-commentary on Radio Lincolnshire's 94.9FM frequency of the Pilgrims match against Swansea from 7pm on Wednesday.

Reserves Match Off, Swansea Tickets

16 September This evening's reserves match at Darlington> has been postponed by mutual consent following an injury crisis at York Street. This morning only seven fit players were available for the match, so after contacting Darlington it was agreed to call the match off.

Admission to the Finnforest and Spayne Road stands for the Nationwide League game against Swansea on Wednesday evening is by ticket only. Tickets are available from the club office in Spain Place.


16 September Neil Thompson says he has been very disappointed with the first half displays in the last two home games against Cardiff and Oxford, but he hopes the players will perform better for a full 90 minutes in the upcoming matches against Swansea and Carlisle. Nothing has changed since Saturday concerning Daryl Clare, he is sticking by his after-match comments on Radio Lincolnshire. On the injury front. Mark Angel appears to have a foot stress fracture, this is being checked later this week and could keep him out for four weeks if confirmed. Mark Clifford pulled his hamstring in the match on Saturday and will be out for two weeks. Tom Bennett has a groin strain, but should recover fairly quickly. Ben Chapman is still recovering from his knee ligament injury.


15 September The full BBC Radio Lincolnshire interview in which acting manager Neil Thompson revealed he'd placed Daryl Clare on the transfer list can be heard in full on the BBC's website at www.bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire. The dramatic interview was first broadcast live on Radio Lincolnshire's Saturday Sport programme following the Pilgrims' 3-1 defeat at York Street. The website has previews and reaction to all Boston's games as well as breaking news stories. And now you can have your say on the Daryl Clare issue and any other sporting issue on the Lincolnshire sports message board at the same address. For the latest on the Daryl Clare story there'll be more on BBC Radio Lincolnshire's Breakfast Show between 7am and 9.30am on 94.9FM on Monday morning.


14 September Whilst being interviewed by Scott Dalton on BBC Radio Lincolnshire after today's match with Oxford United, Neil Thompson stated that before the match Daryl Clare had refused to be a substitute for the match, subsequently Daryl has been placed on the transfer list and Neil doesn't want him to play for Boston United again.

Mark Angel has his ankle in plaster following an examination at the hospital, which discovered that it is fractured.

The following statement concerning transfer windows has appeared on the Football League's website.

The Football League remains very hopeful that it will secure dispensation from FIFA's new transfer windows.

The new system was implemented world-wide on August 31 technically meaning that no transfers could take place outside two 'windows', one during the close season ending on August 31 and the other from January 1 - 31. But The League is continuing with the system that existed last season while it awaits FIFA's decision on proposals for dispensation submitted at the end of July. Under these proposals it is envisaged that Football League clubs would be allowed to do the following between the transfer window periods: 1) buy and sell players on a permanent transfer within The Football League and below; 2) loan players within The Football League and below; 3) loan players down from Premier League clubs. However it is proposed that signings under the above categories would be subject to a maximum quota of 10 for each club. In addition, it is envisaged certain players can be signed without affecting the quota. These are: 1) players currently unemployed, ie those whose registration is not held by another club; 2) existing players whose contracts are extended, including monthly engagements; 3) players upgraded from scholarship, non-contract or schoolboy status; 4) non-contract, scholarship or schoolboy registrations. Permanent transfer dealing with the Premier League would be limited to two areas. Football League clubs would be allowed to buy players from Premier League clubs between the windows when a player who has been initially signed on loan is subsequently signed on a permanent basis. And players could be sold to Premier League clubs with special permission should a club find itself in severe financial difficulties. Football League clubs have been advised that under the proposals no movement of players would be allowed, in or out, across international borders (including the Home Countries) during the closed periods. But the three Welsh Football League clubs (Swansea City, Cardiff City and Wrexham), plus the other Welsh clubs who play in the English football pyramid, would be regarded as domestic clubs under these proposals. Andy Williamson, The League's Director of Operations, said: 'We have had a fair hearing by FIFA and we await their final decision with regard to our proposals. We do not believe the system as first proposed would help our clubs and that is why we have campaigned for 10 months to get dispensation. We are extremely hopeful now that the approval for these proposals will be forthcoming.'


13 September Neil Thompson has advised that Tom Bennett suffered a groin injury on Wednesday against Cardiff City and he would see how the injury felt today, Mark Angel suffered an ankle injury during today, after the swelling has subsided he would see if the injury was bruising or more serious. Tom, Mark and Daryl Clare may have fitness tests tomorrow.

Neil felt that against Cardiff we performed well for 25 minutes then Cardiff had a purple patch when everything they tried came off. The team was demoralised at half time but they raised themselves for the second half and on the balance of play deserved more goals. Against Kidderminster we were solid defensively, against Cardiff we were better going forward, we now need to perform in both areas to an acceptable standard. Neil is not pleased about conceding five goals, it still hurts, but we now need to move on. There is another tough game against Oxford United tomorrow, they are a big club with ambition and have signed some new players.


12 September Defender Ben Morley has been released by Boston United and has joined Telford United of the Nationwide Conference.

Cardiff, LDV Vans Trophy

10 September Neil Thompson has advised that there are various bumps and bruises within the squad following Saturday's match at Kidderminster. Tom Bennett was due to take part in training today to assess his fitness, Simon Rusk has a slight hamstring strain and Daryl Clare has a problem with his knee. Against Cardiff City we have an opportunity for the players to show what they are capable of, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Cardiff will be up for the match, which should make for a good atmosphere. The match will be a tough test, but there will be a level-playing field and we have to be positive. This is the sort of match we want at Boston and it shows the importance of gaining promotion last season in enabling matches such as this to come to Boston.

Boston United will be in the southern section of the draw for the First Round of the LDV Vans Trophy when it is made live on Soccer AM on Sky Sports on 21 September 2002.

Tickets, Kidderminster

9 September Remaining tickets for the Worthington Cup match with Cardiff City will be available up to the kick off on Wednesday. Tickets for the Finn Forest Stand and Spayne Road Terraces for the forthcoming matches with Oxford United and Swansea City are now available from the club office.

Neil Thompson felt that a good point was obtained at Kidderminster on Saturday where there was a good defensive performance, but we need to be more inventive in the last third of the pitch and have more guile in order to turn the draws into victories. The performance was a vast improvement compared to the match with Bury the previous Saturday. The match was there for the taking, but we were too anxious in looking for a killer ball too often instead of being patient; we can pass the ball better. We are now playing in a better standard of football against teams who are better organised than last season and are on a learning curve. Daryl Clare injured some lateral ligaments during training on Friday but the full seriousness of the injury didn't become apparent until Saturday morning; the injury will be assessed again during this week. In the circumstances Paul Ellender did well in an unfamiliar position against defenders who held the high line. Stuart Douglas did well and his withdrawal towards the end of the match was tactical as he had worked hard and was worn out with nothing more to give.


8 September For fans not able to make the big midweek Worthington Cup match against Cardiff City on Wednesday night there's full-match commentary of the game in a Sports Special on BBC Radio Lincolnshire's 94.9FM frequency (normal midweek programmes continue on medium wave 1368). Join Michael Hortin and Scott Dalton live at York Street for the game, coverage starts after the 7.00pm news. And if you miss any of the goals, interviews and reports on Boston United from BBC Radio Lincolnshire they're on the BBC's website for Lincolnshire at bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire.

BBCi at http://www.bbc.co.uk/


6 September The Avon Insurance fixture away to Darlington has been brought forward to Monday 16 September from Wednesday 18 September; kick off is at 7.00pm.

Mark Greaves is available for selection for tomorrow's match at Kidderminster, Tom Bennett is 50/50 to play and Neil Thompson is available if required. Neil Thompson said he was impressed with the performance of the reserves on Wednesday against Lincoln City, there was a good crowd and Mark Clifford was able to play a full 90 minutes. Kidderminster Harriers are a good footballing team, but they have made an indifferent start to the season, we go there with confidence and need to turn draws into victories and be consistent. The squad are aware they didn't play well against Bury last Saturday, but a plus point was that they didn't give up and kept going to get the equaliser at the end of the match and there is a good attitude in training.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire will have full-match commentary of Boston United's trip to Kidderminster Harriers with Scott Dalton and Rob Underwood on Saturday. Coverage starts on 94.9FM and 1368 medium wave from 1.45pm with kick-off at 2.00pm. There's your chance to have your say in the sports phone-in later in the programme.

BBCi at http://www.bbc.co.uk/


4 September Tickets for the Finn Forest Stand and Spayne Road Terraces for the matches with Oxford United and Swansea City go on sale on Friday.

Boston United included Paul Harries an Australian striker in the team for tonight's Avon Insurance match with Lincoln City. The match referee was Mr K Friend was in charge of the match with Nuneaton Borough last season, which was abandoned after 44 minutes.

On Saturday there will be a match between Kidderminster Harriers Supporters and Boston United Supporters which kicks off at 10.30am.


2 September Neil Thompson has said that he was again disappointed with the performance on Saturday against Bury, we had a poor second half and need to turn draws into victories. With no mid-week match there will be more time available on the training pitch to work on improvements. Mark Greaves was substituted after suffering a kick to the underside of his foot.


30 August Boston United have signed striker Stuart Douglas on non-contract terms. Stuart was born in Enfield on 9 April 1978; he is 5ft 9in tall. Stuart was with Luton Town from 1 August 1995 to 1 July 2002, during this time he had loan spells with Oxford United and Rushden & Diamonds, he has made 130 first team appearances (56 as substitute) and scored 23 goals.

For tomorrow's match with Bury Neil Thompson has a calf strain, Tom Bennett has a groin strain and Ben Chapman is expected to be out of contention for a further six to eight weeks due to his knee ligament injury. Neil Thompson has advised that Mark Greaves is available for a place in defence, he will give competition and has pace; also Paul Ellender's combativeness was missed in midfield at York. Neil also said that places were up for grabs after the performance at York, we are capable of playing to the required standard and need to do so consistently. Neil was planning to talk to Clint Marcelle and Stuart Douglas today about their future with Boston United.

Greaves, Cardiff, Monkey Business

28 August Boston United have signed defender Mark Greaves on a free transfer from Hull City. Mark was born in Hull on 22 January 1975; he is 6ft 1in tall. Mark started his career with Brigg Town on 1 August 1995, where he gained a FA Vase Winners medal, and joined Hull City on 17 June 1996. During his time with Hull Mark made 204 first team appearances (27 as substitute) and scored 12 goals.

Click here for a picture of Mark Greaves

Tickets for the Worthington Cup match with Cardiff City on Wednesday 11 September will on sale to season ticket holders from Saturday to Tuesday lunchtime, after which they available for the general public to purchase. Season ticket holders will need to produce their ticket when purchasing a ticket for the match. Tickets are the same price as for Nationwide Third Division matches.

Boston United and Lincoln City are the subject of a new book, which will highlight the problems facing lower league clubs after the collapse of ITV Digital.

Monkey Business: Peanuts, Pilgrims, Chimps and Imps is being written by freelance journalist and broadcaster Grahame Lloyd who began watching Lincoln City as a schoolboy in Market Rasen. With the full co-operation of both clubs, Grahame is planning to tell the story of the 2002-03 season through the eyes of the key characters at Sincil Bank and York Street.

"Just after The Red Imps became the first club to go into administration because of the ITV Digital crisis," says Grahame, "The Pilgrims won a place in the Football League for the first time as Nationwide Conference champions.

"I thought it would be fascinating to compare and contrast the fortunes of these two fierce rivals in this crucial season when two teams will go down from the Third Division for the first time and all clubs are being hit in the pocket by the ITV Digital collapse.

"As Lincoln were the first team to be automatically relegated to the Conference in 1987, they'll be desperate to stay up after successfully coming out of administration early last month.

"Boston's summer was just as traumatic with the Football Association finding the club guilty of contract irregularities and imposing a four-point deduction and £100,000 fine but allowing The Pilgrims to stay in the Football League."

The prologue will cover the close season at both clubs and then the book will be divided up into chapters featuring, among others, the two chairmen, managers, captains, longest-serving players, secretaries and tea ladies.

"I think that people are becoming fed up with glitz and glamour of the Premiership," says Grahame. "They can't relate to the ridiculously high wages – David Beckham's £90,000 a week would pay everybody's salaries at Sincil Bank for a month - and the book will revolve around the folk who run the two clubs. In the main, they are ordinary people with an extraordinary passion who are in football not to make money out of it but because they love the game."

The project has been welcomed by both Boston and Lincoln who will be guaranteed a 50 per cent discount on every copy they sell when the book is brought out by Greenwater Publishing of Exeter in August next year.

"It's wonderful that the characters at each club – from the star striker to the tea lady – can actually tell their stories," says Boston chairman Des Wood. "It'll give an intriguing insight into the way the two clubs negotiate what promises to be a very important season – on and off the pitch."

"We're all awash with the soap opera and irrelevance of football at the top of the tree," says Lincoln chairman Rob Bradley, "and I think it's great news that a book is coming out about life in the lower leagues – especially because it features Lincoln City and Boston United who everyone in the county is focused on this season."

A weekly column, Boston's Up, featuring the experiences of some of The Pilgrims' personalities, can be read in the sports pages of The Guardian newspaper every Monday until the end of the season.


27 August Neil Thompson was disappointed with the performance at York yesterday, after the performance against Lincoln on Saturday, especially in the second half when York dictated the game. After the first 20 minutes the play was disjointed we didn't keep the shape and there were too many players not performing to the required standard. Neil was substituted after incurring a knock to his calf, which isn't serious. Steve Burton was substituted after the referee intimated that another indiscretion would incur a second yellow card, which would have meant his dismissal. There has been a tough start, we are on a learning curve and need to bounce back and build for Saturday's match with Bury. In addition consistency is the key for the full match and for every match.

Admission for the home match with Bury on Saturday will be by paying at the turnstiles for non season ticket holders.


25 August The away match with Kidderminster Harriers on 7 September 2002 will kick off at 2.00pm due to the England versus Portugal friendly fixture, which is being played at Villa Park on the same day.

The contact names and telephone numbers for enquiries about travel on BUSA supporters coaches are Jan Birley telephone 01205 310387 and Sandra Richmond telephone 01205 359480.

The draw for this season's LDV Vans Trophy rounds will take place on Soccer AM on Sky Sports on the following dates: Round One - 21 September 2002, Round Two - 26 October 2002, Area Quarter Final - 16 November 2002, Area Semi Final - 14 December 2002. This season there are twelve representatives from the Nationwide Conference, an increase of four from last season, the twelve are: Halifax Town, Dagenham and Redbridge, Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers, Morecambe, Stevenage Borough, Scarborough, Chester City, Southport, Leigh RMI, Hereford United and Woking. As in previous seasons only clubs with an "A" grade ground are allowed to play in Football League competitions. The first round of the competition will be played during week commencing 21 October 2002 and the Final will be played at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.


23 August David Town has joined Kettering Town on loan for one month.

Neil Redfearn has completed his suspension and is available for selection. Jamie Gould is still suffering from a virus and Ben Chapman has an injury to a ligament in his knee.

Accommodation, York

22 August Boston United are seeking accommodation, lodgings, a room with a family, etcetera for two 17-year-old players. Anyone who can assist please call John Blackwell on 01205 364406.

There are still seats available on the BUSA coach to York on Monday; it is anticipated there will be time allowed in the city of York.

Worthington Cup, Rodwell

21 August Last night in the Worthington Cup Preliminary Round Boston United defeated Bristol Rovers 2-0 to set up a home match with Cardiff City in the next round.

Bristol Rovers 0 2 Boston United

Burton 52

Weatherstone 72

Attendance 4,555

Boston United: Bastock, Hocking, Ellender, Warburton, Thompson, Rusk, Simon Weatherstone, Bennett, Angel, Clare, Burton. Substitutes: Monington, Cook, Morley, Elding, Conroy.

The match with Cardiff City will be played at York Street on Wednesday 11 September, kick off at 7.45pm. The match will be all-ticket; details for the distribution of tickets will be announced in due course.

Supporters attending the match with Lincoln City on Saturday are urged to allow plenty of time to get to the match as there is expected to be a large volume of traffic in Boston on Saturday due to the visit of HM Bark Endeavour, holiday traffic and the Lincoln match. It has been suggested that Lincoln City supporters travel to Boston via Horncastle to avoid Sleaford Road.

Jim Rodwell has joined Farnborough Town of the Nationwide Conference.

Boston United are looking for four stretcher-bearers.

The Standard has reported that Bradley Allen, Clint Marcelle and Stuart Douglas are training with Boston United.


17 August

Wrexham 1 1 Boston United

Trundle 27 Rusk 63

Attendance 3293

Boston United team: Bastock, Chapman, Hocking, Rodwell, Warburton, Simon Weatherstone, Gould, Burton, Clare, Bennett, Rusk. Substitutes: Conroy, Monington, Cook (Burton 77), Angel (Gould 60), Morley (Chapman 90).

Squad, Radio

16 August The registration forms for Steve Burton have been completed and he is in the squad for tomorrow's match at Wrexham. Paul Ellender is doubtful due to an injury he incurred at Hartlepool. Mark Clifford is still unavailable. Anthony Elding and Ben Morley have started training again.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire will have live full-match commentary of Boston United's trip to Wrexham in Saturday Sport between 2.00pm and 6.00pm. Scott Dalton and Rob Underwood will describe the action as it happens while Michael Hortin will present the programme from Sincil Bank with Chris Parkin who'll be giving extensive updates from Lincoln's match with Carlisle United. There will also be regular reports from Gainsborough Trinity and Grantham Town's return to competitive action while there will be a round-up of all the county non-league scores and Premier League cricket updates. There is also your chance to have your say in the footie phone-in after 5.00pm by calling Michael on 01522 511219. And before all that there's Sporting Lincs on Friday from 6.00pm with interviews including Neil Thompson and Matt Hocking. BBC Radio Lincolnshire broadcasts on 94.9FM and 1368 mediumwave.


15 August The panel for last night's forum at the Gliderdrome was Des Wood, Dave Pickett, John Blackwell, Neil Thompson, Simone Steverton and John Sylvester. The following points were discussed.

Murphy, Burton

14 August Gez Murphy has joined Kettering Town.

Steve Burton, who played in the friendly match with Nottingham Forest, but has not been able to play in the Third Division due to being part of the scholarship scheme at Ipswich Town, has now joined Boston United on loan for three months.


13 August Additional copies of the new 44-page FBYF fanzine can be obtained by mail order. Please send a cheque for £1.20 (payable to R. Smith) to: 4 Court Farm Road, Rose Hill, Oxford, OX4 4UL. £1.20 will cover postage and packing, so there's no need to bother with a stamped addressed envelope.

Hartlepool, Staff

12 August The match at Hartlepool tomorrow is all ticket for Boston United supporters, tickets will be on sale from the club office until 12.00 noon tomorrow.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire will have live full match commentary of Boston United's game at Hartlepool on Tuesday night from 7.00pm in a Sports Special. Join Michael Hortin and Scott Dalton to hear the drama unfold on 94.9FM. There'll also be regular live updates from Lincoln City's match at home to Rochdale plus all the night's other scores. And join William Wright on Wednesday from 7.00am on the Breakfast Show for reaction from both games or go on line at bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire to re-live the drama and hear from the United camp.

Boston United would like to recruit four stretcher-bearers to be on duty on match days, the successful applicants will receive free admission to matches, first aid experience will be an advantage. Additional Stewards are also required. For more details on these positions contact Stadium Manager Richard Carrington on 01205 364406.


8 August Boston United have signed defender Ben Morley who was with Hull City last season. Ben was born in Hull on 20 December 1980, he is 5ft 9in tall. Ben signed for Hull on 8 December 1987 he has made 32 first team appearances (23 as substitute) and scored one goal.

On Saturday the gates will open at 1.15pm for the match with Bournemouth. People who wish to use the Finn Forest Stand will need to have a ticket to gain admission; tickets will be on sale in the Social Club.

Burton, Appeal

7 August Boston United have signed striker Steven Burton on loan for three months from Ipswich Town. Steve was born in Doncaster on 9 October 1983, he is 6ft 1in tall, he originally signed for Ipswich on 1 August 2002 and featured in the friendly match with Boston United last month.

The Nationwide website has reported that Boston> United have decided not to appeal against the recent fine and points deduction by the Football Association.

Today's edition of the Standard has reported that Gee Evans has left the club, Neil Redfearn, Simon Rusk and Peter Costello are suspended for Saturday's match and Mark Clifford will also miss the match due to an Achilles injury.


7 August Calling all Nationwide League supporters. Are you planning to tie the knot, or do you know of anyone who has blown the whistle on that crucial first match of the season in favour of making that other lifetime commitment by saying "I do"? To celebrate the start of the new season, Football League sponsor, Nationwide, is looking for footie fans, who are set to kick off married life at the same time as their favourite team starts its new season on Saturday 10th August, 2002. If your wedding bells are set to ring on this special day, then the Nationwide Building Society would like to hear from couples who feel they deserve a reward for missing that first game in favour of tying the knot.

Apart from missing the first match of the season, the cost of an average wedding and a honeymoon these days can be pretty high. So it is not surprising that more people are using loans to pay for them. As a result, Nationwide is pleased to be able to offer the winning couple a very special £2,000 personal loan, which will never have to be repaid, for them to put towards a honeymoon of their dreams. The top prize also includes a personal wedding video for the footy mad bride and groom, which includes messages from the players and highlights from that days match to catch up on all the action whilst on honeymoon. And six lucky runners-up are guaranteed a passion fuelled, romantic date at their home ground with a pair of VIP match day tickets to wine, dine and introduce their partner to the other great love of their life!

Nationwide Building Society's Steve Clode, Marketing Director, said: "To kick off the start of the new season in style we want to ensure that football supporters getting married on this memorable day have a wonderful start to their life together and hopefully the new season. What's more, they'll have a double reason to celebrate if their side wins." He continued: "Many newlyweds find that getting married is the single largest outlay after buying a house, and we hope that this generous prize will help with the cost of their honeymoon. By planning ahead and taking out a personal loan to cover the cost of the wedding, couples are able to spread those bills over a more manageable period and guarantee that only happy memories surround that very special day."

To enter the Nationwide Weddings of the New Season competition couples are being asked to register their wedding by visiting the Nationwide website (www.nationwide.co.uk/football) or by calling on 01652 641370 (charged as a national call - 8p per minute).

Hartlepool, Radio

5 August The away match with Hartlepool United on Tuesday 13 August has made all ticket for visiting supporters. Tickets are available from the club office now at £13.00 for adults and £6.00 for concessions. Boston United supporters are urged not to travel to the match without a ticket.

Tickets are also available from the club office at £2.00 for a Fans Forum in the Gliderdrome on Wednesday 14 August.

Boston United fans will be able to hear more of their team's games live on BBC Radio Lincolnshire than ever before - thanks to a new deal struck between the station and the football club. The station has agreed a contract with the Pilgrims for exclusive radio commentary rights for United's historic first season in the Football League. It means for the fourth season running, BBC Radio Lincolnshire will again increase its coverage of the Pilgrims with more full-match commentary games than ever before. It will see almost all United's away games in the League, FA Cup, Worthington Cup and LDV Trophy broadcast in full on BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
Sports producer Michael Hortin said: "We had tremendous feedback to last season's football coverage, especially Boston United's championship run-in. "With two Football League clubs now in our broadcast area we wanted to make sure both Boston and Lincoln fans are well served. Our usual plan will be to have live commentary on whichever side is away from home. But there will be occasions when we split frequencies like on the opening day to take account
of special matches, like Boston's first game in the Football League at York Street against Bournemouth," Michael explained. The centrepiece of the station's coverage will again be Saturday Sport between 2pm and 6pm with comprehensive build-up to the games and reaction
after 5 with the popular fans' phone-in on 01522 511219. Ahead of the action on Friday nights there's Sporting Lincs between 6pm and 7pm with the latest from the York Street and Sincil Bank camps. There's also breaking news stories and sports features with news bulletins on the hour, regular sports bulletins and programmes like William Wright's Breakfast Show.


August 10 Full commentary on FM: Kidderminster v Lincoln; MW: Boston v Bournemouth.
August 13 Full commentary on HARTLEPOOL v BOSTON with reports on Lincoln City v Rochdale.
August 17 Full commentary on WREXHAM v BOSTON with reports on Lincoln v Carlisle.
August 20 Full commentary on BRISTOL ROVERS v BOSTON in the Worthington Cup preliminary round.
August 24 Full commentary on BOSTON UNITED v LINCOLN CITY.

Bennett, Tickets

2 August The signing of Tom Bennett has been completed today.

Season tickets have arrived from the printers and are being completed by the office staff, they will be available for collection from Monday.

Tickets for the Finn Forest Stand for the match with AFC Bournemouth on Saturday 10 August are on sale. Season ticket holders will gain admission to the match with their season ticket.

Tickets for the match with Lincoln City on Saturday 24 August will be on sale inside the ground for the match against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday 6 August.


1 August Today's edition of the Standard has reported the following items:

Thomas Bennett was born in Falkirk on 12 December 1969; he is 5ft 11in tall. Tom's former clubs are Aston Villa, Wolverhempton Wanderers, Stockport County and Walsall; he has made 378 first team appearances (31 as substitute) and scored 19 goals.


29 July On Friday Boston United are due to play a friendly match away to Holbeach United. This is a special game in memory of former physiotherapist Gerald Starling. The entrance is £3.00 with all proceeds to Gerald's family.


26 July Boston United have signed midfielder Neil Redfearn and he is in the squad to play Rotherham tomorrow. Neil was born in Dewsbury on 20 June 1965; he is 5ft 10in tall. Neil's previous clubs are Nottingham Forest, Bolton Wanderers, Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers, Crystal Palace, Watford, Oldham Athletic, Barnsley, Charlton Athletic, Bradford City, Wigan Athletic and Halifax Town. During his career Neil has played 850 first team matches (29 as substitute) and scored 167 goals.

Fixture, Fanzine

25 July The away match with Bournemouth has been brought forward from Saturday 1 February to Friday 31 January, kick off at 7.45pm.

The Target has reported that Boston United are planning to move to a new ground possibly in time for next season and that a Premiership referee will take charge of the match with Lincoln City on 24 August. Also in the Target are the following squad numbers: 1 Paul Bastock, 2 Mark Clifford, 3 Ben Chapman, 4 Paul Ellender, 5 Mark Monington, 6 Jim Rodwell, 9 Daryl Clare, 10 Simon Weatherstone, 11 Mark Angel, 12 Matt Hocking, 14 James Gould, 16 Simon Rusk, 17 Peter Costello, 18 Anthony Elding, 19 Andy Lodge, 20 David Town, 21 Jamie Cook, 22 Ross Weathersone, 23 Gez Murphy, 24 Paul Hart, 25 Brian Hardie, 26 Ray Warburton, 29 Nick Conroy.

The following press release has been received from the publishers of the From Behind Your Fences fanzine:

FBYF fanzine is back, with Issue 14. A forest-clearing, advert-free 44 pager of all new material, including the full length comic strip return of Farmer Dan the Boston Fan - surely Boston's most famous fictional supporter.

The national award winning (...blush..blush...) fanzine will be on sale at the Bournemouth game on 10 August. More amusing than abusing, we believe it's probably our funniest issue yet.

I can't believe we're only charging £1 a copy - perhaps the F.A. will want to investigate us!

Worthington Cup

24 July Today's edition of the Lincolnshire Echo has reported that Boston United are to play an away Preliminary Round match to Bristol Rovers in the Worthington Cup on Tuesday 20 August at 7.45pm. The winners of this match will be at home to Cardiff City in the First Round, which is to be played in week commencing 7 September. The Preliminary Round has been necessitated by Ipswich Town's entry into the UEFA Cup, which earns them an exemption to a later round, and is between last seasons Conference Champions and the lowest placed survivor in the Third Division.


22 July The home match with AFC Bournemouth on 10 August 2002 will be all ticket for the Finn Forest Stand, and the home match with Lincoln City on 24 August 2002 will be all ticket for the whole of the ground. Details for the purchase of tickets will be announced later.


21 July Due to the interest being shown in Boston United's debut in the Third Division the home matches with AFC Bournemouth and Lincoln City may be made all ticket. Further details will be announced in due course.

The team for yesterday's match with Barnsley featured Tom Bennett who was with Walsall last season.

FA, Social Club

19 July The following statement has been posted on the Football Association's website:

A three-man F.A. disciplinary commission in Birmingham has spent the last two days hearing charges against Boston United F.C. Boston admitted six breaches of F.A. rules relating to the lodging of registered playing contracts containing details which were found to be false. The penalties imposed by the commission were as follows:

  1. Four points deducted from the commencement of the 2002-2003 Football League season.
  2. A fine of £100,000
  3. The club is ordered to pay adjusted costs of the hearing up to a maximum of £3,000.
  4. Boston United will be subjected to a full financial and compliance review at the commencement of the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons.

Steve Evans, the team manager at Boston United FC has admitted four breaches of F.A. rules relating to his involvement in the lodging of registered playing contracts containing details which were false. He has denied four other charges relating to contract irregularities and impeding the investigation, which will be dealt with at a later date. The penalties for the charges he has admitted will be decided once the other charges have been dealt with.

Pat Malkinson, the former chairman of Boston United FC, has denied two charges relating to contract irregularities and impeding the inquiry. These matters will be dealt with at a later date.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire has reported that Boston United will be appealing against the penalties.

Boston United Social Club will be closed tomorrow for refurbishment, details will be announced shortly of the re-opening.


18 July The Standard has reported that former Walsall captain Tom Bennett and Neil Redfearn joined Boston United for training on Tuesday, and Bennett is expected to sign if Boston retain their Division Three status.

Home Kit for the 2002/3 Season

16 July Boston United have revealed their new home kit for the upcoming season. The Black and Amber striped shirts and black shorts that have been used for the last two seasons have been replaced by amber shirts and shorts.

New Kit


11 July Boston United have been awarded a Civic Pride Award by the Civic Group of Boston Preservation Trust for winning the Nationwide Conference last season. The award will be presented at Fydell House on 22 August.

Earlier today goalkeeper Paul Bastock opened the redevelopment of Marks and Spencer's store in Boston.

Reserves, Golf

5 July Admission to reserves matches next season will be £2.00 and is expected to be to the Finn Forest stand only. In the Central League Cup for next season Boston United have been grouped with last season's winners, Sheffield United, together with Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe United.

Yesterday's golf tournament was won by Dogs Wotsits with 94 points, followed by Study Support and Woody's Wonders.

Evans & Malkinson

4 July Boston United, its former chairman Pat Malkinson and its football manager Steve Evans, have been charged by the Football Association with breaches of FA Regulations. The charges against Boston United relate to failure to lodge correct particulars of players' contracts with the FA under Rule C (j)(i) of the FA Rules. Mr Malkinson and Mr Evans are subject to further charges under FA Rule E (i) regarding alleged improper conduct. The club's chairman, Des Woods commented:

"Mr Malkinson and Mr Evans are dealing with their cases independently. The club is taking these charges seriously and has instigated its own internal investigation. Pending the outcome of these investigations, Steve Evans has been suspended from his duties. We have co-operated fully with the FA enquiry and are committed to upholding FA Rules. Media reports have referred to "financial irregularities" so I want to make it very clear that no dishonesty or criminal conduct has been alleged against the club."

Mr Woods went on to say: "Pat Malkinson has not enjoyed the best of health for some time and has resigned from the Board. Any further comment will have to await the FA's ruling in the matter, to prevent any prejudice to the legal position of the parties in these proceedings. Our focus remains on playing a proper part in the Football League during the forthcoming season."

Pat Malkinson has stood down as a director of the club, which he has served as a Director for over 30 years and as Chairman for 17 years. Pat has had heart surgery during the last six months and continues to receive medical attention. He intends to defend charges against him but whilst denying any intent to influence any individual in respect of the FA enquiry, he accepts that the very nature of the charge taints not only him but also the club. Pat does not consider that the club should be so tainted by his actions, innocent or otherwise, and that it is therefore in the best interest of both the club and his own health that he accelerates his intended retirement from the Board. Pat will continue to give his support to the club, but not on any formal basis.

Training, Evans, Golf

2 July Yesterday the players reported back for pre-season training.

The Boston United manager, Steve Evans, has spoken publicly for the first time since he and the club were charged by the Football Association. In an exclusive interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire, he said: "The problem I've got is that legally I've been instructed for the benefit of my defence to make no comment and that will certainly be the stance I'll be taking until we meet with the FA later in July at the hearing. "I would love to be more open and honest with the fans and I would love to be giving them some feelings and views which I've got which are quite strong, but at the end of the day I've got to live with this until my legal team meet with the FA.

"I've felt like I've been tied to a chair and can't make a response and that's still the case. The legal side is the only reason I've not come out and maybe said more than I should," Evans told the station. The Pilgrims' manager also said he had received "fantastic" backing from supporters since the charges were made as well as other people in football. He said he didn't believe the on-going situation with the FA would put off players signing for the club.

Boston United face six FA charges, Steve Evans eight and the club owner Pat Malkinson two after a month-long investigation by the FA. You can hear the full BBC Radio Lincolnshire interview with Steve Evans by logging on to the BBC's website for Lincolnshire at www.bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire and going to the News section.

The Boston United Invitational Golf Tournament takes place at Boston Golf Club on Thursday 4 July 2002. All players, with the exception of Boston Golf Club members, will be required to produce a valid club or society handicap certificate on the day when the team registers. Anyone unable to do so will play off scratch - no exceptions will be made. Golfers are respectfully reminded that they must confer with all aspects of the dress code at Boston Golf Club. Use of mobile telephones is only permissible in the changing room area. Jacket, collar and tie are mandatory for the presentation, which is scheduled for 9.15pm. Below are the teetimes.

Tee Times Team Team



Boston United




Ringrose Law

Tim Ruck A




North Shore Outcasts




Tim Ruck B



Limb's Looneys

Wooden Tops



Five Lamps

Dick Masters



Top Girls

Burgess, Thompson & Richardson



The Gliderdrome




Lenny's Lions

Alwyn's All-Stars



A/C 15

LaFarge Concrete Suppliers



The Dog's Wotsits

LaFarge Rock Solids



Pork Scratchings

Rusty's Rebels



Just Johns

Coca Cola Kids



Hallowes B

Boston Snooker Centre



Cowbridge Inn

The Odd Bods



South Kyme GC

Kirton Holme GC



Go Nuts

Chipn Dales



Chop Suey Four

Denis & The Menaces



George's Dragons

Three Men & A Banker



Richard Tinn

Finn Forest



Welch's Wizards

Woody's Wonders


30 June As excitement builds to fever pitch at York Street with the approaching historic season, Boston United Football Club have announced a tie-up with Westpoint Media Sales Limited. The deal involves Westpoint, a successful commercial managing partner, undertaking all commercial activities in the coming season.

John Blackwell, the Pilgrim's stalwart Secretary / General Manager, welcomed the development, saying, "I've been pushing for this for some time. As we move into the big league, we need extra income streams to support our continued progress and Westpoint, with their facilities and contacts, are well placed to deliver."

Mark Sylvester, a director of Westpoint Media, will head up the operation and will be the first point of contact for those looking to help the Pilgrims. Mark said he and his team would quickly establish contacts with existing friends and sponsors, together with bringing in additional funds from new sources.

Mark said Westpoint were looking forward to increasing their involvement and that interested parties can call him on 07866 530412.


28 June Following are the results of the month-long inquiry by The F.A.'s Compliance Unit into Boston United Football Club from the Football Association's website.

Boston United F.C. have this afternoon been charged by The Football Association as follows:

The club have 14 days to respond, with a hearing convened for the 18/19 July 2002.

Admission, Sponsorship

27 June The admission prices for Nationwide League matches for next season are £13.00 (concessions £9.50) for the Finn Forest Stand and £11.50 (concessions £8.50) for the terraces. The admission prices for the pre-season friendly matches will be £9.50 for seats and £8.50 for the terraces with concessions at £5.00 for all areas.

The pre-season friendly with Barnsley has been moved to Saturday 20 July 2002, there is an away match with Billericay Town on 21 July 2002 and an away match with Boreham Wood on Wednesday 23 July 2002.

The reserves home fixtures will kick off at 7.00pm on Wednesdays.

Boston United have joined with Westpoint Media Sales Limited to increase commercial activities, Mark Sylvester a director of Westpoint Media Sales will lead the operation.

This coming season Boston United will do battle with some famous names and will host games against the likes of Hull City and our fellow county clubs, Lincoln City and Scunthorpe United. The profile of the club is at an all-time high and during the 2002/03 season there should be over 100,000 people pass through the turnstiles together with greater exposure to television cameras. Following are the sponsorship and hospitality opportunities for the season.

Main Shirt Sponsor for Reserves Home and Away Kit: £10,000

The sponsor will receive the following benefits:

Programme Sponsor: £2,500

The sponsor will receive the following benefits:

Matchday Sponsor: £500

The sponsor will receive the following benefits:

Matchball Sponsor: £250

The sponsor will receive the following benefits.

Player Sponsorship

The home and away kit cost £100 with individual home or away kits at £60, the sponsors name will appear in the matchday programme.

Matchday Programme Advertising

The rates for the season are full-page £1,250, half page £650, and quarter page £350.

Stadium Advertising

A wide range of sites exist commencing at £500

Net Busters

Support Boston United by pledging a minimum of 50p for every goal scored or £1 per clean sheet. The sponsors name will appear in the matchday programme.

Matchday Mascot: £75

A youngster (accompanied by two adults) will be entitled to walk out with their heroes, enjoy the kick-about and have a replica kit to take away.

Fixtures List Wallchart Advertising

Thousands will be distributed free to supporters at the start of the season.

Sporting Dinners

A great meal followed by entertainment from a guest speaker and a comedian. There will be nights to suit all tastes.

Other Opportunities

For more details on any of the above sponsorship opportunities contact Mark Sylvester on 07866 530412 or John Blackwell on 01205 364406.

Stadium Manager

18 June With promotion to the Football League the Safety Advisory Group have recommended that Boston United, in common with other clubs have to have a full-time Safety Officer and Stadium Manager. This weekend Richard Carrington has been appointed to this post. Due to the safety measures necessary there are vacancies for stewards, anyone who is interested in these positions can contact Richard Carrington or John Blackwell on 01205 364406 for more information.

Work has commenced on the two new catering outlets at the Town End and York Street stands, which must be brick built. Further work on two new toilet facilities, turnstiles and a control room will commence in the next few days. Also planned is the re-location of the players tunnel which will be moved nearer to the Spayne Road side of the ground.

League Announce Campaign To 'Save Our Clubs'

13 June The Football League has announced plans for a campaign of direct action against Carlton and Granada, the joint owners of ITV Digital. The campaign is called 'Save our Clubs' and aims to harness the anger felt by both clubs and fans at the actions of the two companies in failing to honour the outstanding £178.5m owed to Football League clubs.

The campaign will build up to the beginning of The Football League's court action against Carlton and Granada on July 26 with the highlight being a protest by all 72 League Chairman outside the London offices of both companies on 10 July.

The protest will be followed by 12 days of protest outside the same offices by League clubs, with six clubs designated to protest on each day. The campaign will also feature lobbying of MPs and petitioning of supporters.

In launching the campaign Football League Chairman Keith Harris said: "We remain appalled that two corporate giants like Carlton and Granada can be allowed to cause such catastrophic damage to our national sport in the selfish pursuit of their own interests.

We have made numerous attempts to negotiate with Carlton and Granada only to be rejected on each occasion. Our patience is now at an end and we will turn up on 10 July and wait, as a united body of chairmen, for Michael Green and Charles Allen to have the common decency to acknowledge our case."


11 June Boston United have signed defender Ben Chapman from Grimsby Town. Ben was born in Scunthorpe on 2 March 1979; he is 5ft 7in tall. Ben signed as a trainee for Grimsby on 1 August 1997 where he has made 28 first team appearances (nine as substitute).


10 June On Thursday 13 June 2002 at 1.15pm in the Boston United Social Club, Batemans Brewery of Lincolnshire and a past sponsor of Boston United will launch their Pilgrims Progress Celebration Ale in recognition of Boston United's success in becoming Nationwide Conference Champions. Steve Evans is to pull the first pint of the new ale.

On Saturday Boston United were elected to the Nationwide League Third Division and the fixtures for next season are expected to be issued on Thursday.

The Lincolnshire Senior Cup match against AFC Stamford has been re-scheduled for Monday 12 August 2002 and will now be played at Stamford.

Town End

6 June The Safety Advisory Group has decided that with safety being paramount, the Town End stand will be allocated to away supporters next season. The Safety Advisory Group comprises representatives from Boston United, Boston United Supporters Association, Police, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Boston Borough Council Building Inspectors, and the FA Licensing Committee.


5 June The Annual General Meeting of the Nationwide League is being held in London on Saturday 8 June, Boston United will be represented at the meeting.

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