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Talbot and Crane at the heart of the defence

Pilgrims 2-1 Barrow AFC

Blue Square Conference North

It's almost nine years since Barrow last visited Boston. They were a good side then but both sides have had a rollercoaster of a ride during the intervening seasons so predicting the outcome of this match was always going to be difficult. After Lee Crockett's disasterous own goal in his debut on Bank Holiday Monday at Alfreton, Chris Wright returned between the sticks. Lee Thompson and Jon Froggatt formed the striking partnership up front. There was no sign of Russell Fry who joined on non-contract terms earlier in the week. Barrow were having trouble containing Matt O'Halloran and conceded two free kicks in dangerous positions after fouling the Boston midfielder. A long range thunderbolt of a shot from Ashley Nicholls had to be palmed over the bar by Barrow 'keeper Tim Deasy on 10 minutes. A penetrating cross by Froggatt then skidded across the face of the goal before being put behind for a corner by a Barrow defender. Lee Thompson then tried a shot from distance that was only inches wide of the left upright. Barrow's first chance of note came in the 19th minute when Medine fouled Nick Rogan five yards outside the area, but the resulting free-kick was well wide of the target. Barrow came closer a few minutes later when a shot by Darren Sheridan was just too high. Another Barrow free kick was wasted when the free kick was fired straight at Wright who smothered the ball well. Boston took the lead in the 29th minute when Barrow defender Dave BAYLISS produced a lovely glancing header at the near post from a whipped in right wing cross by O'Halloran that gave his 'keeper no chance.

The Boston lead lasted just nine minutes. In a moment of madness Liam Green decided he was going to dribble out of defence, but he was dispossessed by Kyle WILSON who then had the simple job of planting the ball past Wright, which he did with ease. The play in the opening minutes of the second half was fairly scrappy with neither side producing much in the way of clear cut chances. Tommy Taylor decided to ring the changes, first bringing on David Galbraith for Stewart Talbot, then Kieran Leabon and Tom Matthews for Lee Thompson and Matt Bloomer respectively. Leabon looked lively and a run across the edge of the area was unlucky not to produce a shooting chance. A shot by Tom Matthews following a Boston corner was only just wide of the left post. Boston delivered the killer punch five minutes from time. Barrow won a corner, but a timely tackle by Jon Froggatt let Boston break forward quickly and Froggatt threaded the ball to Ashley Nicholls who sped down the right wing before delivering a perfect cross for LEABON to head home at the back post. Froggatt could have wrapped up the points in injury time but he mis-hit his effort in front of a gaping goal. It didn't matter though as Boston held on and got back to winning ways in the Conference North. After the match Tommy Taylor said: "We got there in the end with a great goal. We're only winning with great goals I think. We give a silly goal away again. Some of the boys looked tired, so it give me the opportunity to fetch Kieran on with a bit more pace and it come up trumps for us."

Boston United: Chris Wright, Matt Bloomer (Tom Matthews 61), Liam Green, Paul Ellender, Stewart Talbot (David Galbraith 58), Tony Crane, Ashley Nicholls, Jon Froggatt, Mbiyeye Medine, Lee Thompson (Kieran Leabon 61), Matt O'Halloran. Subs not used: Dwayne Clarke, Ludovic Quistin.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2007.