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Grantham Town 1-3 Pilgrims

Dr Martens League

The Pilgrims finally broke their losing streak and goalscoring drought with a comfortable win against local rivals Grantham Town. Matt Carmichael made a surprising return to the starting line-up, overcoming his back injury quicker than expected. Reserve team striker Neil Featherstone joined him up front, starting only his second Dr. Martens League game. Mark Rawle was not fully fit and thus started the game on the subs bench. The first half passed fairly uneventfully. Boston were winning corners, but failing to make them count. The Gingerbreads looked sharp on the break, testing the Boston offside trap to its limits. The closest that United came to scoring were two long range efforts. The first from Mason resulted in a corner, the second from Hardy bounced deceptively on the hard surface and almost beat Germaine in the Grantham goal. Grantham should have done better with their first half chances. On three occasions they beat the offside trap but two cases of atrocious finishing and one brilliant save from Paul Bastock kept the scores level. Soon after the second half started Hardy was booked for a very clumsy tackle. Combined with his sending off in the King's Lynn game, the resulting period of suspension means it is unlikely that he will play much of a role in the remaining games this season. Neil FEATHERSTONE crowned a solid display by putting the Pilgrims into the lead on 52 minutes. The ball found its way through to him in the area and he turned his marker to fire a shot past the keeper. Grantham responded with a substitution, bringing on M. Stahlberger for Jerome Samuels. This seemed to pay dividends when soon after, Adrian SPEED scored an equaliser after latching on to a free kick and slotting past Paul Bastock.

Len Curtis, who had picked up a head injury in the first half, was carried off on a stretcher following a further clash of heads. He was replaced by youngster Danny Seager. Matt CARMICHAEL restored the Boston lead on 75 minutes with a well directed header. This made up for a bad miss a few minutes earlier when he had shot wide. Ian Stringfellow had two near identical chances to finish the game off when put in the clear down the left wing, but both chances were saved. Both Grantham and Boston made further substitutions, the Gingerbreads replacing Bowman with Gwyther, the Pilgrims Carmichael with Childs. Richard MASON finally put the result beyond doubt five minutes from the end with a goal that Germaine will want to quickly forget. The spin on a tame long range shot made the ball bounce sideways past the highly embarrassed Grantham keeper.

This was an end of season game between two teams with little to play for except local pride, and it showed. Boston will have to sharpen up their game over the summer if they are going to be championship contenders next season. They won't find many sides with forwards as generous as Grantham's Jae Martin, who missed a hatful of chances that any half decent striker would have buried with ease.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Len Curtis, 4. Ian Stringfellow, 5. Martin Hardy, 6. Steve Charles, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Peter Costello, 9. Matt Carmichael, 10. Neil Featherstone, 11. Richard Mason, 12. Gary Childs, 14. Danny Seager, 15. Mark Rawle.