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The pain of winning

Pilgrims 5-3 Hereford United

Nationwide Conference

Boston United finished their season in style, overwhelming former League side Hereford United to finish in 12th position in the Conference. In a high scoring game, it was Hereford who opened the scoring after just two minutes when Paul PARRY slotted home a well placed long-range effort. Boston were hungry for an early equaliser and Costello soon came close when he ran straight through the Hereford defence, but his final shot was well parried by Cooksey in the Hereford goal, and Cook fired the rebound over the bar. Ken Charlery then forced another great save from Cooksey when he turned his marker and fired in a powerful shot. Jamie COOK then found the net with an accurate strike from the resulting corner. Hereford had a great chance to restore their lead when Paul Bastock totally mis-judged a clearance, allowing Parry a free run at goal, but he overhit his cross and the chance was wasted. Boston then took the lead when Ken CHARLERY walked the ball into the net after a long ball forward by Clifford caused chaos in the Hereford defence. Just before half-time Hereford forward Rob Elmes had a chance to equalise when he got behind the Boston defence following a deep curling cross from the left wing, but he blasted over from close range.

Boston started the second half looking to increase their lead. A good combination between Town and Cook set up Charlery, but he headed wide. However, it was Hereford who scored first in the half when ELMES got on to the end of a through ball that somehow evaded half a dozen players as it crossed the area. Hereford joy was short-lived as five minutes later COOK volleyed home after being picked out by a Charlery header. Boston soon increased their lead when HOWARTH was in the right place to tap home a Costello cross following a corner. Anthony Elding then came on for David Town and soon after Nick Conroy was given a rare chance when replacing Paul Bastock. Conroy was soon in action, having to make an acrobatic save to deny Hereford substitute Pearce. Seven minutes from time RUSK put the result beyond doubt with a long-range shot from the edge of the area. Hereford got a last minute consolation goal from the penalty spot after Conroy was adjudged to have brought down Pearce as he ran into the area. PEARCE himself slotted home the spot kick.

United team: 1. Bastock (Conroy 80), 2. Clifford, 3. Lucas, 4. Lodge, 5. Howarth, 6. Rusk, 7. Stanhope, 8. Charlery, 9. Town (Elding 75), 10. Costello, 11. Cook. Subs not used: Nuttell, Diaf, S Weatherstone.

Match report by Ken Fox.