Home Results News Table Squad Statistics

Get a grip on yourself

Pilgrims 1-1 Scunthorpe United

Nationwide League

by Barbara Singleton

Seldom can Boston United have prised a reward out of a more one-sided encounter than this. But this was - quite literally - a case in point. The Pilgrims were simply outclassed for 99 percent of this Lincolnshire derby. And as manager Neil Thompson later admitted, the only positive note was the fact that at least Boston managed to secure a share of the spoils. Almost from start to finish it was a tale of visiting domination. And but for the heroics of goalkeeper Paul Bastock, the Pilgrims could have been sunk under an avalanche of goals. However, that wasn’t the case and Boston can now spend the next week on working towards making themselves a much more compact and potent unit in readiness for next weekend’s tough-looking trip to face Bristol Rovers. At York Street in this encounter, the pattern of play was set as early as the fourth minute when the impressive Steve MacLean dashed onto a throughball and was only denied by a terrific block from Bastock. It was the same situation eight minutes later when MacLean was fed by Steve Torpey. And a fierce drive drew Bastock into a fine tip-over save. Little had been seen of Boston as an attacking force. But gradually they got some momentum into their play and took a 23rd minute lead when Lee BEEVERS rose to score with a far post header from a deep free-kick out on the right by Neil Redfearn. That was effectively the one moment of brightness for Boston. Scunthorpe hit back instantly with two more MacLean-Bastock confrontations - the first seeing the United custodian again block well and then when the home keeper pushed aside a swerving acute-angled 20-yarder from the Iron front man.

But Bastock was unable to prevent the visitors drawing level on the stroke of half-time when being sent the wrong way from the penalty spot by Kevin SHARP after Mark Greaves had clumsily tripped MacLean from behind just inside the box with the Scunthorpe man seemingly going nowhere. Boston offered a brief suggestion better times were ahead for the second period with substitutes Stuart Douglas and Simon Weatherstone being handed the challenge of delivering the goods from the strike positions. But, apart from off-target headers from Paul Ellender and Simon Rusk - both from Redfearn crosses - there was virtually no cutting edge on view. Contrast this with the constant surge of free-flowing moves from Scunthorpe which had Boston fully stretched to cope and there was ample evidence to see why the Pilgrims were so fortunate to secure a 1-1 draw. For the Iron, Wayne Graves headed over from a MacLean cross, Bastock tipped away a low 67th minute drive by MacLean, Torpey was denied by the bar and post and Alex Calvo-Garcia blazed too high with another promising effort. There were also two notable let-offs for Boston when Graves seemed to cash in on a tangle between Bastock and Ben Chapman only to see his resultant “goal” effort disallowed, as was a late bundled-in effort by Lee Featherstone for an offside infringement. Make no mistake, Boston escaped with a point their poor display simply did not deserve.

United team (4-4-2): Bastock; Beevers, Balmer, Greaves, Chapman; Rusk, Bennett, Ellender, Angel (Weatherstone 46); Logan (Douglas 46), Redfearn. Subs (not used): Potter, Sutch, Croudson.

Match report copyright © Barbara Singleton, 2003. Photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2003.