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Maylett breaks forward

Pilgrims 1-1 Rochdale

Coca Cola League

Boston United concluded their fixtures with a rather drab performance on a rather drab day at the end of a rather drab season. Significant progress was promised by the new management team at the start of the season, but they ended it with less points and declining attendance levels. Neither side looked like they were too interested in claiming all the points. After five minutes Simon Rusk decided to have a run down the right wing. He outpaced his marker and sent in a superb cross to an unmarked Daryl Clare in the centre, but the lacklustre striker could only produce a woeful header that caused Rochdale keeper Matthew Gilks no problems whatsoever. Two minutes later Grant Holt produced a rapier like shot that required an acrobatic save by Nathan Abbey. The next shot of note came from Jamie Clarke whose effort was just wide of the right post. Boston now began to string some useful moves together. The newly crowned Pilgrims' Player of the Year Austin McCann got in on the act but as befitting a defender, when he latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the area his effort sailed high over the Town End Stand. Courtney Pitt came close to breaking the deadlock, but his curler went just wide of the left post. Five minutes before half time Rusk was again the provider of a great cross, but Danny Thomas was unlucky to see his header miss the target by inches.

Five minutes into the second half Rochdale took the lead when Ernie COOKSEY drove home from the edge of the area after the ball fell nicely into his path. Rochdale thought they had extended their lead ten minutes later when Rickie Lambert found the net, but the referee spotted the midfielder controlling the ball with his hand so the effort was ruled out. On the hour mark Daryl Clare was replaced by Jermaine Easter. This soon paid dividends as Easter found himself in the clear as Gilks failed to deal with a ball forward and Easter presented the ball to Courtney PITT who had the simple task of tapping the ball into a gaping net from close range. Rochdale finished strongly. Jamie Clarke clipped the ball over the bar from 18 yards out, then Lambert curled a shot just wide of the right post. Five minutes from time Abbey had to be alert to tip another shot from Lambert round the post. After the match Steve Evans commented: "I've had a good look at League Two this year. We'll be in or around those play-offs next season. I'm looking forward to it now. We can go to work now and hopefully get the players in we need. We are looking in Scotland. We are obviously looking in England and we are making some trips to certain parts of Europe to have a look."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Austin McCann, Alan White, Paul Ellender, David Noble, Brad Maylett, Simon Rusk, Chris Holland, Danny Thomas (Lee Thompson 88), Daryl Clare (Jermaine Easter 62), Courtney Pitt. Subs not used: Stephen O'Donnell, Lewis Brooks, Rob Norris.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox, 2005.