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Leabon and Froggatt dance through the Stalybridge defence

Stalybridge Celtic 3-0 Pilgrims

Conference North

Boston United's poor away form continued at Bower Fold as they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Stalybridge Celtic. With Tony Crane still out of favour following a disciplinary matter, Alex Notman and David Galbraith still out injured, it was good to see Stewart Talbot in the starting line-up after limping off in the midweek game against Hucknall. With Lee Crockett reporting sick, Chris Wright started his first game in goal since the beginning of October. In a fairly even first half Stalybridge edged in front when Alex MEECHAM hit the ball home in the 38th minute with a well struck shot following a corner. Boston had their own chances in the half, notably a free kick on the edge of the area after Leabon had been fouled that was well taken Adam Smith and equally well saved by the Celtic 'keeper. Froggatt also had a great chance but his shot was too high.

In the second half Stalybridge dominated. Boston's best chance being a header from Ellender that was easily saved. Despite ringing the changes bringing on Medine, O'Halloran and Stevenson for Green, Thompson and Leabon respectively, Boston's prospects didn't improve. It took until the 89th minute before Stalybridge extended their lead and it came from a rather dubious penalty decision after James Dean tumbled to the ground rather too easily after brushing past Paul Ellender. Medine got booked for dissent and then Rowan was dismissed for his own comments to the referee. Lee EDDINGTON fired the spot kick hard into the bottom left corner. In injury time Stalybridge got their third goal when Chris HALL found the net with a shot from the edge of the area.

Boston United: Chris Wright, Adam Smith, Matt Bloomer, Paul Ellender, Tom Matthews, Liam Green (Mbiyeye Medine 56), Stewart Talbot, Lee Thompson (Matt O'Halloran 66), Jon Froggatt, Kieran Leabon (Jon Stevenson 72), Jon Rowan. Subs not used: Ashley Nicholls, Luke Foulkes.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox 2007.