Pilgrims 0-3 Martyrs
Dr Martens League
The less said about this game the better. Greg Fee will be missed by many as a good manager, but this game also highlighted the key role he used to play in the heart of the Boston defence. With Chris Withe out injured, the defence consisted of the ageing Martin Hardy, newcomers Brian Horseman and Darren Clyde and Len Curtis. Hardy is showing his age and was continually outpaced by a nifty Merthyr front line. I have only seen Horseman play twice, and in neither game did he look like a "Player of the Year" as he was last season at Gresley. Perhaps the Derbyshire club's fans have an ironic sense of humour and give the title to the worst player rather than the best. Len Curtis and Darren Clyde spent most of the game trying to cover for the mistakes of the other two defenders, but two competent players cannot do everything on their own. Up front United are still lacking firepower. They started with Andrew Stanhope and Paul Watts as the two front men. Hardly the partnership to strike fear into the opposition. It was clear from early on that Boston would have trouble scoring as each time an opportunity was carved out, usually by Steve Charles, it was wasted with a weak finish that was either wide or lacking in sufficient pace to trouble the Merthyr keeper.
Merthyr's first goal was scored on twenty six minutes. After a series of failed attempts to clear the ball from the Boston half, a cross came in from the right wing which landed at the feet of Gary SHEPPARD and he made no mistake as he slammed the ball past Paul Bastock. Paul Watts was replaced by Darren Munton just before half time, but although a slight improvement was noticible, it was not enough to suggest that Boston might get an equaliser. Twenty minutes into the second half Merthyr sealed the win. A break down the left wing put Sheppard in the clear and gave him time to find Shaun CHAPPLE who fired home. Boston then signalled total surrender by replacing Steve Charles and Richard Mason with Danny Marshall and Mark Melson. The final Merthyr goal came three minutes from the end when a free kick was crossed to Craig LIMA to put away at the back post. So United have a leaky defence, no strikers, no manager, no money in the bank, the club's sponsors are up for sale and their support is disappearing fast. If things don't turn around soon the Boston branch of the Samaritans will be working lots of overtime.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Len Curtis, 4. Brian Horseman, 5. Martin Hardy, 6. Steve Charles, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Steve Appleby, 9. Paul Watts, 10. Darren Clyde, 11. Richard Mason, 12. Danny Marshall, 14. Darren Munton, 15. Mark Melson