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Pilgrims 1-2 Rotherham United


As with most pre-season games, this was a fairly passionless affair that served only to give the team managers a chance to evaluate players on trial and the fans a chance to get a glimpse of summer signings in action for the first time. In goal for Boston was Nathan Abbey, signed up as back up for Paul Bastock. Bastock was absent after undergoing micro-surgery on his knee - it is not a procedure that requires a long recovery and Bazza expects to be back in action for next Tuesday's friendly against Newcastle United. Neither side had a shot on target in the first twenty minutes. However on 22 minutes Boston took the lead when Mark GREAVES slammed the ball home. A free kick taken by David Noble was headed back to an unmarked Greaves by Jason Lee, and after his initial shot had been parried straight back to him, he made no mistake with his second scoring chance. Jason Lee and Mark Carruthers began to show glimpses of an understanding that could prove fruitful in the upcoming campaign.

If they are provided with better service than they got from Pedro Matias, formerly with Real Madrid, then they should be amongst the leading goalscorers. The usual plethora of team changes occurred in the second half as over the course of the forty-five minutes nine substitues were used. Defender Des Lyttle and striker David Staff looked to be the pick of the newcomers. Rotherham equalised five minutes into the half when Richie BARKER got his name on the scoresheet, with a diving header that met a cross from Robbie Stockdale. Ten minutes from the end, former Pilgrim Chris SWAILES gave the visitors the lead with another headed goal. In the remaining minutes, Rotherham looked the more likely side to score more goals as Boston's unbeaten pre-season run ended.

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McGann, Greg Strong, Mark Greaves, Tom Bennett, David Noble, Simon Rusk, Martin Carruthers, Jason Lee, Pedro Matias. Subs used: Des Lyttle, David Staff, Jamie Gosling, Lee Thompson, Ryan Clarke, Chris Holland, Narada Bernard, Matt O'Halloran, Paul Ellender.

Match report and photograph copyright © Ken Fox, 2004.