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Pilgrims 3-0 Grantham Town

Dr Martens League

Match Report by Chris Donkin

This Christmas tale was a story of an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman. Nobody from Grantham was laughing. The Englishman was referee GS Stretton from Leicestershire who lost control of the game. The Irishman was the Pilgrims Lenny Curtis who scored the decisive second goal and the Scotsman was controversial United manager Steve Evans who was sent from the dugout for a show of petulance not equalled since Bonny Langford appeared in Just William on ITV in the mid seventies.

The York Street pitch was in great nick, considering the recent downpours, as Grantham kicked off in this keenly anticipated local derby. Inside the ground the crowd numbered 1925 - Boston's best crowd for a league match since the Conference fixture against Colchester in April 1992. Boston made one change from the 11 that took the field against King's Lynn on Saturday. Watts replaced the ineffectual Venables in the number 10 jersey.

As on Saturday the opposition had the best of the opening exchanges with the "Great Bald One" called into action to deal with a couple of goalmouth scrambles. United were struggling to find their rhythm and apart from a couple of long range efforts from Costello they were being outplayed. However, these days the Pilgrims seem to have developed a happy knack of scoring key goals against the run of play. In the 39th minute Stanhope crossed from the right. It was an innocuous sort of delivery - played along the ground running two yards parallel with the goal line. The Grantham keeper was simply going to pick the ball up .... until.

Until the Gingerbreads centre back ANDREWS chose to intervene by moving in front of his goalie and deflecting the ball past him for a rather pathetic own goal. The only other incident worthy of note in the first period was a caution for Evans from the match referee for berating his standside linesman. United had obviously had the treatment from Dr. Evans at half time because they emerged for the second period like men posessed. Two minutes after the resumption United scored the killer second goal. A Jelleyman corner from the right was headed powerfully into the Grantham net by United's very own Shamrock Showman Lenny CURTIS. The match now entered an ugly period with late tackles flying in with alarming regularity. The visitors had five players booked and one (Emeka Nwadike) sent off. All this was too much for Boston's Gregarious Gaffer Evans who continued to advise the match officials of his frustrations. For his troubles he too was sent off and had to endure the ignomony of the long walk from the dug-out to the changing rooms with his head bowed. As all this was happening some crowd trouble broke out at the Town End as the contest fizzed and bubbled like a bottle of cheap champagne. When the fans calmed down it was the Pilgrims' followers who felt intoxicated as Paul WATTS took advantage of the Grantham goalkeeper's inabilty to control a backpass and rounded the unfortunate custodian to notch from close range.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Len Curtis, 4. Ian Stringfellow, 5. Martin Hardy, 6. Gareth Jelleyman, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Matt Carmichael, 10. Paul Watts, 11. Peter Costello, 12. Richard Mason, 14. Darren Clyde, 15. Dave Venables