Boston United 1-1 Orient

FA Cup 2nd Round

6th January 1968

The 1967/8 season was one of transition for Boston United. Since being on the verge of folding in 64/5, they had climbed their way back up the non-league ladder via the United Counties League and the West Midlands League, which they were now in and had won the previous season. The following season would see them become founder members of the Northern Premier League. The season had started well with six straight League wins and they remained unbeaten in any matches going into this FA Cup second round clash against Third Division side Orient. Their progress in the FA Cup however had been far from easy. Despite dominating the play they had been fortunate to get through a first qualifying round clash against Holbeach United. They had to rely on an 86th minute equaliser from Peter Thompson to earn a replay. In the fourth qualifying round they had come up against a battling Bedford Town. After drawing the first game 1-1 at York Street, it took a Billy Howells goal in extra time of the replay to take United through to the first round. An easy win against Corby Town followed which set up this clash with Orient.

In the match, Orient took the lead after twenty minutes following an error by goalkeeper Norman Oakley. Orient's outside left, Owen Simpson, who later in his career would play for Boston, floated a ball under the bar and it slipped through Oakley's hands into the net. David Robinson missed a good chance to equalise when he was put in the clear by a pass from Peter Thompson, but a moment's hesitation allowed him to be caught. Many Boston fans thought that a penalty should have been awarded just before half time when defender Bert Howe appeared to block a shot with his hand after the keeper had been beaten. Orient came close to increasing their lead early in the second half when Roy Massey headed inches wide. Boston's equaliser came in the fifty third minute when Brian Clifton sent in a cross towards Jimmy Rayner but Orient defender Brian Wood intercepted it and headed the ball into his own net.

The game was played in very cold weather and to the surprise of most of the crowd, Orient forward Vic Halom came on to the pitch wearing gloves. He was on the receiving end of lots of jeering due to this unusual attire.

In the replay Boston lost 1-2, their goal being scored by Peter Thompson. Orient went on to beat Bury 1-0 in the third round before being knocked out by Birmingham City 3-0.

In a thrilling end to the season, Boston went on to win their second successive league title, one point ahead of both Tamworth and Kidderminster Harriers. They also won the West Midlands League Cup, beating Bromsgrove Rovers 2-1 on aggregate in the two-legged final.

United team: 1. Norman Oakley, 2. John Lakin, 3. Geoff Barrowcliffe, 4. Brian Clifton, 5. Don Donovan, 6. Billy Howells, 7. David Robinson, 8. Jimmy Rayner, 9. Peter Thompson, 10. Geoff Parry, 11. Jimmy Fell, Sub. Paddy Roche.

Orient team: 1. Ray Goddard, 2. Mick Jones, 3. Bert Howe, 4. Peter Allen, 5. Terry Mancini, 6. Brian Wood, 7. Malcolm Slater, 8. Dave Harper, 9. Roy Massey, 10. Vic Halom, 11. Owen Simpson, Sub. Eddie Werge.

Attendance: 7110

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