Pilgrims 3-2 Altrincham

FA Trophy Semi-Final Second Leg

13th April 1985

Boston United had their best ever run in the FA Trophy in the 1984/5 season. It was a long hard campaign that began with a narrow 2-1 away win at Alvechurch and culminated seven matches later with an appearance in the final at Wembley Stadium. The first round proper game at home to Blyth Spartans had been particularly dramatic. With fifteen minutes to go, Blyth were leading by four goals to two, but late strikes from Dominic Genovese and Chris Cook brought the scores level, and Cook then slotted home from an acute angle right at the end to take Boston through to the next round.

Boston's star player that season was centre-forward Bob Lee. The 32 year old striker had been signed up on a free transfer from Darlington in October 1983 at the end of a League career that had taken in spells with Leicester City, Sunderland, Doncaster Rovers, Bristol Rovers and Carlisle United. He was to play a dramatic role in the semi-final second leg against Altrincham.

Boston held the advantage having drawn the away leg 0-0, but things didn't quite go according to plan in the return leg at York Street. Boston had reached the semi-final stage of the Trophy once before, back in 1980. On that occasion they had drawn the away leg at Mossley, only to lose in the home tie. For a while it looked like history would be repeating itself. Initially everything looked to be going the Pilgrims' way. With the wind behind them Boston went into a 2-0 lead by half time with goals from Chris COOK and Bob LEE. To add to Altrincham's problems they had Graham Bennett sent off with ten minutes of the half remaining. But Altrincham came out fighting in the second half and within a few minutes had pulled a goal back when ELLIS latched on to a long throw in and bundled the ball over the line. With six minutes remaining the unthinkable happened. Jeff JOHNSON scored with a spectacular 30 yard shot after robbing Mick Laverick of the ball. So now with the scores level it looked like ten man Altrincham would be progressing to the final on the away goals rule. With time almost out United won a corner. What followed would become etched into the memory of every Boston fan in the ground. Dave Gilbert placed the ball down for the corner kick then fired it to the far post where Bob LEE rose above the Altrincham defence to head the ball home and send the Pilgrims to their only Wembley appearance. The end of the game was so tense that club secretary John Blackwell could not bear to watch the closing minutes. He missed the winning goal after leaving the ground to nervously pace around the York Street car park.

Bob Lee

Bob Lee

In the final Boston were narrowly defeated 2-1 by newly crowned Gola League Champions Wealdstone.

United team: 1. Kevin Blackwell, 2. Paul Casey, 3. Ray O'Brien, 4. Mick Laverick, 5. Ian Ladd, 6. Gerard Creane, 7. Brian Thomson, 8. Gary Simpson, 9. Bob Lee, 10. Chris Cook, 11. Dave Gilbert, Substitute: Dominic Genovese

Attendance: 4006

Back to Boston United Home Page. Back to Classic Games