Pilgrims 5-1 Northampton Town
Boston United confirmed their status as favourites for the Conference title by demolishing Second Division Northampton Town in their last pre-season friendly at York Street before the start of the season. At half-time the scoresheet was blank, but Boston could feel unlucky not to be ahead after dominating the play and failing to convert a penalty against a weak Northampton side containing less than a handful of first-team regulars. A shot by Clare and a header by Charlery both brought out good saves from former Boston triallist Adam Sollitt in the "Cobblers" goal. Late in the half, when Ross Weatherstone was bundled to the ground following a Boston corner, referee Uriah Rennie pointed to the spot. But Peter Costello's kick was well read by Sollitt, who managed to divert it round the left upright. The second half exploded into life after four minutes when Mark MONINGTON headed home a curling cross from the left wing. Ken CHARLERY soon increased the Boston lead when he latched on to a long through ball to beat the offside trap and slot home.
Manager Steve Evans then began an inspired series of substitutions, bringing on three players one after the other who all soon found their names on the scoresheet. First was 16 year old YTS recruit Dan WORNHAM, whose first touch of the ball was to head home a corner. Then triallist Carl HEGGS entered the fray and he headed home another corner at the near post. Anthony ELDING scored Boston's final goal five minutes from the end. It was the best goal of the match. A long punt up field by keeper Paul Bastock found the head of Elding. He brought the ball under control and strode forward towards the Northampton goal. From ten yards outside the area he then unleashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net. In between the last two Boston goals, Northampton scored a consolation goal when defender Chris CARRUTHERS powered a shot past Paul Bastock after an initial shot had been parried and fallen nicely into his path.
United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Clifford, 3. Lodge, 4. R Weatherstone, 5. Monington, 6. Marsh, 7. Costello, 8. Charlery, 9. Clare, 10. S Weatherstone, 11. Cook. Subs: Wornham, Heggs, Rusk, Gould, Elding.
Match report by Ken Fox.