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The nervousness in the Pilgrims' defence shows

Leigh RMI 1-0 Pilgrims

FA Trophy

On a dreary, drizzly day, the Pilgrims chose this FA Trophy encounter with former Unibond League rivals to put in their worst performance of the season. The game started with chances at both ends. A David Norris shot from the edge of the area hit the post. Then Paul Bastock had to make an acrobatic leap to deny Leigh's No.9 after a slip on the greasy surface by Martin Hardy had put him in the clear. Leigh then began to take control and came close to taking the lead on a number of occasions. A header at the far post following a corner went wide. Another header, after Leigh had broken through down the right wing required a sharp reflex save from Bastock to push it round the post. Bastock then saved the Pilgrims yet again when another slip in the defence allowed Leigh's No. 10 to get in the clear, but Bastock blocked the eventual shot well. Gary Childs got booked for a clumsy tackle before Boston should have gone in front. David Norris chased a pass into the penalty area and was sent sprawling. The referee pointed to the spot only for Paul Wilson to fire the kick against the post. Wilson almost made amends just before half time but his shot was inches over the bar. The second half showed little change. For once Steve Evans' half-time talk appeared to have little effect. Leigh saw numerous chances go close, or Bastock or the woodwork saved the Pilgrims. Boston's chances were few and far between.

A dangerous cross from Gowshall had to be tipped over and a deceptive flick from a lacklustre Kevin Noteman almost ended up in the net. The inevitable finally happened after 78 minutes. Leigh's No. 11 JONES broke down the left wing again and this time was able to slide a shot under Bastock's dive after Hardy and Gowshall had only partially cleared his initial effort. Just before the end Kevin Slinn was brought on for Gary Childs but it was much too late for the prolific young striker to have any effect. The Pilgrims will have to play much better than they did today if they are to have any chance of progressing in the FA Cup next week. In particular they need to plug the gaping hole in the right side of midfield, through which many of Leigh's attacks flooded. The only players in the Boston team who can hold their heads up high after this performance are Paul Bastock, who prevented a total drubbing and Mark Rawle whose silky skills and determination almost proved decisive on the few occasions when Boston threatened.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Martin Hardy, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Kevin Noteman, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Kevin Slinn, 14. Jim Dobbin, 15. Mark Melson, 16. Steve Appleby, 17. Gary Pawson.