Pilgrims 1-1 Barnsley
With doubts about their League status removed by the FA's decision to fine the club and deduct points from the upcoming season for their contractual irregularities, Boston United's pre-season schedule continued with a friendly match against Second Division Barnsley. The Pilgrims used the match to give experience to their new signings; Ben Chapman, Matt Hocking and Tom Bennett and to continue the trials of Lee Elam and Jon Brady. Barnsley sent a strong side to York Street, including former Crystal Palace striker Bruce Dyer and Mike Sheron, who had been QPR's record signing when he joined them from Stoke City for £2.35 million in 1997. In common with most pre-season friendlies, this was a fairly passionless and rather dull game. Even the two goals, both within a minute of each other just before the half-hour mark did little to liven up the match. Of Boston's two new defender's, both looked good, but Chapman seemed a slightly better prospect than Hocking, displaying pace and linking up well with Rodwell and Warburton. Hocking picked up a slight knock on twenty minutes and was replaced by Mark Monington.
Barnsley opened the scoring when a threaded pass picked out DYER in the right side of the area, and despite close attention from Rodwell he managed to squeeze his shot across Bastock and into the net just inside the left post. Less than a minute later, Boston won a free kick in a dangerous position just outside the area. Simon Weatherstone's kick was deflected just wide of the goal for a Boston corner. MONINGTON scored with a powerful header as he rose to meet the corner at the back post. Daryl Clare soon had a great chance to put Boston in front when he was the target of a fast low cross from Anthony Elding, but he didn't connect cleanly with the ball and his effort looped high and wide. The second half saw wholesale changes by both sides, both being eager to try out all their available options. The football was however as dull as the accompanying showery weather, the only moment of interest following on from a tackle from behind by Rodwell. The referee called him over, reached for his back pocket, only to pull out a handkerchief and blow his nose.
United team: 1. Bastock, 2. Rusk, 3. Chapman (Gould 57), 4. Hocking (Monington 24), 5. Warburton (Elam 75), 6. Rodwell, 7. Bennett (Hardie 68), 8. Brady (Angel 57), 9. Clare (Murphy 74), 10. S Weatherstone, 11. Elding (Town 74).
Match report and photo copyright © Ken Fox, 2002.