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A little less levitation

Pilgrims 0-1 Scunthorpe United

Lincs County Cup

by Craig Singleton

Paul Bastock's record-breaking day ended in defeat. Boston United bowed out of the County Cup to a solitary goal from Richard Kell which ruined Bazza’s clean sheet hopes on his 573rd appearance for the Pilgrims. It was a disappointing end result for Boston. But given the makeshift nature of their midfield department — notably minus the services of Neil Redfearn and Tom Bennett — it was perhaps not too distressing, especially as several key players returning from injury got in some useful match action. And, when consideration is given to the number of good openings created by the Pilgrims, the scoreline could conceivably have easily been reversed. Twice inside the opening quarter-hour, Peter Duffield was desperately unlucky with sizzling low drives from distance which ensured keeper Tom Evans and his defenders had plenty to occupy their minds. And later on Alex Higgins fired over from long range as Boston sought a breakthrough.

It wasn’t until later in the half that Scunthorpe got their game together with evergreen wing tormentor Peter Beagrie rifling a shot straight at Bastock and then Paul Hayes forcing the United number one into a good save with a looping header from a Beagrie free-kick. At half-time Graeme Jones, who enjoyed an industrious first 45 minutes, gave way for Paul Ellender and Boston resumed on the attack with Richard Logan and Ryan Clarke both fizzing cross-shots inches wide. On 53 minutes impressive United defender mark Greaves ventured upfield and tested Evans with a firm header from a Lee Thompson free-kick. Moments later it seemed as though referee Gary Sutton was about to signal for Evans carrying the ball over his own line from a Clarke cross, but no confirmation was forthcoming from the line and the visitors appear to have a lucky escape. As the half wore on Scunthorpe hit back with Kell and Steve Torpey both seeing shots blocked before the 73rd minute produced the game’s key moment — KELL firing past Bastock after running on to a Torpey through ball to seal a final place against either Lincoln City or Grimsby.

United team: Bastock, Beevers, Greaves (Hocking 62), Balmer, Chapman; Logan, Clarke, Higgins (Potter 78), L Thompson; Jones (Ellender 46), Duffield. Subs (not used): Croudson, Sutch.

Match report copyright © Craig Singleton, 2003. Photo copyright © Ken Fox, 2003.