Pilgrims 0-3 Kingstonian
by Echo Reporter
The dream is over. Boston United's FA Cup progress was halted one hurdle short of a coveted place in the first round proper. Conference high-flyers Kingstonian extinguished the Pilgrims' hopes of a visit to Nationwide League Division Two promotion chasers Luton on October 30 with victory by a decisive margin in last night's fourth qualifying round replay. Emphatic the scoreline might have looked, but Boston were left to rue ill fortune on a trio of counts - an untimely injury to midfield workhorse Peter Costello, a rare blunder by goalkeeper Paul Bastock and a polished display by visiting custodian Steve Farrelly. And the combination of all three spelled dismay and disappointment for the majority of supporters in York Street's biggest attendance of the season (2,120) and for manager Steve Evans. The Pilgrims were undone initially by a 43rd minute assistant referee's decision that BASTOCK had let the ball slip over his own goal-line. Then came a lobbed finish from David LEWORTHY on 52 minutes to double the deficit before Phil WINGFIELD put the issue beyond doubt with a free header nine minutes from time. It all brought a sombre reaction from Evans. He said: "That was a real kick in the teeth. For a good hour we were equal to them. However, we let things slip at crucial times. Paul Bastock was unfortunate for the first goal. It's probably the first slip he's made all season. But then again, the linesman was probably alone in thinking the ball had crossed the line because neither of the two Kingstonian forwards close to the play appealed for a goal. And Paul insists he kept the ball out. Their second goal was very poor from our defensive point of view, and with one or two people not really performing, we have probably let ourselves down."
Last night's downfall stemmed from Bastock's moment of misfortune. Two minutes before the break, Colin Luckett whipped in a cross from the left. It looked a run-of-the-mill catch for the keeper, but the ball looped up off his forearm. A scramble ensued with Bastock seemingly clawing the ball away from the hovering presence of Leworthy and Dwight Marshall. But a raised flag from the touchline indicated a goal. Leworthy made it 2-0 on 52 minutes. He collected a forward pass from Luckett and, unmarked 20 yards out, lofted a shot over Bastock. Those were the fateful moments, but the loss through a hamstring injury of Peter Costello was also a crucial factor - as was the form of Farrelly. In the first half he pulled off good saves to deny Mark Rawle, David Norris and Mickey Nuttell. In the second half further expert keeping work denied Andrew Stanhope, Gary Childs plus Rawle and Nuttell while the former also had a "goal" ruled out for offside. Kingstonian, though, also had their own bright moments with Leworthy twice bringing good saves from Bastock in the first half, while the home keeper also did well to block efforts from man-of-the-match Geoff Pitcher and Wingfield. And after the break there were further Boston escapes as Wingfield saw a header hit the bar and Marshall fired wide of a gaping net at a time when United mounted a salvage bid.
United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Paul Wilson, 4. Colin Hoyle, 5. Peter Costello, 6. David Rennie, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Mickey Nuttell, 10. Mark Rawle, 11. David Norris, 12. Kevin Noteman, 14. Martin Hardy, 15. Paul Watts, 16. Ross Nicholls, 17. Gary Pawson.
This report originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo.