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Boston United Football Club News

Here are the news items about the club received in the 1997/8 season, in date order with the latest news at the top.

Barrow promotion confirmed

5th June: Unibond League champions Barrow have been invited back into the Vauxhall Conference after it was confirmed that they have met the strict criteria for entry. Slough Town have also made the shock announcement that they have withdrawn from the Conference as they are unable to ensure their committments, therefore Telford United will not now be relegated into the Dr. Martens League.

Anglo-Dutch Tournament a Great Success

5th June: The Anglo-Dutch youth tournament, played over the weekend of 29th May - 1st June between local youth teams and youngsters brought over from Holland by Dutch club VV Aalsmeer has been declared a great success. Nortoft Boys and East Coast Juniors won the under 12 sections, Sleaford won the under 14 section and United's Football for Life youngsters won the under 17 section.

Shake-up at the top

29th May: Following criticism from supporters, Boston United have announced a major overhaul of the way the club is run.

Greg Fee's budget for the new season has not yet been set, but Mr Burgess has predicted that it will not be less than last season's. It will be based on the expected gate revenue and how much money off-pitch fundraising and the pre-season friendlies brought in.

Old youngster sought

22nd May: Simon Armstrong has been released by Port Vale at the end of his one year contract and could possibly return to play for the Pilgrims. Manager John Blackwell said that the club had spoken to two young players, one believed to be Armstrong, the other a young striker released by a Third Division club, with a view to signing them up for next season.

Travelling comparison

21st May: Pilgrims' fan Richard Burton has used Microsoft's AutoRoute Express to produce the following comparison for the away fixtures in the Dr Martens League with the away fixtures of the previous season in the Unibond League. The information (which is for guidance purposes only, they cannot be assumed to be exact) is for a one way journey from Boston to the town or city of the away fixture. Fuel cost is estimated using unleaded petrol at 0.65 per litre.













Accrington S

2 h 35 m



Atherstone Utd

1 h 54 m




1 h 30 m



Bath C

3 h 37 m




2 h 36 m



Bromsgrove R

2 h 18 m



Bamber Bridge

2 h 42 m



Burton Albion

1 h 48 m




3 h 55 m



Cambridge C

1 h 36 m



Bishop Auckland

2 h 51 m



Crawley T

2 h 59 m



Blyth Spartans

3 h 31 m



Dorchester T

4 h 17 m




2 h 40 m



Gloucester C

2 h 53 m



Colwyn Bay

3 h 40 m




0 h 42 m




1 h 53 m




1 h 50 m




1 h 34 m



Halesowen T

2 h 19 m



Gainsborough T

1 h 14 m



Ilkeston T

1 h 25 m




2 h 15 m



King's Lynn

0 h 47 m



Hyde Utd

2 h 14 m



Merthyr Tydfil

3 h 50 m



Lancaster C

3 h 5 m



Nuneaton B

1 h 51 m



Leigh RMI

2 h 31 m




1 h 19 m




3 h 2 m




3 h 35 m



Radcliffe B

2 h 24 m




1 h 56 m




2 h 49 m



Telford Utd

2 h 35 m




2 h 57 m




4 h 28 m



Winsford Utd

2 h 47 m



Worcester C

2 h 33 m















Youth Team reach another final

18th May: Boston United's "Football for Life" team have reached the final of the Lincolnshire Youth Charity Cup after beating Lincoln United's youth team on penalties, after a 2-2 draw, in the semi-final. On Wednesday evening they lost 1-2 to Lincoln City's youth team in the final. Rob Spokes got the Boston goal. Lincoln got the winner with an 85th minute penalty.

Greg in charge for another season

16th May: Greg Fee has been asked by the club board to stay in charge for another campaign. One of his first actions has been to release Paul Cavell and Martin Filson. Cavell failed to score many goals after returning to the Pilgrims at the start of last season and Martin Filson, who is based in Liverpool, would have had trouble travelling to the matches in the Dr. Martens League next season. Commenting on the actions Greg said: "We struggled up front last year. We need to bring in new players to build up that area and it was felt that Paul needed to explore other avenues".

Sponsor needed for Dutch youth tournament

16th May: This summer Dutch football club V.V. Aalsmeer will be bringing sixty youngsters over to Boston to play in an Anglo-Dutch youth tournament organised by themselves and Boston United's assistant manager Chris Cook. The tournament will take place over the weekend of 29th May - 1st June and will involve teams in different age groups from 8-10 year olds up to 16-18 year olds. The local teams that will take part include East Coast Juniors, Wyberton Colts, Old Leake Youth, Fishtoft, Sleaford Juniors, Nortoft Boys and Swineshead Boys. Local businesses are helping to cover the costs by sponsoring the tournament, so if you would like to help then please get in touch with Chris Cook (Tel: 350144).

Next year, V.V. Aalsmeer will celebrate their 80th anniversary and will invite teams from France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Boston to play an international youth tournament.

Dr. Martens League Move - Good or Bad

With two "northern" clubs finishing at the bottom of the Vauxhall Conference it is looking highly likely that the Pilgrims will be forced sideways out of the Unibond League into the Dr. Martens League next season. Indeed the club has confirmed that the most likely situation is for Stalybridge Celtic and Gateshead to move into the Unibond League with Barrow going up and Boston moving into the Dr. Martens League to replace Hastings Town who move into the Ryman League. So would this be a good move for the club. An immediate plus is that it would throw up good local derbies against King's Lynn and newly promoted Grantham Town and Ilkeston Town, but what about the other clubs in the Dr. Martens League. A quick bit of calculation using the AA's Milemaster program reveals that there are likely to be a few long trips. Although it would no longer mean going to Blyth (200 miles), Colwyn Bay (192) and Lancaster (187) these could be replaced by trips to Weymouth (245), Dorchester (237), Merthyr (211), Bath (207) and Salisbury (196). Overall however, the average trip for away games reduces from about 140 miles to 127 miles and there are ten clubs within 100 miles of Boston. A welcome 10% saving, but nothing to write home about. A more important factor is crowd sizes. A quick glance at the top fifty average non-league attendance tables reveals a glut of Dr. Martens League clubs. There are sixteen Dr. Martens League clubs in the top fifty compared with just five in the Unibond League. Indeed three clubs have a better average home gate than the Pilgrims, namely Nuneaton Borough (1020), Gloucester City (976) and King's Lynn (969). So increased gates with corresponding increased revenues look likely if a switch is made. A definite plus which should ease the financial plight of the club and allow them to spend some money on strenthening the squad. I guess the chances of promotion are about as good as in the Unibond League. It will always be difficult to get back into the Conference from a League where only one team can go up. The best chance for a return probably lies with the proposed new second division of the Conference, which could come into existence the season after next. If Boston fail to get promoted next season they should stand a good chance of be chosen for this new division.

Players of the Year

After the match against Altrincham the Annual Player of the Year Awards were presented. The players' choice was top scorer Steve Charles, whilst the supporters went for Steve Appleby.

Hardy Testimonial Dinner

Television and radio star John Inverdale is guest speaker at Martin Hardy's testimonial dinner at the New England Hotel on Saturday May 2nd. A three course meal and presentation of Boston United's end-of-season awards will be held during the evening, which has a 7:30 for 8pm start. Tickets are priced at £20 each and are available from Chris Cook Printshop, Boston United offices, Scott Dalton, Rod Paul and Des Portas.

No problems for Barrow

Doubts over Barrow's eligibility for promotion to the Conference have been quashed by league officials. Peter Hunter, chief executive of the Vauxhall Conference said he was aware that there had been some financial problems but that this wasn't going to effect their promotion. A final decision will be made next month.

Kids go free scheme extended

The "Kids for Free" scheme which was introduced for the match against Leigh RMI was such a success that it has been extended to cover the last two home games of the season. Youngsters aged 12 and under will be admitted for free to the matches against Colwyn Bay and Altrincham if they have obtained the necessary voucher. The vouchers can be collected from the club offices in Spain Place from 9am on Thursday morning up until 12noon on Saturday morning, and from outside turnstile A between 2pm and 3pm on Saturday.

Charles injury blow

Top scorer Steve Charles has broken his collar bone in the match against Alfreton Town and will be out for the rest of the season.

Youth team win final

The youngsters from Boston United's "Football for Life" team took on RAF Coningsby in the final of the Lincolnshire Services League Knockout Cup on Wednesday afternoon (15th April). RAF Coningsby are managed by former United and Wyberton goalkeeper Chris Lawrence. The youngsters won the match 4-2 on penalties after the match finished with the scores level at 2-2. Simon North and D.J. Wright got the Boston goals.

Armstrong leaves

Simon Armstrong has finally returned to Port Vale as his loan periods have expired.

Barrow game all ticket

Boston's midweek game against Barrow on 21st April has been made all-ticket by police safety officers, who are expecting a gate of over 4500! United supporters can purchase tickets from the club offices in Spain Place.

Archive Appeal

The Boston United Archive is now beginning to take shape, but I need help in getting the information to go into it. A good starting point would be to get hold of the statistics in the last home matchday programme each season. So if you have a later programme than the ones in my list for any season then I would be most grateful if you could photocopy the pages with the results and statistics and post them to me.

Leigh out for three weeks

Youngster Leigh Taylor, who made his full first team debut in the match against Guiseley, is out of action for up to three weeks following an ankle injury picked up during the game.

Support us plea

Despite all the downs this season, the Pilgrims are still in with a chance of going up. With Barrow dropping points and having a tough run-in, there are now about six teams, including United, still in with a chance of promotion. United's general manager John Blackwell has made a plea for supporters to keep turning up for the remaining games to get right behind the club. "We really need to get some people through the turnstiles" he said. With home games against Guiseley and Leigh, two of the clubs who are snapping at our heels, coming up, the fans should certainly get to see some great football.

Defender signs up

The Pilgrims have signed up eighteen year old central defender Ross Hewson after he was released by Notts County.

Hardy injury serious

Team captain Martin Hardy is probably out of action for the rest of the season after what he thought was a groin strain was diagnosed as a hernia requiring surgery, which he has now undergone. With Greg Fee still suspended and Len Curtis fighting to overcome an injury, the club is rapidly running out of defensive options.

Desperate Masseurs

Boston United have turned to a recipe reckoned to be over 1,000 years old to ease their players' aches and pains. The recipe originates from the Aboriginees and is a by-product of the Emu bird which inhabits the Australian outback.

Players have been slapping the oil on after sponsors Pioneer Trading Company, who market the Golden Emu Oil, donated a supply of the "Golden Nectar" to the Pilgrims. The oil has been used for centuries by the Aboriginees and recent research has acknowledged its healing powers. United Assistant Manager Chris Cook said "The oil definitely seems to work on the lads, alleviating stiffness, bruising, muscle and joint pains".

New signing

Boston United have signed Chris Aiken from Lincoln City. They have also further extended Simon Armstrong's loan period from Port Vale.

The problems mount up

Greg Fee starts a three match ban with the game against Spennymoor, where he joins Martin Filson on the sidelines, completing his two match ban. Steve Charles is rated at doubtful for the game following the calf injury he picked up in the game against Accrington. Andy Mason will also soon be suspended following his sending off in the Accrington match. To cap it all, the Pilgrims have been reported to the Unibond League for racial abuse and coin throwing by York Street "supporters" in the League and President's Cup matches against Blyth Spartans.

Mason signs up for another month

Andy Mason, who has scored four goals in five games in his one month loan period from Macclesfield Town, has signed up for another month with the Pilgrims.

Trip to Barrow Off

The trip to Barrow on 14th March is off as Barrow will now be playing at Dover in the Quarter Finals of the FA Trophy on this date.

It's Clean, It's Fresh, It's NOT York Street

Boston United director and Gliderdrome boss Pat Malkinson has denied newspaper reports that he has sold off York Street and the bingo site to Sainsbury's. He confirmed that he had been approached by agents and property developers over the years, but nothing had ever come of the talks.

Striker Shortage

On-loan striker Andy Mason is set to return to Macclesfield, before United's crucial match at Runcorn, as his one month loan period has expired. With the departure of Leroy Chambers and Paul Watts still injured, this leaves the Pilgrims with only two recognised strikers, namely Paul Cavell and Chris Cook.

Challenge Cup Semi-Final Draw

The draw for the semi-finals of the Unibond League Challenge Cup is as follows, with the matches being played over two legs:
Blyth Spartans                 v  Bishop Auckland or Gainsborough Trinity
BOSTON UNITED or Altrincham    v  Chorley or Winsford United

New signing

Boston United have signed former England Schoolboy and Youth International goalkeeper Darren Heyes from V.S. Rugby.

Bastock Blow

In-form goalkeeper Paul Bastock picked up an ankle ligament injury in the President's Cup match at Blyth on Tuesday night. Steve Charles sustained a calf injury in the same match and both are doubtful for Saturday's Unibond League match, against Blyth Spartans again. This could give reserve team goalkeeper, teenager Nick Maddison, his first taste of Unibond League action.

Watts out for a month

Paul Watts is set for a month on the sidelines after injuring his knee ligaments in the match at Chorley.

FA Cup Exemptions Change

The Football Association have issued a statement detailing changes to the exemption system of the Qualifying Rounds of the FA Cup. From next season the 22 Conference clubs will enter the competition at the Third Qualifying Round whilst the 66 Premier Division clubs from the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues will enter the competition at the Second Qualifying Round stage. The FA feel the changes reflect the respective standings of these Leagues, will avoid the need to stage an extra round, and should give the smaller clubs a better chance of progressing through the competition.

Loan signing

The Pilgrims have signed striker Andy Mason on-loan from Macclesfield Town.

Golden Net Awards

Richard Postlethwaite is now collecting votes for the best Non-League Web sites. You can vote by visiting his Non-League on the Net page. Categories include: Best Overall, Best Results, Best Content, Best Links, Funniest and Best Graphics.

Armstrong loan extended

Simon Armstrong's loan period has been extended for a further month. His original one month loan period expired this week, but Port Vale have allowed it to be increased.


The President's cup game against Blyth saw debuts for two players who have been impressing in the reserves, namely Simon Bailey and Leigh Taylor. Taylor is also the first player from the "Football for Life" scheme to make it through to a first team appearance.

Chris Withe in the news

There is a good article about the Withe family in Monday's Independent newspaper Sport Section this week (p7 12/1/98 "Family Tree"). It talks about the footballing careers of Boston's Chris Withe, his father Gerard and his brothers Peter (ex Nottingham Forest, Newcastle, Aston Villa and England) and Gerard jnr and Peter's son Jason.

Challenge Cup Draw

The draw for the quarter finals of the Unibond League Challenge Cup is as follows, with matches due to be played in the week beginning 9th February:
Blyth Spartans                 v  Marine
Bishop Auckland                v  Gainsborough Trinity
BOSTON UNITED                  v  Altrincham
Chorley                        v  Winsford United

Gainsborough fined

Gainsborough Trinity have been fined £150 by the Football Association for the illegal approach they made for Phil Brown prior to signing him from the Pilgrims at the start of the season. Brown's registration with the club was also cancelled, which resulted in him missing a game while the Blues re-registered him.

Chambers Christmas Choker

United's top scorer, Leroy Chambers, has left the club to join Third Division Macclesfield Town. He had recently been approached by both Southport and Stalybridge Celtic but chose to join the Silkmen. As he was a non-contract player no transfer fee was involved. Simon Armstrong has returned to the club, on-loan for a month from Port Vale, as a replacement.

President's Cup Draw

The draw for the second round of the Unibond League President's Cup has been made and is as follows with ties to be played in the week commencing 19th January.

Ashton United               v Emley
BOSTON UNITED               v Blyth Spartans
Guiseley                    v Leigh RMI
Radcliffe Borough / Runcorn v Marine

Boston triallist snapped up by the Blues

Goalkeeper Adam Sollitt, who played in pre-season games for the Pilgrims but failed to impress, has been signed by Gainsborough Trinity.

Mitchell off to Belper

Boston have released the Unibond registration of Andy Mitchell who made two appearances last season for FA Cup semi-finalists Chesterfield. Signed by the Pilgrims early in the campaign as cover, Mitchell has been playing most of the season at Ilkeston Town but has now been signed by Belper Town. He marked his debut in a game against Trafford by scoring an own goal.

FA Umbro Trophy Draw

Boston United have been drawn away against fellow Unibond League Premier Division side Hyde United in the First Round proper of the FA Trophy. The match is scheduled for Saturday 10th January. The club is running coaches to Hyde's Tameside Stadium, leaving York Street at 10:45. The cost is £6.00 and bookings can be made through the club office on 01205 - 364406.

Football for Life News

Boston United are well pleased with the results from the "Football for Life" scheme. Not only have the club received excellent academic reports on their quota of youngsters from Bedford College, who administer the scheme, but they are also reaping the rewards on the pitch. Already Ross Nicholls has graduated to first team duty as a substitute, whilst Ricky Southworth has been selected for Lincolnshire FA's Under 18 side. The side have acquitted themselves well in the Lincolnshire Inter Services League and reached the semi-final of that League's cup competition after a 13-5 aggregate win over RAF Brompton, thanks to a 9-2 home leg victory. Five of the side are now regulars in Boston's Reserve set-up.

400 up for Hardy

Shown the door several seasons ago by former manager Peter Morris for being "too old", Boston United's long serving skipper Martin Hardy last Saturday clocked up his 400th appearance for the Pilgrims in the match against Spennymoor United. Originally signed for £10,000 from Worksop Town in 1988, Hardy was allowed to join Matlock Town by Morris, but was back a season later and his loyalty has now been rewarded with a Testimonial Year.

New Signings

Boston United have completed the signing of central defender Martin Filson from Leek Town. Filson had landed two previous Northern Premier League Championship medals with Stalybridge Celtic in 1991/2 and last season for Leek with whom he doubled up a striker for a good part of the campaign. His other clubs have included Tranmere Rovers, Wrexham, Rhyl, Halifax Town, Dagenham and Redbridge and Caernarfon Town. The Pilgrims made it a double by also signing Lennie Curtis from Matlock Town who had signed the player in the close season from Irish club Shamrock Rovers.

FA Umbro Trophy Draw

Boston United have been drawn away against Unibond League First Division side Belper Town in the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy. The match is scheduled for Saturday 29th November. In the previous round "The Nailers" went to Lincoln United and beat them 2-1, somewhat of a contrast to the 5-1 drubbing suffered by the Pilgrims to the same opponents in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup. The club will be running coaches to Belper's Bridge Street ground, leaving York Street at 12 noon. The cost is £4.50 and bookings can be made through the club office on 01205 - 364406.

Steve Chambers Latest

Steve Chambers is out for between three and six weeks following the knee injury he picked up in the game against Barrow. It is a new injury which is not related to his previous ankle problems.

Unibond League Challenge Cup Draw

Boston United have drawn Spennymoor United away in the 3rd Round of the Unibond League Challenge Cup. The match is scheduled for the week commencing 1st December.

Another tough FA Cup draw

After their win at Knypersley Victoria, Boston United have been drawn away again in the First Round proper of the FA Cup. They face Dr. Martens Midland Division side Ilkeston Town at their New Manor Ground, with the match scheduled for Saturday 15th November. There are two familiar names associated with Ilkeston Town. They are managed by ex-Pilgrim Keith Alexander, and his assistant Gary Simpson was captain of the Pilgrims' team that went to Wembley for the FA Trophy final back in 1985. Ilkeston have already knocked two Unibond League Premier Division sides out of the FA Cup this season, disposing of Chorley 3-1 in the 3rd Qualifying Round and Hyde United 3-2 in the 4th Qualifying Round. The only time the "Pilgrims" have played the "Robins" in the FA Cup was fifty years ago back in 1947, when Ilkeston came out on top 1-0.

Two Pilgrims in Unibond squad

Greg Fee and Leroy Chambers have been picked for the Unibond League Representative squad who take on an FA XI at Leigh's Hilton Park ground on Tuesday 4th November.

Pilgrims looking to boost squad

The Pilgrims have put in seven days notice to approach Leek Town's Martin Filson and Spalding United's striker Ronnie Fortune.

FA Cup Draw

Boston United have been drawn away against Interlink Express Midland Alliance side Knypersley Victoria in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. "The Vics" disposed of Spalding United 3-1 in the last round and the current Dr. Martens League Premier Division Champions Gresley Rovers, also 3-1, in the previous round. The match is scheduled for Saturday 25th October. United will be running a coach to their Tunstall Road ground, near Stoke-on-Trent, for the tie. The cost is £6, and the coach leaves York Street at 10.15am. Bookings can be made through John Blackwell on 01205 - 364406.

Away game re-arranged

The Unibond League match at newly promoted Radcliffe Borough has been brought forward to Saturday 1st November. This fills the slot made vacant by the demise of Knowsley United.

Unibond League Challenge Cup Draw

In the second round of the Unibond League Challenge Cup Boston United have been drawn to play Emley at home in the week commencing 27th October.

Buckley released

A combination of United's financial situation and failure to win a regular first team place have resulted in Simon Buckley being released by the club.

Steve Chambers operation

Steve Chambers has had an operation on his ankle to sort out the injury sustained in last season's Unibond Challenge Cup Final against Gainsborough Trinity. It is expected that it will still be a couple of months before he is back in contention for a first team place.

Lovelace leaves

Mark Lovelace has left the Pilgrims to team up with his brother Nick who plays for United Counties League side Mirrlees Blackstone.

Two new signings

The Pilgrims have strengthened their squad by signing up experienced utility player Steve Charles from Vauxhall Conference side Stalybridge Celtic and former Chesterfield defender Andy Mitchell.

New signing

United have signed defender Joby Gowshall from Lincoln City.

Whitby Rock United

The Pilgrims were soundly beaten 6-0 by last season's FA Vase Winners Whitby Town in their last pre-season friendly before the start of the Unibond League season. The first half saw four goals put past Adam Sollitt in the United goal. Paul Bastock replaced him in the second half but could not prevent further goals being scored. Even though United were without Chris Withe and Steve Chambers, manager Greg Fee must be extremely concerned about the ease at which teams have been breaching the defences in the pre-season matches. Both Fee and Hardy played much better than in the Lincoln United match, but the lack of a third quality defender and proven ball winner in the midfield soon proved disasterous. Whitby Town were clearly a team who had been playing together for a long time who made goalscoring look incredibly easy.

Brown Bombshell

Last season's top goalscorer Phil Brown has signed for local Unibond League rivals Gainsborough Trinity.

Squad latest

Simon Buckley has signed for the Pilgrims for the current season after impressing in the pre-season matches. Neil Timby, who only managed to make one first team appearance last season has left the club, joining Boston Town. Chris Withe is recovering from an operation on the knee that had been causing him a few problems in recent matches. He is now off his crutches and hopes to be fit enough to play in the Whitby game on the 16th August. Steve Chambers had heard that he needs an operation on his foot and the club is trying to raise the money required so that this can take place as soon as possible.

Latest Pre-season friendly results

Mon  4th Aug Stamford                 1-3 Boston United
Wed  6th Aug Boston United            3-6 Norwich City XI
Wed 13th Aug Stocksbridge Park Steels 1-1 Boston United

Mason back?

Richard Mason, who left United towards the end of last season in a move to Conference outfit Hednesford Town could be on his way back. He played in the friendly match against Lincoln City on Tuesday night (which the Pilgrims drew 1-1 with a headed goal from Greg Fee) and John Blackwell and Greg Fee are having lengthy discussions with Hednesford about making the move back permanent. The Pilgrims are also keen to sign three triallists who have impressed in the pre-season fixtures. They are: Adam Sollitt from Barnsley, who played in goal for the second half of the Lincs Senior Cup game and the whole of the friendly against Lincoln City, Jaime Eaton a young defender released by Notts County and Simon Buckley, son of Grimsby manager Alan Buckley.

Bunce goes

Reserve keeper Martin Bunce has signed for local Lincolnshire League side Wyberton.

Knowsley resign

Knowsley United have resigned from the Unibond League. At an emergency meeting of the Unibond League on 24th July it was decided to simply reduce the Premier Division back to 22 teams.

United 2000 on verge of folding

Fundraising group United 2000 was rocked when nine committee members resigned last week. Lack of contact with the United board was cited as the main reason for the resignations. If no new committee members can be found before the end of the year the group will fold.

More pre-season friendlies

United romped home 9-0 in another pre-season friendly against Lincs League side Horncastle Town on Wednesday night. Paul Cavell scored a hat trick. Another friendly has been arranged for Wednesday 13th August when they travel to Stocksbridge Park Steels who play in the Unibond League First Division.

Kirton result

United showed no mercy in their pre-season friendly against Kirton Town to celebrate the Kirton club's 60th anniversary. Although only leading 1-0 at half time the Pilgrims stepped up a gear in the second half to slot in a further eight goals. The goalscorers were: Cavell (28 mins), L Chambers (48,70), Watts (51,65), Cook (72,87), Lovelace (80) and Eaton (88). (Thanks to Chris Donkin for the details.)

Training begins

United had their first training session of the new season on Saturday. Twenty seven players were present including new signing Paul Cavell. Steve Chambers and Phil Brown, who have still to sign up for definite, also joined in. Saturday also saw the first trials for the "Football for Life" scheme which has been set up to allow youngsters to mix football with studies. About 30 youngsters turned up for the trials for the 20 places available on the two year course. The pre-season friendlies start on Friday with a match against local side Kirton Town at their Graves Park ground to celebrate the club's 60th anniversary.

Striker returns

Boston United's first signing of the summer has brought striker Paul Cavell back to the club. Cavell first played for the Pilgrims back in 1990 and he was top scorer with sixteen goals in his first season. His goalscoring ability won him a number of caps for the England semi-professional side. He left United in 1992 in a lucrative deal which took him and Paul Richardson to Dagenham and Redbridge. Last season he was playing for Purfleet in the ICIS League Premier Division.

Blow as two leave

Teenage forward Simon Armstrong has signed a one year contract with First Division side Port Vale and Carl Smaller has rejected an offer to stay with the Pilgrims to move back to his old club Boston Town. As he was a schoolboy, Armstrong was a non-contract player, but Port Vale have said they will make sure United benefit from the deal. Armstrong broke into the English Schools under 18 team and had trials with Manchester United, Middlesbrough and Derby County last season. So far nine of last season's squad have signed up again for the coming season namely: Steve Appleby, Leroy Chambers, Martin Hardy, Chris Withe, Andrew Stanhope, Paul Watts, Danny Marshall, Mark Lovelace and Joe Vaughan. Greg Fee has also announced that he is close to making his first signing of the new campaign, which would result in a former United forward coming back to the club.

Ex-boss chases duo

Former United manager Peter Morris has had talks with Phil Brown and Steve Chambers in an attempt to lure them away to his new club Kings Lynn. However, Greg Fee said he had spoken to both players and was hopeful of securing their services for next season. Greg has also had talks with lots of potential new players from both the Football League and the Conference, but no one has been prepared to put pen to paper at this stage.

Unibond League news

At the annual general meeting of the Unibond League it was agreed that admission prices would rise by 50p next season. It was also announced that Radcliffe Borough had passed their ground inspection and will hence take their place in the 23 team Premier division. The fixtures for next season will be revealed on July 5th.

Cup comp contrasts

In reward for last season's superb FA Cup run, United have been given an exemption to the fourth qualifying round in this season's competition. However due to their early exit in the FA Trophy, they enter that competition a round earlier than usual, in the third qualifying stage.

All change in backroom staff

United have appointed ex-Derby man Mark Shackleton as reserve team coach and have handed former reserves boss Dick Creasey the role of chief scout.

Pre-season friendlies

The squad return for training on 12th July after their end of season break. The pre-season friendlies start with an away match against local side Kirton Town on 18th July, then we have matches against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on 29th July, Stamford away on 4th August, a Norwich City XI at York Street on 6th August (K.O. 7:45) and an away match against FA Vase winners Whitby Town on 16th August. Our first game in the Lincs Senior Cup this season is against Lincoln United, away on Saturday 26th July. The Unibond League campaign starts on 23rd August with an away match against newly promoted Leigh RMI.

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