Sunday, 24 October 2010

Boston Town

Saturday 23rd October 2010
United Counties League Premier Division
Tattershall Road

Today was one of those days where I could not make up mind in the context of what direction to head in and who to go and watch. I had been looking at the weather forecast from the start of the week but as each day went by, so the forecast for each particular part of the country I was looking at changed. Come Friday evening and I had to finalise a decision in order to let my dad know where we were going and at what time to meet up, whether it be at his house or mine with us both living on different sides of Leicester. The decision was made to head east and specifically Boston Town FC of the United Counties League.

The United Counties League (UCL) is a league that I am quite familiar with, having visited majority of the clubs and grounds in both divisions over the past ten or twelve years or so. I think there are now only five grounds I have not visited in the league and they are in no particular order Kings Lynn Town, St Neots Town, Eynesbury Rovers, Olney Town and Harborough Town. The league currently sits and steps 5 and 6 of the non-league pyramid and covers an area stretching from Sleaford in the north to Newport Pagnell in the south.

A brief history of the club in a time line format is outlined below, with some of the information taken from the clubs official website: BTFC

1964    Formed and joined the Lincolnshire League
1964/65 Lincolnshire League champions
1965    Joined the Central Alliance
1965/66 Central Alliance champions
        Lincolnshire Senior ‘B’ Cup winners
1966/67 Joined the Eastern Counties League
1968    Joined the Midland Counties League
1973/74 Lincolnshire Senior ‘A’ Cup winners
1974/75 Midland Counties League champions
1976/77 Midland Counties League Cup winners
1978/79 Midland Counties League champions
1979/80 Lincolnshire Senior ‘A’ Cup winners
1980/81 Midland Counties League champions (3rd time)
        Lincolnshire Senior ‘A’ Cup winners
1981/82 Lincolnshire Senior ‘A’ Cup winners
1982    Founder members of the Northern Counties East League
1987    Joined the Central Midlands League
1988/89 Central Midlands League champions
        Lincolnshire Senior ‘A’ Cup winners
1989/90 Lincolnshire Senior ‘A’ Cup winners
1991    Joined the United Counties League
1994    changed name to Boston Town
1994/95 United Counties League champions
2000/01 United Counties League champions
2003/04 United Counties League Cup winners
2006/07 United Counties League Cup winners
2008/09 Lincolnshire Senior Trophy winners

St Botolph's Church
Boston itself is a town and port located in eastern Lincolnshire with according to the 2001 census had a population of just over 35,000 inhabitants. It’s most recognisable landmark is the tower of St. Botolph’s Church which is more commonly known as the “Boston Stump”. The town is situated in a very rural part of the country with this part of Lincolnshire being very flat. The popular holiday resort of Skegness is 22 miles to the north east with Grimsby being some 48 miles to north along the A16. Grantham and Spalding are some 31 and 15 miles to the west and south respectively. Our journey from Leicester took us across the A47 before heading north on the A43 to Stamford. From Stamford we joined the A16 which took us into Boston itself going via Market Deeping and Spalding. The journey took was just over 66 miles and took around 1 hour 45 minutes. We arrived in Boston around 1.15pm and went into the town to have a bite to eat and have a look at “The Stump”. The Britannia Inn was chosen which is located between the church and the market square. A good choice indeed with a pint of Bateman’s Autumn Fall ale going down a treat with a ham, egg and chip lunch.

The ground is a mix of the old and the new. The turnstile, clubhouse, changing rooms and catering hut are all behind the near goal as you enter the ground. There is a covered stand that runs along the majority of the near side, a section of both seated and standing accommodation behind the far goal with further seating along the right hand touchline. There are also improvements going on along this side of the ground with some of it cordoned off from spectators.

Going into the game Boston find themselves in 7th place recording seven victories from their eleven league games. Meanwhile opponents St Neots sit top of the table with an unbeaten record from thirteen matches, and currently have a three point cushion from Kings Lynn Town though having played a game more. The game was over as a contest after the first forty five minutes with the visitors stunning their hosts with five goals. The opener came on seven minutes when a cross from Junior Konadu was headed home emphatically by Dan Jacob. Just nine minutes when by when the Saints added a second through an own goal. The confidence from a team sitting at the top of the table was all too apparent as they knocked the ball around with ease and you felt it was a matter of time before further goals were added. This came around the half hour mark when a cross from the right was spilled by the Boston keeper James Doughty only for the ball the fall at the feet of Konadu who had a simple finish from six yards out. Shane Tolley who had come close on several occasions beforehand got his deserved goal when he guided home a cross into the corner of the net. The scoring was complete just before the end of the half when a well worked move was finished off by former Aston Villa striker Stefan Moore. I did feel though despite their superiority the score was harsh on Boston as they always looked to get at the visitors but were not as clinical in the final third of the pitch. The second half was a more disjointed affair with Doughty in the end keeping the score down as he made three excellent saves, one of them being from a header by Tolley. The following is taken from the report from the Boston Town website:

“As the teeming rain of the first half subsided, the home fans contented themselves with having drawn the second half 0-0 as well as aiming a few barbs at St Neots' star striker Stefan Moore along the lines of "You're not worth £1,500 a week.”

Admission: £5
Programme: £1
Match rating: 2 ½ / 5

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