Next Game: FC United Away On Saturday March 2nd at 3pm.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

We've Been There Before - Boston

Continuing BN's look back at teams now in the National North, it's back to Boston for the last away game of the 2000/2001 season.


Hereford United played their last league match of the season in Lincolnshire. With both sides stuck in mid table, it was destined to be a pretty pointless affair and that's how it ended for Hereford, with a defeat. In fact, it was their biggest league defeat of the season and also the first time that they have conceded five goals in the Conference.

Hereford got off to the perfect start when they took the lead through Paul Parry on two minutes. Paul Sturgess provided a long throw for Parry to hit a shot past Boston goalie Paul Bastock, which bounced off the far netting.

The home side soon pushed their way into the match and Ken Charley hit wide after good play from the Boston attacking line before Gavin Williams shot wide from long range. Scott Cooksey was in good form to keep Boston out, saving a Costello shot and Jamie Cook missing the rebound. However, Cook hit back and on fourteen minutes, he hit a ball goalwards from an Andy Stanhope free kick to beat Cooksey and level the scores.

Paul Parry was guilty of failing to score after beating goalkeeper and defence in an acute angle on the left. He chipped the ball over to Elmes and Williams, but neither could connect. It turned out to be a badly missed chance as eight minutes later, with thirty four minutes on the clock, Boston took the lead. Top scorer Ken Charlery received a through ball from David Town and hit home after he beat Cooksey and Phil Robinson, but hesitated before netting. It looked as if Tony James could have cleared off the line, but the shot was just out of reach.

Scott Cooksey - photo copyright Nigel Hill

Scott Cooksey did well to keep out an effort from Boston's David Town, and Paul Bastock made stops from John Snape and Rob Elmes, but Hereford were behind at the break.

Boston started the second period as they had ended the first - on top! Ken Charlery missed badly after a superb peice of team work on fifty five minutes and Graham Turner decided to make a rare double substitution. Paul Sturgess and Paul Parry came off, John Shirley and Gavin Williams dropped back to allow substitutes Jimmy Quiggin and Steve Piearce to assist Rob Elmes in attack.

The change immediately paid off. After fifty seven minutes, Gavin Williams crossed in from his midfield role for Piearce to knock on to Rob Elmes. He managed to get between two defenders and make the score 2-2, netting on the far post. Just six minutes later, Boston regained the lead through Jamie Cook. A cross had been headed down by a Boston attacker for Cook to beat Cooksey from close range.

Jimmy Quiggin and Steve Piearce both missed chances to put Hereford level and Boston made them pay ten minutes later when they went 4-2 up. Centre back Lee Howarth got onto the end of yet another cross from David Town to beat the helpless Cooksey once again. With seven minutes left, good build-up play allowed Simon Rusk to put the game beyond the Bulls, but the away side still fought on.

Paul Bastock was replaced by Nick Conroy in the home goal late on, and was forced to make a couple of saves, the most impressive of which came from Elmes just a yard out. However, he tripped Elmes in the last minute and was lucky not to be sent off. Steve Piearce stepped up and netted a consolation goal, but Piearce was unlucky not to have had another penalty just minutes earlier as he was clearly held back in the box.

Despite conceding five goals, Cooksey didn't have a particularly bad match and certainly prevented double figures had the Boston shots been more on target! It appears that Hereford were just a little unlucky and the scoreline didn't reflect the even, end-to-end nature of the game.

Referee Mr. M. J. Cairns of Burton-on-Trent booked Hereford's Williams for dissent, Elmes for a foul and Boston's Clifford, Howarth and sub-'keeper Conroy for fouls. An attendance of 1,836 watched the match, including over 200 from Hereford.

Boston extended their unbeaten run to six matches, whilst Hereford lost their first game in seven league outings. Hopefully, this was just a lapse after the recent run of good form including victories over champions Rushden and runners-up Yeovil Town. Let us hope that next season, the team will be more consistent with performances matching those seen against the top two teams in the last month.

Hereford - Cooksey, Clarke, Robinson, James, Sturgess, Parry, Rodgerson, Shirley, Snape, Williams, Elmes
Substitutions - Quiggin (55), Piearce (55).

Man of the Match - Rob Elmes.