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Sir Alan
Sir Alan

A Boston Tea Party Part 3

By: Andrew Doherty
Date: 04/02/2007

I think most of us were expecting Town to drop off the skill rate and allow Boston back in the game, but it was clear that AB’s men had other ideas.

Paterson scrapped and niggled the Boston defence. Boston won a corner on 47 which was headed out and persisted in heaving the ball upfield for headers. Town were growing in confidence and on 60 minutes, good support and passing play were in evidence as Toner and Paterson worked up the left side, eventually winning a free-kick. A corner resulted.

Fenton got up for a header against the bar but Paterson was quickly onto it and before any of the defence could get to it, forced the ball in the net. Boston 0, Grimsby 5. Paterson continued to battle to keep the ball in play as if Town were losing and Bore almost went clear but was adjudged to have fouled the defender.

On 68 minutes, Toner had the defence in knots, and a desperate clearance led to a further onslaught which only stopped with a Boshell foul. Town were battling for everything. The display was determined, controlled and skilful. On 70 minutes, Paterson’s pace took him clear and his cross had to be cleared off the line by Nicholson, otherwise Bore would have been in for his hat-trick.

Two moments around this time summed up Town’s performance for me. First, Paterson went clear on the left but could see he was marked and had no outlets so he delayed and waited for support to arrive, resulting in Boshell winning a corner. Then Bloomer made a rare mistake after a great passing move but the defence closed up and collectively cut out any threat.

The organisation and the passing were reminiscent of .... the Bucklerian era. What’s more, in this half, the team weren’t accepting the tactics of the Boston bully boys and were standing up for themselves. On about 80 minutes, a Boshell shot won a corner, which Marriott in Boston’s goal tipped over.

A poor clearance after the next corner led to a 6 way passing move, which saw Boshell on the right. The ball was threaded through the defence for Bore to latch onto on the near post and slip it in for his hat-trick. Boston 0, Grimsby 6. It was a brilliant team goal.

Paterson was replaced on 82 by Till and received deserved rapturous applause. Broughton had a shot for Boston on 87 which Barnes gathered comfortably. Bore and Newey then came off, to be replaced by Jones and Croft. Whittle was booked for a foul ouside the Town penalty box but the free kick was poor. Town continued to battle.

Ironic cheers went up as the announcer declared the result of the Boston Man of the Match award. As Revis pointed out, they didn’t even have a mascot. They were being completely outplayed. Boston won a late corner, but this was Town’s day. A magnificent performance. Final score: Boston Utd 0, Grimsby Town 6. The Town choir chanted "we won 6-0 and we’re having a laugh". This is unfamiliar territory.

Full-time verdict. Was this Grimsby I was watching? Merlin, Revis and I left the ground in elated stunned silence. Maybe this wasn’t the weekly funeral that we were used to, and I was now just dead and dreaming. The supporters had sung "The football league is upside down. We’re going up with the Torquay". On this performance, we could beat anyone. OK, Boston had some chances but the defence covered for each other in a way that we haven’t seen of late. Few mistakes were made and even when the ball was given away, there was back-up. The ball was passed around with consummate skill and control. When this has happened with Buckley teams in the past, the finishing hasn’t always been there. It was today, as was the determination and the workrate. When the final whistle blew, it was interesting to see Boston’s goalkeeper Marriott raising his hand to the Town supporters to recognise the achievement of our team.

Before the game, I said to Swanny that the biggest problem was that the players were in disarray and there was no team spirit. Today, there was no evidence of this. For me, the Man of the Match should be Alan Buckley for converting the players, contrary to expectation and recent performances, into such a well-drilled and organised machine. This must give them confidence. Bore, Paterson, Fenton, Toner, Boshell, Bolland and Bloomer were excellent, not to say that the others weren’t. How can we go down playing like this? Unfortunately it’s just one game, so we’ll just have to wait until the next episode.

If last Saturday was good, then this one was a hundred birthdays and Christmases rolled into one. I just can’t believe it. To recover, I’m going off for a cup of tea now. Do they have tea in Boston?

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