A beautiful day in Lincolnshire with a temperature of 24 degrees greeted my visit to Boston United, whilst at the same time the West Coast of Britain was being battered by storm Callum. As a club Boston United were only formed in 1933 when Boston Town folded. They now play in the sixth tier of English football (National League North) having once graced the Football League between 2002 and 2007. They have been involved in some great F.A. Cup giant killing in the past and reached the F.A. Trophy final in the 1984-85 season. They are very much a community club with a good following in this Lincolnshire outpost.
Their Northumberland opponents Blyth Spartans have a long history going back to their inception in 1899 and they still play at Croft Park where they started. They have for a long time been one of the most prominent Non-League teams of the North East. Like Boston they have been involve in F.A. cup giant killing but have never won a national trophy.
The Jakeman stadium is near to the town centre nestling amongst residential houses. It is overseen by the famous Boston Stump which is the tall tower of St Botolph’s Parish Church. The ground is magnificent, very tidy, covered on all sides, with seating down one side and some at one end. The program £3, ‘The Pilgrim’, is named after Boston’s nickname and is 48 pages of good, detail, interviews, statistics and photos not overpowered by advertising.
The wind swirled around the stadium. The beautiful striped grass was a little bare on the touchlines and the pitch sloped slightly downhill from the ‘stump’ end.
Boston United 4 Blyth Spartans 0
The game started slowly but within five minutes you could feel that Boston were gaining an advantage with some intelligent midfield play. A through ball to Gregg Smith enabled him to beat the offside trap and calmly stroke it passed the keeper for the first goal on 12 minutes. Boston kept up the pressure and it wasn’t until the 40th minute that Blyth had their best chance as a header just went over the bar.
The second half continued much of the same with the Pilgrims unable to convert their superiority into goals. Then in the space of 15 minutes they scored three deserved goals. Firstly on 64 minutes Walker scored through the goalkeepers legs after a neat through ball from Allott. The roles were reversed on 77 minutes when Walker’s pass along the goal line from the left was tapped in by Allott and just two minutes later Abbott struck a beautiful drive from 25 yards that went in off the cross bar. The Pilgrims had beaten the Spartans 4-0.
The food facilities were good, manned by a very friendly and happy team. The prices were very reasonable, coffee £1.10 and chips £1.30. The chips were a good colour, size, tasted of potatoes and were warm. They could have been a bit hotter hence a score of 73.