BOSTON UNITED 2 WORKINGTON 1: Steer blockbuster helps Pilgrims book place in round one of the FA Trophy

Rene Steer.
Rene Steer.

Remember, remember, Boston United in November.

The Pilgrims brushed aside Workington to book their place in the FA Trophy’s first-round proper and complete a memorable month.

Dennis Greene fielded the same starting XI for all six of United’s matches throughout November, and the players repaid his faith by finishing the month unbeaten.

Following two league victories and a run of three consecutive draws, Boston got back to winning ways in knockout competition.

Although the Pilgrims didn’t always have things their own way, Rene Steer warmed the cockles with a blockbuster before Dayle Southwell netted from the penalty spot to claim some satisfaction from his ding-dong duel with Reds keeper Jonny Jamieson.

A late Jake Simpson goal conjured up a nerve-racking finale, but it was United’s day.

The Pilgrims showed their intent early on as they forced Jamieson into making three important saves.

The Workington keeper just about got enough behind the ball to force Southwell’s stinging near-post drive away for a corner.

And the Reds’ stopper was back in the thick of the action as he got down well to smother Kaine Felix’s strike and hold onto another Southwell effort on the turn.

When Southwell did get the better of Jamieson he found Dan Wordsworth in the right place to clear his stabbed effort off the line.

You got the feeling that it was going to take something special to beat Jamieson today, and Steer delivered just that on 20 minutes.

The left back doesn’t score boring goals, and this was another collectors’ item - a powerfully-struck drive just inside the penalty area which rose and rocketed beyond the keeper’s reach and into the top corner.

As United looked to double their advantage Felix was again denied by Jamieson after his pace allowed him to cut in from the right.

Boston beat Workington 5-3 at the Jakemans Stadium last season, but since that day the Reds have found themselves relegated from the Vanarama North.

The Evo-Stik Premier side may have been slow out of the starting blocks, but when they found their feet they quickly showed that they were in no way in awe of their higher-league hosts.

They didn’t have their first sight of goal until beyond the half-hour mark, when Matty Tymon met Jake Simpson’s free kick, only to force his header off target.

But after that they had the better of the following 15 minutes.

Gareth Arnison netted twice for Barrow as they drew 4-4 with the Pilgrims last season, and he almost got his name on the scoresheet again as he made a late burst into the penalty area and forced Joel Dixon into a superb reaction save.

Dixon also stood his ground to capture Arnison’s attempted chip while Connor Tinnion wasted an effort, blazing well over the United crossbar.

On the stroke of half time Tymon came within a whisker of pulling Workington level - and it would have been one to remember.

Home fans were having flashbacks of King’s Lynn’s Dave Robinson back 1999 as the striker tried his luck with a lob from within the centre circle.

Dixon was in no man’s land but as he turned to discover his fate he saw the spin on the bounce shift the ball inches wide of the target.

The second half began with a couple of moments reminiscent of the opening 45 minutes.

The confident Tymon tried his luck from distance but Dixon again did well, clutching the 25-yard strike in mid-air.

At the other end Jamieson denied Southwell yet again, this time with his legs at his near post.

The Reds stopper then did well to hold onto Greg Tempest’s drive - but a rush of blood was to prove costly.

With Southwell and Jamieson chasing the same ball the United forward got there first, only to be tripped by the Workington stopper.

From the spot Southwell made no mistake, opting for power and bagging his 13th of the season in the 59th minute.

Within seconds of the re-start Tymon rattled the United bar with a free kick before Zak Mills had two good chances down the other end.

Jamieson pushed the defender’s volley wide before, from the resultant corner, Mills headed Tempest’s dead ball over.

With four minutes remaining Workington made things interesting as Simpson’s whipped free kick on the left flank beat everyone in the box and found the net.

Workington almost forced a replay when Alex Newby’s looping header looked goalbound, only for Dixon to deny his former club with a fingertipped save at full stretch.

Stoppage time brought four nervy minutes for United, dampened by Southwell limping off with a hamstring injury, but they held on to compete a superb November.

Dennis Greene for manager of the month anyone?

UNITED: J. Dixon, Mills, Steer, K. Dixon, Garner, Piergianni (Hollingsworth 64), Marrs, Tempest, Southwell, Jones (Newsham 74), Felix; Subs (not used): McGhee, Fallah, Vince.

WORKINGTON: Jamieson, Simpson, Rowntree, Wordsworth, Calvert, Skelton, Tinnion (Mwasile 67), McLuckie, Tymon, Arnison (Newby 81), Allison; Subs (not used): Wright, Andrews, Telfer.

Ref: Michael George.

Att: 708.