Boston United 4 Hednesford Town 0: Relentless Pilgrims show their scoring touch

Ben Milnes in action for Boston at the Northolme.
Ben Milnes in action for Boston at the Northolme.

There’s no denying it, Boston United are flat-track bullies.

This is not a team which holds on to narrow 1-0 leads at home. When the Pilgrims smell blood they mercilessly attack their prey.

Solihull Moors, Vauxhall Motors, Workington and Gainsborough Trinity know that already. And now Hednesford Town do too.

The Pitmen had beaten a hapless United side 4-2 at Keys Park back in January. But that was a side put together from scratch just 24 hours earlier, a team of players who didn’t know each other all chucked in together.

Today, they faced the real Boston United. And, as the final whistle blew, didn’t they just know it, comfortably beaten 4-0.

Goals were always going on the cards as the Skrill North’s two most prolific sides - with 127 goals between them - met up at York Street. And within 16 minutes the Pilgrims were already 2-0 up.

The pace of Ricky Miller was too much for the Pitmen’s Ben Bailey, and with 12 minutes on the clock, the striker was tripped in the box. Miller dusted himself down to confidently brush home beyond the outstretched fingers of Dan Crane.

Goal number two saw defender Scott Garner connect with Ian Ross’ free kick, looping his tight-angled header over Crane and into the net.

The Pilgrims handed a debut to full back David Ferguson, who had joined the club on loan from Sunderland in midweek.

Manager Dennis Greene named the youngster in his starting line-up, switching Rene Steer to the right-hand side.

And it was a decision which paid off as Steer had a helping hand in both opening goals - setting Miller free with a defence-splitting pass and being upended by Jamey Osborne after dangerously cutting in.

Hednesford took their time to create any chance of note, but their first three opportunities landed at the feet of striker Charlie Anagho-Ntamark.

Lewis King did well to push away his goalbound effort before the forward fluffed his lines moments later, scuffing his effort way off target.

A third attempt was met by Carl Piergianni’s vital interception while, at the other end, the firm hands of Crane forced Miller’s powerful strike away from danger.

The Pilgrims were handed a massive let off just seconds after the re-start, with Paul Sullivan guilty of a horrific miss.

King did well to get a hand to Marvin Robinson’s goalbound header, but with the keeper floored the half-time substitute somehow smashed his follow-up against the underside of the crossbar from six yards out.

Boston made it 3-0 with 56 minutes gone as Liam Agnew - another of the Pilgrims’ on-loan Black Cats - slotted home his first senior goal.

Marc Newsham broke down the right-hand flank and, composing himself, picked out the 19-year-old who side-footed beyond Crane. The finish was cool, the celebrations wild as the visibly overjoyed youngster didn’t hold back.

Sullivan had a chance to make amends for his earlier miss when he went through one-on-one, but once again King put out a firm hand.

It was 4-0 with 11 minutes remaining as Ben Milnes smashed home the goal of the game from 20 yards out.

It was a team goal which began with Steer’s trickery in midfield, included Miller’s pace down the wing, a clever flick by Newsham and - eventually - a whack from the substitute.

And that was that, a 4-0 victory and, with 66 goals on the board, United finished the day as the division’s leading scorers.

UNITED: King, Steer, Ferguson, Weir-Daley (Fairclough 63), Garner, Piergianni, Ross (Marshakll HT), McGhee (Milnes 53), Miller, Newsham, Agnew; Subs (not used): Galinski, Vince.

HEDNESFORD: Crane, Disney, Melbourne, McCone, Bailey, MacPherson (Sullivan HT), Osborne, Riley, Robinson (Woolfe 62), Anagho-Ntamark (Lennon 72), Thorley; Subs (not used): Francis, Thompson-Brown.

Ref: John Brooks.

Att: 1,102.