Boston United 4 Redditch United 1: Miller brace sees United book their place in round two of the FA Trophy

Ricky Miller
Ricky Miller

Boston United’s love affair with the FA Trophy was rekindled following a 4-1 victory over Redditch United.

The Calor Southern League proved a tough nut to crack at times, but a brace from Ricky Miller and goals from Carl Piergianni and Jake Hall saw the Pilgrims progress to round two.

In a week when stadiums, marinas, property developments and the club’s future have dominated the news, United resumed life in the present, and returned to their bread and butter... football.

Boss Dennis Greene made four changes to the side which beat Gainsborough Trinity in midweek.

Teenage keeper Sam Vince replaced the cup-tied Lewis King in goal, while Ian Ross and Conor Marshall returned to midfield at the expense of Ben Milnes and Indy Aujla.

As the Pilgrims reverted back to a 4-3-3 formation, from the 3-5-2 which served them well in midweek, defender Stefan Galinski made way for striker Spencer Weir-Daley.

Netan Sansara was also named on the bench after completing his three-match suspension.

Young Vince’s confidence was done a world of good in the opening exchanges as he got down well to parry Ashley Sammons’ powerful drive.

And as the Reds began in high spirits, Scott Garner had to be alert to block Jermaine Hylton’s strike before United really came into the contest.

Piergianni headed Ian Ross’ corner over before Miller saw his bending shot fail to hit the target.

But if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. In the 22nd minute that Ross-Piergianni corner combo paid off, as the centre back powered home his fourth goal of the season and his second goal in three matches.

Redditch could have levelled seconds later, but Vince was off his line quckly and bravely used his body to block as Harvey Headley charged down on goal.

At the other end, how Boston didn’t double their advantage is anyone’s guess as Miller - slipped in neatly by Spencer Weir-Daley - saw his low drive squeeze inches wide of Sam Hornby’s post.

The Reds keeper then reacted well to save Marc Newsham’s close-range header.

As half-time loomed, the visitors created two further chances. Vince got his body behind Hylton’s speculative strike and Sammons, on the turn, would have drawn his side level had his effort found the target.

The FA Trophy holds happy memories for both Boston United and their manager Greene.

Greene won the competition as a player with Wycombe Wanderers in 1993, while the Pilgrims made their only appearance at Wembley Stadium eight years earlier, losing 2-1 in the final to Wealdstone.

And Boston’s hopes of a return to Wembley were done no harm following a free-scoring second half.

United began the half confidently and Hornby had to do well to palm Miller’s effort round his near post, following a powerful run and cross by Jake Hall.

Once again Hornby thwarted Newsham and Piergianni almost got himself on the scoresheet again when he connected with another Ross corner, but this time his effort smashed against the crossbar.

Redditch temporarily levelled in the 63rd minute when Liam Slade powered home a header.

But a double from Ricky Miller put the game beyond the Reds - their seventh straight defeat at York Street.

Firstly he latched on to Charley Sanders’ through ball before rounding Hornby and slotting home on the 70th minute.

Five minutes later he composed himself before clipping his second of the day beyond the floored Redditch keeper.

In between those goals, Garner made a brilliant sliding clearance on the line to deny Ahenkorah.

But Hall put the match beyond doubt in the 80th minute with a low drive from 20 yards out - his first for the club.

UNITED: Vince, Marrs, Garner, Piergianni, Steer, Ross (Milnes 80), Marshall (Galinski 66), Hall, Weir-Daley (Sanders 68), Miller, Newsham; Subs (not used): Sansara, Aujla.

REDDITCH: Hornby, Recci, Mutton, Slade, Flanagan, Sterling-James Patterson 78), Oshungbure, Sammons (Price 78), Ahenkorah, Headley (Molyneux HT), Hylton; Subs (not used): Bridgwater, Caines.

Ref: Ricky Wootton.

Att: 784.