BOSTON UNITED 5 COLWYN BAY 0: Superb Pilgrims make it a magnificent seven

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

Boston United extended their unbeaten run against Colwyn Bay to a magnificent seven following a 5-0 thrashing.

Nicky Walker bagged a brace while Marc Newsham and Dayle Southwell got on the scoresheet.

Rob Hopley also diverted the ball into his own net as the Pilgrims ran out comfortable winners.

United have now gone seven contests without defeat against the Bay, and today’s welcome three points - at a foggy and frosty Jakemans Stadium - means United remain very much in the play-off chasing pack.

Last January saw Boston reignite their promotion push with 5-2 and 5-3 victories at the expense of Vauxhall Motors and Workington.

And after Boxing Day’s 5-3 victory over Leamington, could today’s 5-0 success be the catalyst for a push up the Vanarama North?

The Seagulls arrived in Boston with one of the Vanarama North’s finest away records, having won four and drawn six of their 11 matches.

Incidentally, their only defeat came in Lincolnshire, a 6-3 reverse at Gainsborough Trinity.

Despite their successes on the road, things didn’t bode well for the Bay as they arrived in Yellowbelly county once again .

Five first-teamers were out due to injury and player-manager Frank Sinclair was suspended after picking up a red card on New Year’s Day, a change in the Welsh FA’s rules meaning red card bans are now instant as opposed to taking 14 days to come into force.

That led to Sinclair’s assistant and former Leicester City teammate Ade Akinbiyi being named amongst the substitutes to make the numbers up.

The Pilgrims, meanwhile, had the opposite problem with three new signings being handed home debuts and the ill Jamie McGhee their only unavailability.

Striker Alex Simmons, on loan from Lincoln City, joined Newsham in attack with Southwell dropping to the bench.

Ex-Rotherham winger Walker lined up on the flank after his New Year’s Day’s debut at Lowestoft Town, in which he scored during the 1-1 draw.

New signing Grant Roberts - formerly of Gainsborough and Histon - also took his place in midfield and became the only man to play in both of the Bay’s away defeats.

Greg Tempest was named amongst the substitutes after rejoining on loan from Notts County while Rene Steer, himself sent off on New Year’s Day, was allowed to play due to the Football Association’s differing way of dealing with suspensions.

The Bay began the match looking very much the side which was forced to kick off with striker Hopley playing as a makeshift centre back.

Carl Piergianni’s wayward header and two shooting opportunities for the lively Simmons set the early tone.

But it took a moment of cool, calm and almost casual brilliance for the Pilgrims to take a 27th-minute lead.

Walker was played in by fellow Millers youth team product Newsham and, after collecting the ball, he rounded keeper Chris Sanna.

But with right back Danny Taylor yet to beat, the winger confidently feigned a shot before wrong footing the man on the line and slotting home at the second attempt.

Just four days ago Walker was a Championship player, and that gulf in class was evident in the finish.

That goal saw United grow in confidence and Taylor headed off the line before Simmons forced Sanna into a low save at his near post.

Walker’s nod goalwards didn’t quite have enough direction and Piergianni also went close with a header.

Today’s fixture is widely believed to be Joel Dixon’s final in a United shirt, with the keeper’s loan spell from Sunderland expiring tomorrow.

The first 35 minutes of his leaving party went without incident, but a rash clearance which struck Piergianni bounced kindly for Obi Anoruo - the stopper’s blushes spared a chip which lacked both height and direction.

As the half time whistle blew United were in control, but the away side had enjoyed enough pressure to know they were still very much in the game.

All that changed within 10 minutes of the re-start as the Pilgrims moved 3-0 in front.

Walker’s corner was nodded on by Piergianni in the 52nd minute, and Bay captain Hopley was the unfortunate man who got the final touch.

Three minutes later some kamikaze defending allowed Newsham the chance to get back on the scoresheet, the striker making no mistake with a powerfully-driven low effort.

Bay had the ball in the net after a defensive lapse allowed Paulo Mendes to slice his effort over Dixon, but a raised offside flag ruled the effort out.

Substitute Southwell cleverly put away his 16th of the season after latching on to Scott Garner’s through ball.

Bursting into the box he dinked the ball over the onrushing Sanna from a tight angle to confirm the game was out of the Seagulls’ clutches.

A rare Bay effort saw Dixon forced to tip Wes Baynes’ free kick over the bar, although there wasn’t enough swerve on the strike to make the keeper have to move far.

And in the 90th minute a cleverly-worked free kick saw Zak Mills find Walker, who slotted home from close range.

UNITED: Dixon, Marrs, Steer, Mills, Garner, Piergianni, Felix (Jones 62), Roberts, Newsham (Southwell 62), Simmons (Tempest 81), Walker; Subs (not used): Hollingsworth, Marshall.

BAY: Sanna, Taylor, Moss, Hopley, Royle, Olapade (Pilliner 57),Haywood, Hodgson, Anoruo, Mendes (Saiel 71), Baynes; Subs (not used): Seddon, Akinbiyi, Ollerenshaw.

Ref: Tom Bramall.

Att: 914.