Boston United boss Drury tells his squad to prove themselves ahead of Guiseley clash

Former Pilgrim Danny Sleath in action against Guiseley.
Former Pilgrim Danny Sleath in action against Guiseley.

Graham Drury has called upon his Boston United squad to go out and earn themselves contracts for next season.

The manager is still getting to know his side – having taken charge of just eight matches with the Pilgrims to date – and wants his charges to impress him.

“We’ve got to knuckle down until the end of the season,” Drury said.

“Players have to show me they want to be here next season, others are coming in and trying to show me they can make the step up.

“It’s a transformation period.

“So we’ll just look forward to every game.”

And the next game up is a very tough away trip to Guiseley... who have just re-signed midfielder Matt Wilson - who began the season on loan at Boston - from Alfreton Town.

The Lions currently sit in second place in the Blue Square Bet North, eight points clear of third-place Brackley Town, but 17 short of leaders Chester.

That puts Guiseley 11 places and 24 points ahead of United.

But the rivalry between the two sides has been much closer in recent years.

The two UniBond Premier Division rivals both earned promotion to the Blue Square Bet North in 2010.

The Lions pipped the Pilgrims at the death to win the title of the final day of the campaign, with Boston going on to win the play-off final at Bradford Park Avenue.

The following season the two rivals met in the play-off semi-finals.

After two legs and extra time the rivals were still level, having scored three goals each.

But Guiseley got the better of Boston in the penalty shoot-out, before losing to Telford in the final.

Nethermoor has not been a welcoming place for United.

In 10 visits to Guiseley, United have won just once.

That came in August 2009, when Danny Sleath bagged a brace and Marc Newsham also found the net in a 3-1 victory, under former bosses Rob Scott and Paul Hurst.

Incidentally, Scott was sent from the sidelines in that fixture for comments made to the referee.

Since then, Boston have scored just one further goal in three attempts, drawing 0-0 and losing 1-0 and 2-1.

The visit before that victory was also a defeat, a 3-1 loss in a game most memorable for Tommy Taylor handing a debut to Frenchman Davide De Oliveira, who was never picked to play for the club again.

From five trips to Guiseley since the 2008-09 season, Boston have picked up just four points from a possible 15.

In their history, United have played at Guiseley 10 times on the road, winning once, drawing three times and losing six matches.

The Pilgrims have fared far better at Boston.

But – as the league table suggests – Guiseley’s superiority is beginning to show.

The Lions picked up their first ever victory at York Street this season with a 3-1 success.

In total, from 11 contests at home, Boston have beaten Guiseley five times, drawn five times and suffered the solitary defeat.