Boston United boss Greene calls Bradford Park Avenue defeat ‘unacceptable’

Spencer Weir-Daley bursts forward against Bradford. Photo: Andy Laithwaite
Spencer Weir-Daley bursts forward against Bradford. Photo: Andy Laithwaite

Dennis Greene tore a strip off his Boston United side following their 4-0 defeat to Bradford Park Avenue, describing the performance as unacceptable.

A hat-trick from Alex Davidson and a late penalty from Richard Marshall saw the new manager on the losing side as Pilgrims boss for the first time.

After three straight victories without conceding, Greene was hoping his charges could mould into Blue Square Bet North title challengers next season.

But on Saturday, as the snow fell onto York Street, that bubble burst.

“It’s not acceptable,” Greene said at full time. “If you lose a game you lose it 2-0, not 4-0.

“You aren’t going to chase promotion if you play like that at home.

“The big question for me is, is this group good enough to chase for promotion after this game?”

On Saturday, the answer was no as United were heavily beaten by a side outside the top five.

Greene made three changes to his starting XI, Gary Silk and Paul Lister replacing Conor Marshall and Tom Ward in defence, while James Reed got the nod ahead of Nathan Stainfield in midfield.

This third change seemed to make the greatest difference as, with Anton Foster suspended, Stainfield has been doing a superb job in the stoppers’ role.

Greene wanted to take a proper look at Reed for the first time, but the midfielder, by his own admission, had an off day. That, plus the lack of defence-minded steel in the heart of the park, allowed Bradford too many chances to gain possession in midfield.

The final score makes it hard to believe that United dominated much of the opening exchanges, Park Avenue keeper John Lamb having to show a firm pair of hands to deny both Ben Fairclough’s near-post flick and Spencer Weir-Daley’s 20-yard dipper.

On 16 minutes, holes in the Pilgrims defence allowed Jordan Deacey a clean run at goal.

With keeper Dan Haystead rushing off his line, the Park Avenue man got there first, sliding the ball into the path of Davidson for a simple slide into an unguarded net.

Fairclough looked to pull Boston level when his drive rattled Lamb’s crossbar, but that was Boston’s final meaningful effort.

Davidson toe-poked home his second in the 69th minute and his third, arriving with 10 minutes left, was the pick of the bunch as he cut inside and drilled a shot past the helpless Haystead.

Marshall rounded things off after being fouled by Marshall in the box.