BROWNE ON THE BALL: Brodie was a gamble, but it didn’t pay off for Boston United

Richard Brodie.
Richard Brodie.

Well that was over quickly. Duncan Browne looks back at Richard Brodie’s swift Pilgrims spell...

In the space of five weeks, three games, one penalty miss and no goals, Richard Brodie’s Boston United career is over.

Karl Hawley.

Karl Hawley.

The striker arrived at the Jakemans Stadium on January 12, talking about finding a place to settle and put down some roots.

Instead he was switly shown the door, having his contract terminated for what Adam Murray chose to refer to as an ‘internal matter’.

I’m not proud to admit it, but I’ve had lumpy milk last longer in my fridge than Brodie did at the Jakemans Stadium.

When the striker arrived at United he’d had more clubs than Peter Stringfellow and a reputation which people could politely describe as ‘lively’.

Colby Bishop.

Colby Bishop.

But he also had proven predigree, two Conference winners’ medals and a track record of knowing where the goal is.

Brodie was a punt, but one worth taking, hence the four-month contract with an option to extend being the classic carrot and stick dangled in front of him.

He is a big, strong, physical player who looked the right choice to fill the void left by the injured Gregg Smith.

Having had his scrapes with him down the years, Murray knew exactly what a handful he could be.

If he’s going to be a git, he might as well be your git rather than someone else’s.

But as it turned out, Brodie’s career at Boston United will be remembered for little more than two dead ball strikes; the free kick which led to Jay Rollins’ goal at Bradford Park Avenue and the spot kick saved at Tamworth.

So with Smith still recovering from his fractured ankle, the central striker’s mantle has now been passed to Karl Hawley, with Colby Bishop also after a piece of the action.

You could be forgiven for not expecting much from a 35-year-old who recently returned from retirement, but Hawley certainly showed glimpses of what he can bring in his first two starts.

The aerial presence may not be the same, but his hold up play, first touch and quickness of thought shows exactly why he had a healthy career in the Football League.

His pace not be what it once was, but when you’ve got Rollins and Alex Simmons tearing past you then playing to your strengths - by relying on your strength - is the sensible option.

The Brodie gamble didn’t pay off.

Now time will tell whether Murray’s replacements will be safe bets or not.