BROWNE ON THE BALL: Cameo Cam is the unlikely hero - but is he really Boston United’s Messi?

Cameron Johnson.
Cameron Johnson.

Before Saturday, Cameron Johnson had only played 21 minutes of competitive football for Boston United... and that was a substitute appearance against the nine men of Curzon Ashton.

You could argue there are tramps who have spent less time on a bench than the summer signing.

As the 18-year-old striker arrived at the Jakemans Stadium this weekend he was probably expecting to put on his tracksuit and see out his afternoon as an unused sub for the ninth time this season.

But as the final whistle blew, Cameo Cam more than earned the applause which followed him and his Pilgrims teammates down the tunnel.

In the dressing room manager Dennis Greene labelled Johnson as ‘Cameron Messi’ while his post-match interview decreed the young attacker should have been awarded the Man of the Match champagne for his second 21-minute run out of the season (some praise indeed following a team performance in which Henrich Ravas, Scott Garner, Richard Jones, Jordan Richards and Grant Roberts could all have walked away with the accolade on another day).

Johnson, who was snapped up after an impressive pre-season showing against United for Rossington Main, has been forced to wait his turn.

But with the contest finely poised and the away side favourites to claim the points at the expense of the injury-ravaged hosts, Johnson set Ryan Robbins free with a defence-splitting 30-yard pass and United were in front.

Two minutes later his direct running was too much for Cliff Moyo, who saw red after hacking at Johnson and picking up his second booking.

It was an appearance that dreams are made of.

Every young footballer - especially those who find themselves at a club where they are labelled a prospect rather than a first-team regular - prays they can make such an impact so early in their development.

It just happened to be the case that Saturday was Johnson’s time to shine, and help United make it three straight wins against the teams relegated from last season’s Vanarama Premier.

With United set for the swift return fixture against Telford, the Pilgrims will be hoping they can make it four wins in a row, something Greene is itching to achieve for the first time with the Pilgrims.

Whether Johnson can repeat his heroics or not is anyone’s guess.

But if Greene looks across the substitutes at his disposal with the clock ticking down at New Bucks Head this weekend, Johnson can now take pleasure in knowing he is a serious option, and could well be the one told to whip his tracksuit off.