BROWNE ON THE BALL: Derby defeat silenced noisy neighbours, but there’s still plenty for Boston United to bang on about

Jason Lee asks questions during the Gainsborough defeat.
Jason Lee asks questions during the Gainsborough defeat.

SO, THE noisy neighbours got shushed.

After all the much-hyped pre-match war of words between Boston United and Gainsborough Trinity, it was the visitors who took the spoils. And deservedly so.

While Trinity’s season looks to be extended as they are all-but certain of a place in the play-offs, the Pilgrims’ campaign is pretty much over.

Or is it?

With Hyde and Guiseley still battling it out for the title, United could still have the final say in which team gains that automatic promotion spot to the Blue Square Premier.

A victory and/or draw in the wrong or right match (depending on how you look at things) could decide which team holds the trophy aloft and which prepares for the sudden death stages.

And believe me, neither team will see Boston as anything other than a major threat to their ambitions.

Yes, the amber and blacks may have slumped to their fifth defeat in six matches. But they still have the personnel and reputation in this division to be seen as a major stumbling block.

Hyde have already lost here in the FA Trophy this season. Guiseley, after their meetings over the past two seasons, know exactly what Boston can do when they’re on top of their game.

But it’s not just elsewhere in the division where Boston’s season is far from over.

It was Mikel Suarez who, at the start of the season, pointed out that Boston United is the type of club players are desperate to play for.

Having returned, after previously leaving Boston for Worksop, he said he didn’t realise what he had until it was gone.

The fanbase, the facilities, the sense of history were additional motivations he said he couldn’t find at other non-league clubs.

Obviously, things didn’t work out for Suarez. But for those players still at the club, they are now playing for their futures.

With no disrespect intended, turning up at the likes of Hinckley, Vauxhall Motors or Eastwood for your home games will not have the same appeal.

The money may not be too different. The travel time could be reduced for some. But for those players, especially the ones brought up through the ranks at professional clubs, the smaller stadiums, with lesser crowds, will not act as an inspiration in any form.

In the summer, Boston lost their spine. The likes of Anthony Church, Shaun Pearson, Spencer Weir-Daley (now back, of course) moved on.

But all did so with a heavy heart, lured away by the promise of football at a higher level, and steps into the full-time game.

Only Jamie Yates and Shane Clarke, who switched to rivals Trinity, opted to leave York Street for the same level of football. And despite the jibes about being lured away for cash, the pair are both sitting prettier in the league than Boston.

Of the released players, only Adam Boyes – who had little desire to stay at a part-time club so far from his Middlesbrough home – is playing at a level anywhere near comparable to Boston’s.

To be frank, unless they’ve got a decent offer in the pipeline (or the end of a university course and desire to move elsewhere for work purposes – Danny Sleath) or the desire to play regular football (Chris Hall), pretty much every member of Boston’s squad will want to stay on for one reason or another.

But that offer of a further contract will only come if you’re deemed worthy.

And members of a squad who have just one win in seven clashes don’t necessarily fit that bill.

There is all to play for here.

The noisy neighbours may have been shushed. But there’s still plenty of reasons to make some noises.