BROWNE ON THE BALL: Is something special stirring at Boston United?

Kyle Dixon.
Kyle Dixon.

There was a special feeling around Keys Park on Saturday, a sense that something good could actually be happening.

Boston United had triumphed in the land of the giants - against a Hednesford Town side which are not just physically tall and robust, but equally as athletic and skilful.

They had shown stoicism in repelling a number of dangerous attacks, especially as the Pitmen chased the game down in the final minutes.

The Pilgrims had earned a rare victory on the road, just their sixth away win in the Vanarama North campaign so far this season.

And as the match came to an end - before the midweek round of matches kicked off, at least - Dennis Greene’s side had pulled themselves to within two points of the top five.

All those were reasons enough to be cheerful; but it was something more which caused the away side to celebrate so wildly, for chairman David Newton to sport a contented smile and for manager Dennis Greene to go dancing with the fans.

In some ways, Saturday’s 2-1 victory seemed to convince the Pilgrims themselves that they belong at the division’s top table.

Scott Garner said the result sent out a message to the rest of the Vanarama North, Rene Steer described the three points as ‘massive’.

And they’re not wrong.

This season, like the previous one, Boston have often been a tough opponent - a team which was more than capable of taking even the best sides the league has to offer to the cleaners.

But although they took their play-off push to the final day last campaign, they often felt like also-rans.

It was like seeing Bradford City in the FA Cup’s semi-final draw. Okay, they’re there and they could cause a few upsets and go all the way, but would you put your house on it?

But this weekend all that seemed to change.

Victory at third-placed Hednesford, just like that win at Chorley, reminded us that this team aren’t just one-trick ponies.

Yes, they may be able to beat their rivals at home, and stick a bagful of goals past those who don’t arrive at York Street prepared, but now - when the going gets tough, and things really start to matter - United are beginning to turn the style on away from home too.

Victory at Hednesford felt good for the Pilgrims, not just because of the calibre of their opposition, but also because they were made to work for all three points.

The match was tight, it was competitive and every ball was contested with spirit and stength.

Victories like that, in front of someone else’s fans, often feel even better than trouncing an opposition 5-0 at home.

They feel earned. They inspire confidence. They draw a team even closer together.

All of that was evident as United headed down the tunnel just before 5pm on Saturday.

When Hednesford beat Boston United 2-0 at the Jakemans Stadium earlier this season the Pilgrims failed to muster a shot on goal.

They could have scored four or more on Saturday.

They could be coming good at just the right time.