BROWNE ON THE BALL: What’s the difference? Do Boston United need wins or goals to secure a play-off spot?

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

One down, four to go.

Last week defender Zak Mills offered the rallying cry to his Boston United teammates, calling on them to put in five big season-defining performances.

One victory at FC United later and the Pilgrims are the masters of their own destiny.

Nuneaton remain four points behind with two games in hand, but as they still have a trip to the Jakemans Stadium on the penultimate weekend of the season, Boston’s mission statement is simple: win your final four matches and you’re in the play-offs.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

But in the National League North, like football in general, things always have a way of surprising you.

And that begs the question - should the Pilgrims focus on grinding out results or should they put additional emphasis on trying to bolster their goal difference.

Although United, occupying the final play-off spot, have a two-point advantage over sixth-placed Tamworth, the Lambs’ +10 in the goal difference column is six better than Boston’s, the lowest in the top seven.

The last three Pilgrims victories have all been 2-1 scorelines on the road, perhaps a little more tense than they should have been as each time a 2-0 advantage led to their deficit being halved.

Right now Dennis Greene would snap your hand off if you offered him 12 more points by the same winning margin.

But in the event of just one draw, a victory for Tamworth could see them holding the aces.

Of course, suggesting that you ‘just start hammering teams’ is easier said than done, if it was that simple then Boston would have wrapped up the league title faster than you could say ‘PSG’.

But thinking along those lines could see changes to team selection and tactics.

Winning, right now, is far more important than the manner in which points are chalked up.

However, the good news is that Saturday’s victory at Broadhurst Park was certainly the team’s best performance in weeks.

The defence looked far more assured and, with FCUM’s goal coming deep into stoppage time, there wasn’t that sense of hanging on which has been evident in previous victories.

The midfield had balance and with Dayle Southwell bagging goal number 50 for the club and stating ‘I feel I can score in every game’, a few more similar performances could see United end the season right where they want to be.

Four wins, no matter how they come, is the target.

But a few 5-0s would make the heart rate a little more steady.