GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 1 BOSTON UNITED 0: Pilgrims downed at the Northolme

Jay Rollins.
Jay Rollins.

Nicholas Bignall’s second-half finish saw Boston United beaten at Gainsborough Trinity for the first time in almost 20 years.

April 1996 was the last time the Pilgrims were downed at the Northolme.

But all that changed as Bignall slotted home at the second attempt to settle the contest and end Dennis Greene’s hopes of claiming four straight wins for the first time as Pilgrims boss.

The 60 miles between the Northolme and Jakemans Stadium suggest that the Trinity-United derby can call itself that due to county boundaries rather than closeness on the map, but for the first time in years the two sides prepared for kick off in close proximity in the National League North table - Boston eighth of nine points and Trinity ninth on eight.

Come the final whistle it was the Blue part of the county that had bragging rights and the preferable position in the table.

The pre-match preparation was far from ideal for for the Pilgrims, whose numbers were depleted by both injury and suspension.

Carl Piergianni’s red card against Curzon Ashton saw him sidelined for the fixture, while his central defensive partner Zak Mills also missed out due to his hamstring injury.

That led Greene to snap up free agent Lionel Stone, the 6ft 2ins defender - formerly of Brentford - taking his place in the starting XI alongside Scott Garner.

Boston’s attacking options were also limited with wingers Jamie McGhee and Kaine Felix both ruled out, seeing Grant Roberts and Jordan Deacey return to the starting XI.

Roberts and Pilgrims forward Mark Jones both had spells with the Blues, while Trinity offered starts to Dom Roma and Jamie Yates, both of whom used to be Pilgrims.

Marc Newsham, who joined Gainsborough from Boston in the summer, took his place on the bench following his recent ankle injury while midfielder Matt Wilson - who also had a spell at the Jakemans Stadium - wasn’t deemed fit enough to make the squad.

The first half may have ended goalless, but neither side was afraid to have a strike.

United’s Henrich Ravas was the busier of the two keepers, pulling off a spectacular full-stretch fingertip save to force Nathan Jarman’s dipper onto the top of the net, while using his legs to deny Liam Davis’ close ranger following Nicholas Bignall’s cutback.

The Slovakian was, however, rooted when Bignall’s low strike wrongfooted him, but the effort was dragged wide.

Boston were slow out of the blocks, but soon came into the contest with Roberts’ effort parried by Jan Budtz.

Jay Rollins fired over when well placed and took an earbashing from Kyle Dixon after blazing over from the edge of the box when the midfielder was unmarked and screaming for a pass.

When under pressure Roma did well to head over his own bar under close attention from Dayle Southwell.

The second half began with Southwell chancing his arm from 25 yards out and seeing a powerful strike whizz wide of the mark, before finding the outside of the post with a header following Dixon’s deep corner.

At the other end, Jarman was again left frustrated by Ravas, who beat a powerful strike away.

But Trinity took the lead in the 66th minute as Ravas was caught in no-man’s land. And despite getting a hand to Bignall’s first effort, the Blues forward reacted first to sweep the ball into the empty net.

Boston looked to get back on level terms but Cameron Johnson fluffed a shot from close range and Rollins’ strike flew off the mark.

At the death Newsham joined the match to warm applause for both sets of fans.

There was time for him to pick up a booking for a slide on Ravas, but as the full-time whistle blew, once again Newsham was on the winning team in a Lincolnshire derby.

TRINITY: Budtz, Roma, Quinn (Brogan HT), Picton, Lacey, Davis, D’Laryea, Binns, Yates (Forrest 74), Jarman (Newsham 90); Subs (not used): Stamp, Rigby.

UNITED: Ravas, Marrs, Garner, Stone, Deen-Conteh (Dowie 47), Deacey (Johnson 77), Dixon (Friend 77), Roberts, Rollins, Southwell, Jones; Subs (not used): Limb, Alexander.

Ref: Ben Cooke.

Att: 846.