Boston United boss Graham Drury described new signing Anton Foster as a ‘rat’ after the debutant helped the Pilgrims grind out a 1-0 victory over Colwyn Bay.
The manager wasn’t throwing the term around in a Mafia-style way, suggesting the 30-year-old is likely to turn on his teammates. Nor was he suggesting the player was deserting a sinking ship after his transfer from Sheffield FC.
In fact, it was a compliment. Well, almost.
What Drury was doing was likening his midfielder to the rodent, the type of creature who will relentlessly gnaw away at an opposing side.
“I’m surprised he didn’t get man of the match,” Drury said. “He got a booking, rightly so, for his one-two-three challenges.
“But that’s what he is, a rat.
“He won’t beat three men and he won’t knock in a 60-yard pass. Instead he just pings it on to other lads to play.”
Indeed, Foster added some much needed steel to the heart of the pitch.
There was no showboating. There was nothing flashy.
But what he did was stick a boot in. He won possession, and he didn’t lose it cheaply.
It sounds simple, but that’s what United have been missing as they began 2013 with two horrible defeats and a late draw at Workington.
“I’ve played here a few times and always thought I’d like to play for Boston,” Foster told The Standard after his debut.
“It’s a good club and I jumped at the chance when Graham called me.”
But it’s not just the ambience that persuaded Foster to move. He wants success.
“If we put a good run together there’s no reason why we can’t force our way into the play-offs,” he added.
All in all, United’s victory over Bay wasn’t pretty. But in a contest that had few chances and was all about midfield domination, it took a moment of brilliance to settle things.
With 31 minutes on the clock, Ben Milnes cleverly chested the ball into the path of Spencer Weir-Daley.
The striker’s effort was parried by Chris Sanna, but only as far as Mark Jones, who fired the ball into the empty net.
Boston should have put the contest beyond doubt before the break, but a fine save from Sanna denied Weir-Daley and Marc Newsham uncharacteristically fired over from close range.
If anything, United’s failure to convert chances actually gave the Seagulls some hope of snatching a late leveller.
But try as they might, a mixture of their ineptitude in attack and the Pilgrims’ superiority kept them at bay.
It wasn’t pretty, and United will face many better sides as they aim to climb further up the Blue Square Bet North table.
But like Foster, the performance was effective.