Looking up! Roberts says Boston United should be aiming higher than fifth place in the Vanarama North

Grant Roberts.
Grant Roberts.

Grant Roberts believes Boston United should start looking further up the Vanrama North table.

Goals from Mark Jones and Dayle Southwell, either side of Liam Davis’ response, saw the Pilgrims grind out a 2-1 victory over Gainsborough Trinity at the Jakemans Stadium.

And for Roberts the victory was twice as nice.

Not only did the result see United finish Saturday back in the division’s play-off spots, it also saw him gain some revenge at the expense of the club which labelled him surplus to requirements earlier in the season.

“The goal was to push for the play-offs, now we’re in the play-offs we need to still keep up this form, keep on winning games,” Roberts told The Standard.

“If we can keep hold of this fifth spot then maybe we can start pushing on for fourth or even higher, you never know.”

United’s last three victories - against Hednesford, Gloucester and Trinity - have all been by the one goal, far tenser affairs than a number of their more maverick displays this campaign.

But Roberts says this only proves that Boston are showing varied ways in which they pick up points.

“I’ve got all the confidence in the lads,” he added.

“The last three games we’ve not played as well as we can, but we’ve all worked really hard, got stuck in and managed to get three wins.

“When we do start playing well we might score a few more goals.”

The United versus Trinity matches may be odd occasions in that the two rivals are actually more than 55 miles apart.

But try telling those involved that this game is not a derby.

As Southwell tucked away the matchwinning penalty with eight minutes to spare ,both managers became involved in a touchline spat, United’s Dennis Greene claiming he was responding to Trinity manager Steve Housham’s earlier celebrations in front of the Pilgrims bench.

But it wasn’t just the two bosses who let their emotions spill out.

Jones, like Roberts, was also facing his old employers, and desperate to show that they were wrong to suggest he didn’t have enough goals in him at this level.

After he met Kaine Felix’s cross and powerfully headed the Pilgrims in front in the 35th minute he pretended not to celebrate against his old club - before running wildly to the Town End to revel in his 10th goal in 11 games.

And Southwell also stoked the fire after tucking away his 25th of the season, holding his finger to his lips to quiten Trinity’s Cliff Byrne and the travelling fans.

It was a second insult for Byrne who had conceded the penalty by pulling back Carl Piergianni in the box.

In between those two goals, Davis flicked home Danny Forrest’s drive to pull Gainborough level in the 63rd minute.

But that was Trinity’s only real moment of danger in the contest - apart from Paul Beesley ballooning an effort high of the mark - where United keeper Max Stryjek didn’t have another shot to save until deep into stoppage time.

It was a different story for away stopper Rory Watson who had to be on guard to make saves from Felix, Jones, Southwell and Scott Garner, while also seeing Jake Sheridan’s strike rattle his post.