LOWESTOFT TOWN 3 BOSTON UNITED 0:Trawlerboys reel in the Pilgrims

John Sands.
John Sands.

For every good there’s a bad. For every day of Christmas excess there’s a new year’s diet. For every highly-appreciated visit from Santa Claus there’s an ill-fitting pair of socks from Aunt Gladys. And for every 4-0 drubbing of Stockport County there’s a 3-0 defeat at Lowestoft Town.

Boston United followed up what was arguably their most exciting performance of the National League North season with a firm contender for their worst.

The Pilgrims’ Boxing day defeat unfolded in the easternmost town in Great Britain, and the injury-hit away side couldn’t have been any further from last week’s heroics as they were well beaten, mustering just one effort on target.

Boston were dealt two hammer blows before kick off with news that leading scorer Dayle Southwell and left back Dylan McEvoy were both sidelined due to injury - Southwell’s foot problem ruling him out until late January.

Not wishing to tamper too much with the side which beat Stockport 4-0 the previous week, Dennis Greene moved Jordan Richards to left back and brought in Mark Jones and Ryan Robbins as his front two.

But the loss of Richards in the centre of the park appeared to have a knock on effect and, without his discipline, Grant Roberts and Scott Garner lacked their usual freedom to attack.

The Trawlerboys needed just four minutes to open the scoring as Mark Jones, seven days after his wonder goal against Stockport, was back on the scoresheet, albeit with the letters O and G after his name.

Robert Eagle’s inswinging corner was held up in the wind and, as the Pilgrims striker attempted to clear the danger, his header flew beyond Henrich Ravas and into the Pilgrims’ net.

And 10 minutes later that lead was doubled as another Eagle corner caused problems in the away side’s penalty area.

After the first ball was headed away, Michael Spillane was in the right place to unleash a low volley which found the base of the net from 12 yards out.

Were it not for some poor finishing and heroics from Zak Mills and Ravas, the scoreline could have been even worse at the break.

The United defender twice made vital last-man challenges to deny Rossi Jarvis and Jake Reed, while Jarvis - well placed and with the goal at his mercy after Boston failed to deal with yet another corner - blasted an effort well over the bar.

And when Reed did get his chance to shoot, Ravas got down quickly to beat away the danger.

With the Pilgrims below par in the opening half Greene made three changes, Cameron Johnson, John Sands and Lewis Hilliard replacing Liam Marrs, Roberts and Robbins.

But despite switching from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, the second half began just as the first did, with the Trawlerboys netting.

Ryan Jarvis had already seen an effort ruled out for offside before Reed latched on to Spillane’s ball over the top and tucked away number three beyond the onrushing Ravas in the 53rd minute.

Mills, by far United’s stand-out performer on the day, then found himself in exactly the right place again as he hacked Eagle’s effort off the goalline.

At the other end, a rare Boston chance saw Sands head wide of the mark before, with 83 minutes on the clock, United managed their first effort on target.

As Sands connected with a close-range header he must have thought he had opened his Pilgrims account, but a superb full-stretch fingertip save from Lowestoft’s on-loan Norwich City stopper Ben Killip left the forward cursing his rival’s Chritmas spirit.

UNITED: Ravas, Marrs (Johnson HT), Mills, Piergianni, Richards, Felix, Garner, Roberts (Hilliard HT), Rollins, M. Jones, Robbins (Sands HT); Subs (not used): Alexander.

LOWESTOFT: Killip, Barker, Ainsley, Spillane, Eagle, Ryan Jarvis, Rossi Jarvis, Hodd (Mason 63), Fisk, Bammant, Reed (Woods-Garness 75); Subs (not used): Henderson, Smith, Jessup

Ref: Carl Fitch.

Att: 996.