SOLIHULL MOORS 1 BOSTON UNITED 4: Pilgrims book their play-off place courtesy of Southwell treble and Roberts wonder-strike

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

Dayle Southwell hit a 16-minute hat-trick as Boston United booked their place in the Vanarama North’s play-offs.

The striker took his season’s tally to a staggering 30 goals with a first-half treble, the third time he has claimed the match ball this campaign.

Grant Roberts.

Grant Roberts.

And if that wasn’t enough, Grant Roberts chipped in with one of the goals of the season - a thunderous screamer from distance which left home keeper Tont Breeden rooted to the spot.

But even more important for the Pilgrims was that their 4-1 victory at Solihull Moors, coupled with Tamworth’s 4-1 defeat at Barrow, ensured that Dennis Greene’s side will finish in the top five.

They currently reside in third.

The return of striker Mark Jones was the only change to the Boston starting XI which drew 1-1 at Stalybridge Celtic the previous week, Marc Newsham dropping back to the bench.

Moors didn’t begin like a side who had only won two of their previous 12 home games prior to kick off, especially when Stefan Moore rattled the Pilgrims crossbar with an attempted lob in the sixth minute.

And when Omar Bogle looked to have rounded Max Stryjek, the keeper corrected himself and made a vital block.

However, some uncertainty in the Solihull back line hinted at the problems behind their recent form at Damson Park, and a 16-minute spell saw Boston move 3-0 ahead.

Southwell opened the scoring in the 25th minute, picking the ball up on the left flank, cutting inside and guiding a low strike inside Tony Breeden’s far post.

It was two 10 minutes later as the striker gambled on Grant Roberts’ curling cross and - as those around him ball watched - pounced at the back post.

The forward completed his third hat-trick of the season before the break from the penalty spot.

Referee Paul Graham blew up after adjudging that Nicky Walker’s cross had struck the arm of Michael Nottingham, despite a lack of appeals from the away side.

And despite Breeden getting a hand to the low strike, the ball found its way over the goalline.

It was a near-perfect half for United until the 44th minute, when Ryan Beswick made the most of sloppy marking to head Moors back into the game.

Solihull began the second half with purpose and Stryjek was called upon to push away Darryl Knights’ near-post drive.

But it was United who struck the fifth goal of the game... and the goal of the game.

Grant Roberts netted his first goal for the Pilgrims in spectacular style, collecting a clearance 30 yards from goal and smashing home a swerver which made the neyt bulge before Breeden had even set himself.

Back came Moors, but man-of-the-moment Roberts was again in the right place, this time to clear Liam Daly’s header off the goalline.

SOLIHULL: Breeden, Nottingham (Nesbitt 84), Ballinger, Fleet, Daly, Langdon (Gueyes 72), English, Moore, Bogle, Beswick (Hayden 72), Knights; Subs (not used): Delfouneso, Acton.

UNITED: Stryjek, Marrs, Steer, Mills, Garner, Piergianni, Felix, Walker (McGhee 55), Southwell (Newsham 72), Jones (Dixon 55), Roberts; Subs (not used): Saebe, Price.

Ref: Paul Graham.