Southwell backs Boston United for a top-five surge

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

Dayle Southwell is backing in-form Boston United to challenge for promotion following Saturday’s 5-1 drubbing of Guiseley.

The striker netted a brace as the ruthless Pilgrims made the most of sloppy defending to demolish their Vanarama North play-off rivals.

It was a result which saw United end the day level on points with fifth-placed Chorley.

“We always believe, but it proves what this side can do when we’re all on our game,” said Southwell, who took his season’s tally to 18 goals.

“We were struggling to score the goals at the start of the season, but now it’s all clicking into place.

“We’re getting a side which is gelling and the strikers are scoring.

“If that can carry on then we’ll be in the hunt for the play-offs.”

And if anyone is left questioning whether the Pilgrims have the mettle for a play-off battle, Boston have now beaten four of the division’s top five sides, while earning a 1-1 draw at Tamworth, the other team currently occupying the play-off places.

Southwell had already brought an early stop from Lions stopper Steve Drench before Kaine Felix gave the hosts a seventh-minute lead, slotting home after the keeper had parried Nicky Walker’s effort.

And moments before half time that lead was doubled as Mark Jones netted his second in as many matches, latching on to Gavin Rothery’s aimless back pass before calmly biding his time to tuck under Drench.

After the interval Southwell got in on the act with two breakaway goals.

His first was neatly flicked home from the outside of his boot while the second mixed whip and power as those uncharacteristic holes in the Guiseley defence - despite this heavy defeat only three sides in the division have conceded fewer goals - got bigger and bigger.

But it wasn’t just Guiseley’s defence which was having problems, in front of goal too many opportunities were sent wide of the mark.

United keeper Joel Dixon didn’t have his most convincing of games, but he only had two efforts of note to deal with - doing well to deny both Danny Boshell and Oli Johnson.

But there was little he could do about Rothery’s powerful consolation after the Lion was afforded plenty of room at the back post.

But the best was yet to come, Alex Simmons opening his Boston account with a delightful 25-yard chip at the death.

For the third home match in a row the Pilgrims scored five times, but it could have been even more.

Carl Piergianni saw a header cleared off the line while Drench denied both Scott Garner and Simmons.

But only the greediest supporter could be left rueing those chances on one of those rare occasions where Boston got the better of Guiseley.