THE LOWDOWN: Colwyn Bay v Boston United

Zak Mills.
Zak Mills.

Boston United, as the joke goes, will be playing in Europe today.

Admittedly, a four-hour bus ride to Colwyn Bay for a Vanarama North contest may not command the prestige, appearance money or even theme tune you could expect from a Champions League qualifier.

But just because no passports or flights are needed, don’t let that detract from the mileage clocked up by the Pilgrims today.

As the crow flies, Calais is as close to Boston as Colwyn Bay is, and a long and arduous journey with little opportunity to stretch the legs is never ideal preparation for a sportsman.

However, that doesn’t mean the Pilgrims should arrive in North Wales with anything other than a great deal of confidence.

The league season may well be just two matches old, but Boston United and Colwyn Bay are already seeing contrasting fortunes.

While Dennis Greene’s side kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 victory at home to big-spending title-favourites Barrow and followed that up with a 1-0 victory at Brackley - a team who have beaten them in the previous four encounters - things haven’t been going to plan for the Seagulls.

Frank Sinclair’s side have not begun the season as they would have hoped.

An opening day draw at Solihull Moors, coupled with Tuesday night’s 2-0 home defeat to league newcomers Chorley, has left the Bay with just one point... and not a single goal to cheer.

Cast your mind further back to the tail-end of last season and Colwyn Bay are a team with just one competitive victory in 12 matches.

In fact, Sinclair’s team have not won in their past eight league matches, which includes four defeats and four draws.

That winless run includes the last meeting between the two sides, a 3-3 draw at Llanellian Road in April, in which Zak Mills netted a late leveller - his first and only goal for United to date.

Boston’s record against The Bay is a relatively strong one.

From the seven meetings the two often-fiery opponents have managed since the 20011-12 campaign, the Pilgrims have won four, drawn twice and lost once.

Boston have not been beaten by the Seagulls in their past five meetings.

Last season’s draw followed four straight victories - a 2-1 win at York Street earlier last season, preceded by three wins in the 2012-13 campaign.

That year, Boston beat The Bay twice at home - 1-0 in the Conference North and 3-1 in the FA Trophy - before a 2-0 success at Llanellian Road, which is the Pilgrims’ only victory at Colwyn Bay since they dropped out of the Football League.

The 2011-12 season saw The Bay beat Boston 3-2 at home. But in Lincolnshire a late Ben Milnes goal earned United a 2-2 draw.

Today, Greene willl welcome Mills and Kaine Felix back from suspension, while Charley Sanders will serve the final stage of his four-match ban.

Jay Dowie and Marc Newsham remain unavailable due to injury, while the Pilgrims will be hoping that Rene Steer and Jamie McGhee will be able to shrug off knocks picked up at Brackley on Tuesday.