THE MATCH: Boston United 2 Barrow 1

Scott Garner.
Scott Garner.

Boston Standard sports editor Duncan Browne takes a look at today’s match...

MATCH RESULT: Boston United 2 (Steer 43, Dickinson 53) Barrow 1 (Cook 56)

WHAT WE EXPECTED: An opening-day extravaganza between two sides tipped to finish near the top. Dennis Greene’s new-look Boston United side - looking strong at the back but beginning the campaign without the firepower of Ricky Miller and Marc Newsham who scored a combined 49 goals last season - playing host to a Barrow side reinvigorated following a cash injection from Texas-based benefactor Paul Casson, but with little time to gel at a team.

WHAT WE GOT: An opening-day extravaganza between two sides who could well be finishing near the top. It was explosive, it was tense, it was excellent. It was Boston’s day... just.

MAGIC MOMENT: Midway through the first half Barrow were enjoying complete dominance. They’d rattled the woodwork and that opening goal looked to be a matter of when, not if. After the Pilgrims failed to clear a corner Alex-Ray Harvey was granted a clear strike at an unguarded half of goal - but Carl Piergianni bravely stuck his head in the way and somehow diverted danger.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jamie McGhee looked like he had been waiting his whole life, not just the summer, for today’s game. He was like sand, getting everywhere - as he pushed on in attack, battled in midfield and sprinted back to assist the defence.

GOAL OF THE GAME: Rene Steer may have become an internet sensation following that goal for St Neots Town in the FA Cup, but Boston United fans began the day yet to see the left back find the net. All that changed in the 43rd minute when Steer’s 31st appearance for the club brought forth his first Pilgrims goal - a 25-yard thumper.

ONE TO WATCH: Barrow striker Andy Cook was a real handful. The former Grimsby Town man scored, hit the bar, had one ruled out and generally made a nuisance of himself all afternoon.

REF WATCH: Marvyn Amphlett was the man in black and, despite his height and hairless head, hardly stood out or took centre stage. Not a bad thing for a referee. Dished out bookings to Scott Garner and Michael Hollingsworth, but both were deserved.

RATINGS: UNITED: Vince 7, Mills 7, Steer 8, Marshall 8, Garner 8, Piergianni 8, Reynolds 7 (Meadows HT 6), Hollingsworth 7, Southwell 7 (Galinski 78 6), Dickinson 7, McGhee 8; Subs (not used): Barlow, Doran, Hewitt.