BOSTON United slumped to their first-ever defeat to Workington, on a day to forget at York Street.
Before Saturday’s loss, the Pilgrims had the proud record of beating the Reds in all 10 of their previous league encounters.
And United couldn’t have been given a better opportunity to make it 11.
On Friday Workington made the long journey to Lincolnshire. But after their bus broke down, the players and staff didn’t get to their Grantham hotel until 2.30am.
But any thoughts of the Reds looking tired were soon put to bed, as they stormed to a 3-1 victory.
Defeat meant it was three losses in a row for Boston, and the Pilgrims cut unhappy figures at the final whistle.
Nathan Stainfield looked a little embarrassed to collect the sponsors’ man of the match champagne, while manager Jason Lee found himself caught up in a slanging match with a fan who stayed behind to vent his displeasure.
Boston started the brighter and could have taken the lead early on.
Mark Jones sliced a volley wide before Reds keeper Aaran Taylor pulled off two great saves to keep parity.
He got a firm hand to Spencer Weir-Daley’s curler before getting down quickly to deny Marc Newsham.
And that failure to convert saw United shoot themselves in the foot as they trailed after just 14 minutes.
Andre Rodrigues Da Costa was in the penalty area but appearing to go nowhere… until Gary Silk decided to tug on his shirt.
Referee Neil Hare had the easy decision of pointing to the spot.
And it was from 12 yards out that Gareth Arnison converted, despite Dan Haystead getting a hand to the ball.
Jones again fired off target with a blazing effort as United dominated possession but failed to create many clear-cut chances.
That was until the 38th minute when Weir-Daley latched onto Jones’ clever through ball and fired low beyond the helpless Taylor.
Jason Field – making his first league start for the Pilgrims – almost put United ahead with a stunning drive which Taylor did well to hang on to.
And on the stroke of half time, Haystead was also called into action, denying Mark Boyd’s free kick, which looked destined for the top corner.
At the interval Jason Lee decided to hand teenager Korey Dyer-Stewart his Pilgrims debut.
And the fast-footed youngster wasted no time announcing himself.
Latching onto Weir-Daley’s through ball he twisted and turned before stealing a yard on Kyle May, only to see his strike saved by Taylor.
Weir-Daley then went close, heading Ian Ross’ corner over the bar before Newsham appeared to have put Boston ahead.
He took Kern Miller’s long ball down brilliantly, but after sending Taylor the wrong way, his effort struck the foot of the post.
However, it was the Reds who got that winning??? Goal.
With 10 minutes left Arnison got the better of Silk on the left flank and put in a low cross which the Boston defence just failed to deal with.
But Jonny Wright was alert to tap home from close range.
And to rub salt into the wounds, Arnison fired home a third to ensure victory, beating Haystead with a powerful drive inside the United area.
Despite this, Ross almost pulled one back at the death, but again the excellent Taylor had the last laugh, palming his free kick away.
On reflection, the result was terrible.
But it could be worse. You could be a Corby Town fan.