The Poachers eased through the first qualifying round of the Vase with a comprehensive victory over a youthful Downham side - with new signing Jordan Nuttell making an immediate impact.
On paper it should there always have been only one result given the visitors’ languishing near the foot of a league one level below Boston’s.
Yet fears may have been raised when the home team lost Liam Bull before kick off due to illness and then three minutes into the game an errant stud caused striker Josh Ford’s foot to swell alarmingly and would soon force him out of the contest.
New signing Jordan Nuttell had already shown his class within seconds of the kick off, his neat touch leading to a free kick just outside Downham’s penalty are. The ensuing free kick was blocked leading to Jackson heading weakly over.
On five minutes neat interplay between Nuttell and the ever busy Lori Borbely down the left flank forced a corner. From it Michael Wood’s over head kick was latched onto bringing a good save out of visiting keeper Pearson. From the following corner Ollie Pinner rose, unchallenged, but headed wide, a feat he would match a few minutes later.
The visitors nearly took a shock lead on the quarter hour mark when the Poachers were caught in possession - Drury raced out to clear only to see the ball ricoche off a Downham striker. Fortunately the ball fell short of the home goal and Mark Thompson was able to clear.
Moments later with Town piling on more pressure, Pinner’s long range shot was well held by Pearson. But with Downham unable to keep the ball Boston were straight back on the attack and Borbely’s trickery brought a free kick on 16 minutes. From Jason Field’s cross Nick Jackson rose and headed home.
Town went further ahead five minutes later, Callum Stocks cutting inside from the right, his shot being saved and falling to Borbely who buried the rebound.
The half continued in much the same vein and, on a neat move down the right flank between Thompson and Ollie Maltby (on for Ford) produced yet another corner. From Field’s kick Nuttell rose to head home Boston’s third. The contest was effectively over and would certainly have been two minutes later had Borbely not spurned a golden opportunity on a well-worked free kick and Pinner’s clever header back across the six yard box.
Nuttell went close on 41 minutes, his overhead kick going just over. after Stock’s brilliance on the right. Downham responded by breaking down Boston’s left but they shot well wide of the mark.
But the half ended much in the same fashion as it had been for most of the 45 minutes, with the Poachers attacking down the flank and Field’s dangerous cross nearly being sliced into his own net by a hapless Downham defender. From the ensuing corner Nuttell, clearly enjoying his playing time, headed straight into Pearson’s arms.
Unfortunately for the visitors, today’s was not going to be a game of two halves and the Poachers resumed the onslaught at the start of the second period.
And it was soon 4-0 when Ollie Pinner decided he hadn’t played left wing for a while, used his own magic and put in a superb cross which Liam Nimmo glanced home.
Suitable reward for the striker whose outstanding workrate in this, and previous games, had seen little reward.
Downham did manage a nice break down Boston’s left a couple of minutes later but, like their previous attack, there was no end product.
From then on the Poachers went into overdrive with their visitors failing to get out of their own half thanks to the busy Maltby and enduring wave after wave of attack from the marauding Stocks on the right wing.
‘Keeper Pearson kept the score down on two further occasions, stopping Pinner’s goalbound header on 58 minutes and then, three minutes later pulling off a world class save to deny Maltby’s bullet from the edge of the area.
On 68 minutes Luke Wilson replaced Wood as a precautionary measure but this erved only as a minor distraction as Boston resumed their relentless pressure. Newcomer Nuttell, with several members of his family looking on including his dad, Town legend Mickey, was working well with strike partner Nimmo and the pair combined well on 70 minutes with Jordan shooting narrowly wide. Town had the ball in the net a minute later but this was ruled out for offside. However this didn’t prolong the inevitable as Downham were carved open again by Nuttell and Stocks, for Nimmo to make it 5-0.
The impressive Stocks, playing possibly his best game for Boston, then sought to take the whole of visitors, starting inside his own half he surged up the middle of the pitch but runined the moment by blasting over with only person to beat. Moments later his cross was deflected against the bar by Nuttell. As time expired a great 1-2 between Borbely and Nimmo would see the latter’s shot well saved by the excellent Pearson. From the umpteenth corner he again denied Nuttell but the rebound was eagerly pounced on by Nimmo to record his hat-trick.
Whilst Downham were a very youth side and from the wrong end of a lower division Boston still had to put away chances, something they had been guilty of in recent weeks. Today they created plenty, converted the majority and would have recorded a record vistory had it not been for two glaring misses, a number of goal mouth scrambles which fell safely to the opposition and, of course the heroics of ‘keeper Luke Pearson. There was not a bad performance in the entire Poachers team but the highlight of the day was the seemingly instant understanding of the strikeforce of Liam Nimmo and excellent debutant Jordan Nuttell. It was clear to see that he relished his new surroundings and being with his new team mates.
Boston’s reward is a trip to county neighbours Blackstones in Stamford on September 21st. Before that they seek to get their league win of the season this Saturday when they travel to Northampton Sileby Rangers.
POACHERS: Drury, Thompson, Field, Pinner, Wood (Wilson), Jackson, Borbely, Ford (Maltby), Nuttell, Nimmo, Stocks. Subs not used: Lambley, Hocking, Dunn