Backline back as Pilgrims look for revenge

Shaun Pearson could be returning for Boston on Saturday
Shaun Pearson could be returning for Boston on Saturday

BOSTON United are heading off to Worcester City looking for revenge.

Manager Paul Hurst says he won’t shy away from geeing his players up for Saturday’s Blue Square Bet North meeting by reminding them what happened last time the two sides met.

Back in September, Worcester’s Danny Glover smashed home an 89th-minute strike to send the Pilgrims crashing out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.

Mark Danks and Tom Thorley had handed City a deserved 2-0 half-time lead on that occasion, only for a spirited fightback seeing Marc Newsham and Jamie Yates pull United deservedly level.

But just as a replay seemed imminent, Glover landed the knockout blow.

“We came back strongly in the second half that day, and it seemed that if any side was going on to win it then it would be us,” Hurst reflected.

“But then they scored late on and we didn’t have time to come back.

“It’s out job to prepare the players for the game and to try to win three points.

“But if this is at the back of their minds and it makes them more determined then we think that could be an advantage.”

United will be boosted by the return to fitness of defenders Lee Canoville and Shaun Pearson.

With the two central defenders available, the Pilgrims travel to face Worcester in a much stronger position than they were seven days earlier.

And manager Paul Hurst has suggested that Saturday’s postponed match at Stalybridge Celtic could prove to be a blessing is disguise.

Canoville and Pearson, along with fellow centre back Kieran Murphy, were all ruled out last week.

Teenager Simon Ashton and full back Gareth Jelleyman were favourites to reprise the roles they played during the recent 1-0 victory over Redditch.

“In some ways we could see it as a bit fortunate that we didn’t play at Stalybridge,” said Hurst, reflecting on a match which was put on hold due to a frozen pitch.

“We didn’t have everyone available.

“But we expect Shaun and Lee to be ready to face Worcester.” More good news for the Pilgrims’ defence is that Kieran Murphy looks set to resume training following his fractured foot, although the former Ilkeston man could still be a few weeks away from getting his match fitness levels up.

Question marks, however, still hang over the head of winger Ryan Semple, who was substituted at half time in the Redditch clash after pulling his hamstring.

“We’ll have to wait and see how Ryan is after training this week before we make any judgements,” Hurst added.

The Royals have struggled to find their feet since the turn of the year.

Their New Year’s Day home victory over Gloucester City has been their only victory in 2011.

Since then they have been beaten by Droylsden and Corby and drawn with Redditch and Gloucester.

They also drew with Blue Square Bet South outfit Eastleigh in the FA Trophy second round, before losing the replay.