Bastock wants Boston United to Dart past his friendly FA Trophy foes

Paul Bastock.
Paul Bastock.

PAUL Bastock can’t wait to rekindle his love-hate relationship with Dartford.

PAUL Bastock can’t wait to rekindle his love-hate relationship with Dartford.

On Saturday, the Boston United keeper will return to Princes Park – the stadium where he says he had his best-ever match between the sticks.

And it was that contest which kicked off a bizarre relationship between the 41-year-old and the Darts faithful.

A place in the FA Trophy third round is at stake this weekend, but the Boston number one has warned his teammates they’ll have to be at their best to get one over their Blue Square Bet South hosts (KO 3pm).

“That’ll be one tough ask for us to go there and get anything,” said Bastock. “I think it would be a great result to go there and bring them back to York Street (for a replay).”

Bastock knows all too well how hard it is to get a result against the Kent-based side.

Back in November 2008, Bastock’s St Albans City earned a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory in a Trophy replay there.

That was the game which Bastock looks back on as the best he’s ever had.

After having his goal bombarded by the hosts for 120 minutes, the veteran stopper pulled off a number of saves to keep the scores level at 1-1.

And that was the birth of the keeper’s strange love affair.

He added: “I had my finest ever game of football there. When I played there the next time, their fans gave me a standing ovation as I went out onto the pitch.

“It speaks volumes of how I feel about them and they feel about me.”

Bastock admitted that since the draw was made he has been receiving messages from Dartford’s faithful, stating how they expect to get one over on him this time.

Strangely, his return to Princes Park, where he was so warmly received, was Bastock’s final game for St Albans before his return to the Jakemans Stadium.

That contest, in March last year, finished all square at 2-2.

After two appearances at Dartford, and without a defeat to his name, Bastock is targeting a Pilgrims victory. But he still believes a replay would be a culture shock for the weekend’s opponents.

“The route-one ball is sinned upon down there,” he told The Standard.

“If we get them back here, up north, on a cold night for a midweek game, I don’t think they’d like it... not one bit.

“We’d show them something different.”