BOSTON TOWN 0 BOSTON UNITED 4: Lavelle-Moore nets a brace while new boys impress for both Poachers and Pilgrims

Malachi Lavelle-Moore.
Malachi Lavelle-Moore.

Goals. You wait six months for one to arrive and then two come in the same minute.

Tonight striker Malachi Lavelle-Moore had his London bus moment as two second-half goals - less than 60 seconds apart - helped Boston United earn a 4-0 victory at Boston Town.

The first was the simplest of tap-ins, slotting home Cameron Johnson’s low pass across the face of goal following an inviting and deep cross from the left by Jay Rollins.

Number two was the more impressive, the former Notts County man connecting well with a ball in from the opposite flank, hitting it on the half volley and sweeping it beyond the dive of Jack Pearson.

Earlier this summer Pilgrims manager Dennis Greene challenged Lavelle-Moore to make the most of the departure of leading scorer Dayle Southwell, to come from out of the shadows and show the kind of form which made him such a highly-rated talent at Meadow Lane.

Tonight, despite the manager not being in attendance, he may have got his response.

Yes, this was only a friendly, the first of pre-season, but you have to start somewhere. And grabbing his first two goals for the club since arriving in January will do the forward’s confidence no harm.

Lavelle-Moore joined the game as a half-time substitute and took just 19 minutes to find the net, both finishes being recorded in the 64th minute.

But by the time he had entered the contest, the Pilgrims were already 2-0 up against the Poachers.

Summer recruits Lamin Colley and Jason St Juste, both formerly of Bradford Park Avenue, made their marks early.

Colley’s was a simple finish from close range which owed plenty to St Juste’s pace and trickery as the stand-out performer of the opening 45 jinked his way to the by-line and sent back a low cross which was crying out to be tucked away.

By contrast, St Juste’ goal has a sense of good fortune to it, so much so that the winger refused to celebrate his finish with anything but an embarrassed shrug.

The St Kitts and Nevis international did next to nothing wrong in the first half, but he found his name on the scoresheet courtesy of a miscued cross which, aided by the low and blinding sun, caused Town keeper James Lambley to lose his bearings as the ball drifted perfectly into the top corner.

There was a time when the suggestion of Town and United meeting in a friendly contest would have been laughed at by both parties, the Poachers - of course - being formed following a falling out at United.

But these days relations are a lot smoother while meetings between the two have been little more than glorified training exercises in those summers where the two pre-season schedules allow.

And with both managers unable to take their places in the dug-out this evening - Nathan Collins at home with flu and Greene away on a coaching course - few could have guessed what was going to unfold at the DWB.

For the supporters in attendance, running the rule over the new signings for both sides was perhaps more important than the result.

But both teams offered enough promise to make it clear there could be interesting seasons ahead.

The Pilgrims undoubtedly had the better of the occasion, but Town’s youngsters showed a rugged and determined enthusiasm which, if they can keep that going, will serve them well in the uncompromising UCL Premier.

United trialist Liam Adams - a former Centre of Excellence youngster back after a few seasons at Nottingham Forest’s academy - showed pace and control before testing Lambley with an early long-ranger.

Lambley’s brother Loz then showed how much he cares for the word friendly, clearing his lines with a two-footed lunge in his own box.

As the Pilgrims continued to carve out the better chances, Lewis Hilliard blazed a couple of efforts high over the bar and Colley, despite twisting beyond Town’s impressive new defender Josh Sunter, drilled a near-post effort wide.

Colley then looked odds on to finish from close range, only for Simon Ashton to chuck his body in the way and deflect the strike off target.

From the resultant corner, Joe Burgess headed well over.

Colley did make it 1-0 in the 18th minute while fellow new arrival Waide Fairhurst smashed a powerful drive inches off target and brought a fine close-range stop from Lambley with a header, only for a raised flag to take the gloss off the fingertipped save.

Town didn’t manage a shot on Christian Dibble’s goal in the first half, but Danny Trott and Sam O’Malley certainly made the back four of Joe Maguire, Herve Pepe-Ngoma and attack-minded full backs Courtney Wildin and Kalern Thomas know they were in a game.

The physical pair hustled and bustled with a strong work ethic, a last-gasp intervention from Maguire being enough to deny Trott a free run in on goal.

The first half ended with St Juste’s fortunate finish, while the interval brought the usual series of changes we expect this time of year.

As United turned the screw again, Burgess put another header wide while Pearson, replacing Lambley between the Town sticks, parried Cameron Johnson’s low drive and Loz Lambley was on hand to deny Lavelle-Moore the simplest of finishes.

Of course, the forward had his say moments later.

O’Malley tested Michael Emery, the Pilgrims’ second-half stopper, with a low effort as the hosts - still without Alex Beck, Michael Wood and Craig Parker available - looked for a consolation.

Emery then found himself in the right place to earn his clean sheet as Pilgrims trialist Jake Williams, formerly of Blackburn Rovers, almost diverted a cross into his own net.

But the final say belonged to Pearson, getting down quickly to tip away Rollins’ cross while at full stretch.

Same again next year?

TOWN (from): J. Lambley, L. Lambley, Crowther, Sunter, Ashton, Ford Woods, Kennedy, Trott, Nuttell, O’Malley; Pearson, Wightwick, Todd, Hardy, Sparrow, Eyes, Bevan.

UNITED (from): Dibble, Thomas, Wildin, Pepe-Ngoma, Maguire, Burgess, Adams, Hilliard, Fairhurst, Colley, St Juste; Roberts, Emery, Johnson, Rollins, Brown, Green, Williams, Muschett, Lavelle-Moore.

Ref: Alistair Wilson.