Boston United 0 Bradford Park Avenue 4: Winning run ends with a thumping

Dennis Greene.
Dennis Greene.

Dennis Greene’s unbeaten start to life as Boston United manager ended in emphatic fashion - with a 4-0 defeat to Bradford Park Avenue.

As the snow fell at York Street, the away side ensured Boston’s run of three straight wins would stretch no further.

Alex Davidson grabbed a hat-trick while Richard Marshall finished things off with a penalty.

Pilgrims boss Greene made two changes to the side which won 3-0 at Worcester City last Saturday.

Defenders Paul Lister and Gary Silk were favoured ahead of Tom Ward and Conor Marshall, while James Reed - back from his loan spell at Boston Town - was given his first minutes under the new manager.

In a more attacking line up, the midfielder was given the nod over Nathan Stainfield, who had played the past two matches in the stopper’s role superbly.

United came close to opening the scoring early on when Ben Fairclough met Ian Ross’ free kick at the near post, only for John Lamb to show a firm pair of hands and push the danger away.

Ben Milnes then saw a left footer spin away from target before the hosts came close to handing Bradford the lead.

Ross’ back pass seemed straightforward enough, but somehow keeper Dan Haystead allowed the ball to sneak under his foot.

However, his blushes were spared as the ball crossed the line narrowly wide of the post.

At the other end, Lamb made another good save, this time stopping Spencer Weir-Daley’s dipping 20-yard strike.

But confusion in the United defence saw Alex Davidson give Bradford a 27th-minute lead.

With the back four caught napping, Jordan Deacey was put through on goal.

Haystead charged off his line to narrow the angle but the Park Avenue forward got there first, teeing up Davidson for a simple tap-in.

The goal seemed to bring some nervousness to the Boston defence, and Davidson was granted another shooting opportunity, this time slotting wide from 10 yards out.

As both sides took it in turns to go for goal, Fairclough saw an exciting run culminate in a powerful strike at goal which beat Lamb but rattled his crossbar before going out for for a goal kick.

United found a little more purpose after the interval after they reverted to 4-4-2, following Charley Sanders’ introduction.

After replacing Reed, the teenager showeed his power to set up Newsham, only for Lamb to claim the ball at his feet.

Another chance saw Newsham and Weir-Daley both lunge for the same ball, the latter - at full stretch - firing wide.

With 69 minutes gone, Bradford extended their lead as Davidson grabbed his second of the afternoon.

The first was simple enough, and the second wasn’t much tougher, a toe-poked finish after the home defence again went AWOL.

Then, two goals in three minutes wrapped things up.

Davidson - the cousin of ex-Pilgrim Tom Matthews - completed his treble after cutting inside and beating haystead in the 80th minute.

Then, after Lister upended Marshall in the penalty area, the forward stepped up and fired home number four from the spot.

UNITED: Haystead, Silk, Field (Marshall 45), Lister, Watt, Reed (Sanders 50), Weir-Daley, Newsham, Fairclough (Nuttell 80): Subs (not used): Stainfield, Ward.

BPA: Lamb, Clayton, Drury, Duckworth (Baker 84), Knowles, Price, Davidson (Corner 84), Hotte, Marshall, Deacey, Walker (Savory 84); Subs (not used): Holland, Daly.

Att: 851.

Ref: Michael George.