BOSTON UNITED 1 GRIMSBY TOWN 3: Pearson on target on his Jakemans Stadium return

Kaine Felix.
Kaine Felix.

Shaun Pearson has scored his fair share of headed goals at the Jakemans Stadium over the years.

This afternoon he did just that once again but, for the first time, it was not in the colours of Boston United.

The former Pilgrim was warmly applauded onto the York Street turf as he replaced Andy Monkhouse in the second half, his first appearance in Boston since the 2011 play-off penalty-shootout defeat to Guiseley, another contest in which he found the net with his forehead.

And there was even a polite ripple from the home support as the substitute nodded home Grimsby Town’s third of the afternoon.

Padraig Amond had already struck twice for the National League outfit while Boston’s goal came courtesy of Kaine Felix in this competitive pre-season friendly.

Despite the two Lincolnshire rivals not playing in the same division since United’s relegation from the Football League in 2007, there remains a certain familiarity between the sides.

Dayle Southwell - who enjoyed a 30-goal season for the Pilgrims after being released by the Blundell Park club - lined up against his former employers, as did home skipper Scott Garner.

Meanwhile, Mariners boss Paul Hurst selected a squad which included keeper James McKeown and defender Pearson, who he both managed at Boston.

Joining Pearson on the bench was reserve stopper Callum Bastock, the son of Pilgrims all-time appearance record-holder Paul.

One unfamiliar face belonged to trialist Kingsley Ogbodo, named on the bench for Boston - who were without Grant Roberts (injury) and Jamie McGhee (illness) - with a second chance to impress.

Keeper Henrich Ravas had to be alert to divert Jack Mackreth’s goalbound cross with just seconds on the clock.

United’s first chance saw McKeown hold on to Carl Piergianni’s header, but as Grimsby broke down the other end Amond handed his side a sixth-minute lead.

Ravas used his body well to block Marcus Marshall’s strike, but Scott Garner’s clearance was intercepted by Andy Monkhouse on the edge of the pehnalty area, his low drive forced home from close range by the striker.

A clever turn by Jay Rollins saw him steal a yard on Mariners defender Richard Tait, but he dragged his left-footed effort wide.

Town had the better of the first half, looking that bit quicker and stronger. And due to that the chances kept coming.

Ravas did well to get enough of a hand on the ball to force Amond’s close-range strike over his bar before denying Danny East and Marshall with routine saves.

But Boston finished the half with the final effort, Mark Jones collecting Southwell’s pass but firing wide after cutting cleverly inside.

It was a different story after the re-start as Felix pulled United level just 67 seconds after kick off, courtesy of two Town errors.

East’s heavy back pass was uncharacteristically mis-controlled by McKeown, allowing the Boston winger to slide the ball into an unguarded net.

A break from the hosts saw Southwell slip in Kyle Dixon who, after giving McKeown the slip, looked to find Felix at the back post. However, a wild swipe from the teenager saw him miss the ball and the chance vanish.

Amond put the Mariners back in front getting the better of Ogbodo and forcing home beyond Ravas in the 64th minute. The home defence claimed the ball was handled in the build-up to the goal, but referee Steve Ross was having none of it.

Five minutes later and it was 3-1 as Pearson beat Ravas with a trademark headed goal.

And that’s how things ended, despite efforts from Jones and Ogbodo, neither of whom could direct their strikes onto target.

UNITED: Ravas, Mills, Marrs, Deacey (Sheridan 76), Garner, Piergianni, Felix (Limb 86), Dixon, Southwell (Friend 86), Jones (Johnson 86), Rollins (Ogbodo 41).

GRIMSBY: McKeown, Tait, Nsala, East, Clay (Venney 82), Gowling, Mackreth, Disley, Marshall (Clifton 36), Amond, Monkhouse (Pearson 56); Subs (not used): Bastock.

Ref: Steve Ross.

Att: 1,037 (432).