BOSTON UNITED 4 BLYTH SPARTANS 0: Pilgrims end home discomforts in style

Gregg Smith in action with United.
Gregg Smith in action with United.

The best things come to those who wait... and wait... and wait. But after 377 minutes, four games and two months Boston United finally got a win - and goals - at home.

And boy, did they do it in style.

Gregg Smith, Nicky Walker, Gavin Allott and Brad Abbott found the net on a day when Craig Elliott - who is yet to taste defeat against Blyth Spartans - dished out three debuts.

But it was a real team performance which ensured the visitors from the north east were second best from the first to final whistle as the Pilgrims moved up to fourth in the table.

Following a 10-day spell which saw six depart and four arrive it may seem amazing that seven of the side which began Boston’s last home game, the FA Cup defeat to Peterborough Sports, made today’s starting XI.

But the performance was a million miles away from that drab display, with the confidence back in the side. Even better, the Pilgrims were flipping good fun to watch.

Midweek arrival Allott was handed his debut in a heavyweight strikeforce alongside Smith.

And the two big, powerful attackers instantly began worrying the Spartans defence with their physical power and eager running.

Boston may not have scored at home in two months, but in a home display where the confidence and desire was finally back it took just 12 minutes for Smith to find the net.

Abbott, thriving in midfield following the return of regular partner Andi Thanoj from a hamstring injury, headed the ball over the Spartans defence for Smith to charge down and power a low effort beyond Peter Jameson.

It was United’s first goal at home since August 14 and Smith’s first at the stadium since November last year.

Blyth arrived in Lincolnshire on the back of three straight wins in all competitions, but they’re still suffering from travel sickness with just one point from five away National League North games so far this campaign.

That was evident as the Pilgrims bossed the first half, Walker’s volley and Jonathan Wafula’s header veering off target, while Abbott’s drive had Jameson at full stretch.

Josh Hine became debutant number two of the day as he replaced the injured Wafula in the 33rd minute and, were it not for the outstretched boot of Alex Nicholson, he would have collected Walker’s pass and had a sight of goal.

Blyth had their chance to draw level with a rare foray forward at the end of the half when from a free kick, Sean Reid beat George Willis to the ball but saw his headed effort loop over the bar.

The second half began with Hine firing wide and Abbott forcing Jameson into a great reaction save before Jamie Holmes found himself in the book for diving to the ground after passing Ben Davies in the hosts’ box.

Allott flashed a volley wide of the Blyth post when he met Davies’ corner but played his part in the killer second.

After the forward slipped in Walker his low strike had the power to take the ball through the legs of Jameson, who should have done better.

Two goals in two minutes got York Street rocking again, and they were as chalk and cheese as they come.

Allott completed a superb debut as he tapped home Walker’s cross before Abbott smashed home a powerful 20-yarder which found the net via the crossbar.

And that was his final contribution as he was replaced by Jordan Slew, debut number three.

UNITED: Willis, Davies, Middleton, Qualter, Jackson, Wafula (Hine 33), Abbott, Thanoj, Walker, Smith (Johnson 78), Allott (Slew 84); Subs: Norris, Harris.

BLYTH: Jameson, Nicholson, I. Watson, Green, Buddle, 6 J. Watson (Cinningham HT), Wrightson, Reid (Oliver 76), Maguire, Holmes, Dale (Fewster 80). Subs: Rivers, Mullen.

REF: Aaron Bannister.

ATT: 1,081 (21).

STAR MAN: Craig Allott - A tough choice but the debutant slotted into his new surroundings straight away, was full of running, baffled the opposition and grabbed a goal.

GOALS: UNITED - Gregg Smith (12), Nicky Walker (64), Gavin Allott (77), Brad Abbott (79).

BOOKINGS: UNITED - Ben Middleton (73), Gregg Smith (78); BLYTH - Jamie Holmes (51).