BROWNE ON THE BALL: Boston United and Altrincham will conjure up a Skrill North goalfest... maybe

Ben Fairclough in THAT photograph at Altrincham.
Ben Fairclough in THAT photograph at Altrincham.

This Saturday sees Boston United host Altrincham, and that can mean only one thing - goals, goals, goals.

In one of the Pilgrims’ most mouthwatering Skrill North contests of the campaign to date, they host a team which has taken great pleasure in tormenting them over the past two years.

Boston and the Robins have met five times in the last two seasons, with a total of 26 goals being scored. And it’s fair to say that Altrincham have more than had the better of the recent tussles, winning four and drawing one.

The 2011-12 season saw United hold this weekend’s visitors to a 1-1 draw, but that was after a humiliating 6-1 seeing to at Moss Lane.

David Shipman’s superb picture of Ben Fairclough covering his face with his shirt as the Alty players celebrated around him not only summed up that day perfectly, but how it’s felt to be a Boston fan watching the side against the Robins of late.

Think that was bad? Last season was way worse. Altrincham knocked United out of the FA Cup with a controversial 3-1 victory at York Street, in which Fairclough and Spencer Weir-Daley both received the only red cards of their careers.

That was followed up by the Robins recording a 3-2 league victory here in December and improving on the previous year’s drubbing by putting Graham Drury’s uninspired side to the sword with a 7-1 scoreline, in a contest which saw Steve Spriggs play the entire 45 minutes of his Pilgrims career.

The Robins have been bob, bob, bobbing along nicely this term. They are the division’s joint-third highest goalscorers, having netted 23 times.

James Walshaw is the Skrill North’s third leading scorer, having netted nine times to date. Deadly Damian Reeves is also in the top 10, sitting in ninth spot having bagged six times.

But still, it would take a brave man to suggest an away victory is a dead cert, that Alty will dish out more of the same.

This current Boston United squad is looking far more accomplished than the squads of the past two seasons.

Forget Saturday’s out-of-character second half, you’d take this defence over any Boston back line since Shaun Pearson left York Street.

And you can rest assured they’ll be up for it this week when they face one of the Skrill North’s most accomplished attacks.

Especially when the Robins should be just as scared of United.

The Pilgrims are second in the scoring stakes with 24 goals in 12 matches.

Top scorer Marc Newsham is second in the charts with 10 goals, while the front three of Newsham, Weir-Daley and Ricky Miller have scored 19 league goals between them.

Saturday’s match is an intriguing one as it pits two of the division’s most freescoring front lines against two more-than-capable defences.

With United back up at the right end of the table, Saturday’s contest could have a lot more meaning than restoring pride.

But sadly, I’ve probably jinxed it now and it’ll end up being a 0-0 draw.