BROWNE ON THE BALL: Goals, goals goals. Boston United are looking for a good time

It's not as if United are short of striking options. There's Reece Thompson...
It's not as if United are short of striking options. There's Reece Thompson...

It’s time to lace up the shooting boots, because Boston United need goals.

Finding the back of the net hasn’t ever been a major concern for the Pilgrims so far this season.

Jake Beesley...

Jake Beesley...

With 12 games left to go this campaign they are only six shy of the 54 they netted in all their National League North contests last season.

Kabongo Tshimanga (13) and Ashley Hemmings (12) are both in double figures and - as the stats show - Boston have even upped their strike rate since the arrival of Craig Elliot (1.93 goals per game in all competitions, as opposed to 1.54 under Adam Murray and 1.33 under Karl Hawley).

However, the Pilgrims have drawn blanks in their past two contests - 1-0 defeats to both Leamington and York City - the first time the club has failed to score consecutively this season.

Perhaps this is down to the suspension of the eternal handful that is Reece Thompson.

Gregg Smith...

Gregg Smith...

Maybe it’s because the recent arrivals of forwards Benny Igiehon, Jake Beesley and Jack Dyche mean there’s been a bit of work to do as the squad learn about teammates’ playing styles.

It could also be down to tactics.

Leamington’s decision to sit back and frustrate United just paid off, while Boston’s attempts to do similar a York didn’t quite.

But as the Pilgrims prepare for the arrival of FC United on Saturday, kick-starting a run of 12 matches in 42 days, they will be desperate to rediscover the scoring touch which saw them net 24 times in that nine-game unbeaten run.

Benny Igiehon...

Benny Igiehon...

Not just because Boston need to find their groove again. Not just because three welcome points could lift them further away from the drop zone. Not just because scoring goals takes a bit of pressure off the defence.

But because this is the game where the Pilgrims really should be going for the jugular.

The Red Rebels arrive with the worst goal difference outside of the bottom two.

Their GD is at -17, with only basement side North Ferriby (-65) and Gainsborough (-26) in greater arrears.

And Kabongo Tshimanga.

And Kabongo Tshimanga.

The 62 league goals shipped by FC United mean they have the second most generous defence in the standings, with Ferriby (82) the only team with a worse record.

Plus FC arrive out of form with just one point from their past five league matches, failing to find the net in any of those contests and conceding nine times.

If your opposition are struggling to score, now really is the time to begin doing it again.

The Pilgrims are yet to have a plus goal difference this season. They fell into the minuses just 14 minutes into the opening day and ended that afternoon on -4.

They eventually returned back to zero six months later following that 2-1 victory over Blyth Spartans.

But a draw with Curzon Ashton and two 1-0 defeats have seem them return to a negative position (-2) once again.

I’m not suggesting Boston will finish Saturday with a + next to their name, but if they can do so by the end of the season then things will be looking pretty good for next year.