BROWNE ON THE BALL: Killing time isn’t exciting, but it is effective

Mark Jones.
Mark Jones.

They weren’t boos. But I suppose you could call them murmurs, or sighs of discontent.

I’m talking about the noise from certain parts of the home support as Mark Jones broke through the Gloucester City defence in stoppage time on Saturday and - instead of charging down on Jas Singh’s goal - headed for the corner flag.

Nope, his internal SatNav wasn’t broken.

This was what Jones described as ‘game management’.

That moment, and a few other late flashes of killing time, became talking points after the weekend’s victory, possibly because those murmurs frustrated the team just as much as not trying to score again bugged those fans in the stands.

Indeed, supporters come to games and pay their cash to be entertained.

Nothing is as entertaining as scoring goals and giving the opposition a good seeing to, so it’s hard to take when a team which prides itself on being exciting cuts a bit of that out of the game late on.

But sadly great entertainers don’t always get the right results - think of those Hungarians of the 1950s, the Dutch of the 70s, the Danish of the 80s and Colombians of the 90s, teams which wowed the crowds, won the applause, took their place in folklore and went home to empty trophy cabinets.

Compare that to the all-conquering Liverpool team of the 80s.

Yes, they played with attacking verve, but they certainly knew how to hold onto a lead in the days before the back pass rule.

I must admit I prefer those 5-1 thrashings Dennis Greene’s sides like to dish out to the narrow and tense 1-0 results.

But I’m also very much in favour of a streetwise approach to winning.

Speaking after Saturday’s victory, Jones pointed to last season’s play-off semi-final against Chorley.

With more than 94 minutes played the match was won, but a long punt up from Max Stryjex handed the Magpies one last crack and we all know what happened next.

Captain Scott Garner didn’t reflect that far back, instead choosing the 2-1 victory over Curzon Ashton a week earlier, where losing possession late on saw Carl Piergianni pick up a second booking and a suspension for this Saturday’s match at Gainsborough.

Yes, aiming for the corner flag is negative. It’s boring. It’s dull. It’s not Boston United’s way.

But it’s also highly effective.

And don’t forget, no matter how much watching that annoys you - it will definitely frustrate the opposition 100 times more.

When push comes to shove, winning ugly picks up more points than drawing or losing pretty.