BROWNE ON THE BALL: Reece Thompson - the nuisance that isn’t going away

Reece Thompson
Reece Thompson

“I’ve just joked with him, saying he used to be a goalscorer,” Craig Elliott said with a grin.

The butt of the Boston United manager’s joke, made following Boxing Day’s 2-0 victory over Gainsborough Trinity, was striker Reece Thompson.

Reece Thompson

Reece Thompson

Indeed, high hopes greeted Thompson as he arrived at the Jakemans on loan from National League Guiseley.

The fact he was North Ferriby’s leading scorer in non-league’s top flight the previous season only added to the expectations that he could provide the goals that were desperately lacking from the Pilgrims’ performances.

To date his scoring record - two in seven league matches, four in 10 from all competitions - is a decent return, made all the better by Thompson netting in both matches since the manager’s comments.

But while his start to life in amber wasn’t particularly prolific he has done exactly what the Pilgrims fans wanted.

Reece Thompson. Picture: Sarah Washbourn/www.yellowbellyphotos.com

Reece Thompson. Picture: Sarah Washbourn/www.yellowbellyphotos.com

He provided the goals that Boston were lacking.

Thompson may not have been credited with a vast amount of goals or assists, but from the dressing room to the terraces he is getting the credit he deserves.

Thompson is, quite franky, a defender’s nightmare.

Sprinting after every stray ball with the gusto you’d expect from Taz in those Looney Tunes cartoons, he puts constant fear into opponents.

Reece Thompson

Reece Thompson

He causes them to rush their clearances, make mistakes.

He chases down lost causes until they become balls to be won, transforming routine back passes into penalties.

Those direct runs and toe-pokes beyond onrushing keepers don’t go down in the assists column, but the amount of penalties he has won for Ashley Hemmings to convert - four in the last five matches - has been staggering.

I would say he’s constantly stuck in top gear.

Dayle Southwell.

Dayle Southwell.

But when fans from his former club York City decided to make him the victim of their taunts last month, he somehow managed to step his workrate up even more.

And the great news is that last week Guiseley allowed Thompson to extend his loan until the end of the season (they’ve not done badly themselves in snapping up some guy called Dayle Southwell).

There’s a certain irony to the fact that Adam Murray’s new club has finally provided his old one with the striker he was so desperately searching for.

It was a quest which saw trialists told ‘thanks, but no thanks’, moves for forwards gazumped and countless enquiries bear no fruit.

The search eventually culminated in one appearance for Morgan Penfold.

Murray even tried bringing Thompson to Boston earlier in the season, but at a time when Gusieley were wanting him to force his way into their plans.

Morgan Penfold.

Morgan Penfold.

But now Thompson is here. And he’s doing the business.

His early goals return may have prompted Elliott’s joke.

But forget the punchline, the truth came in the manager’s second sentence.

“He’s been brilliant for the team.”