BROWNE ON THE BALL: Which silent assassin has helped Boston United to their best run of the season?

Football's ninja! Jay Dowie.
Football's ninja! Jay Dowie.

They’re on a roll! Boston United are currently enjoying their longest unbeaten run of the season.

Saturday’s victory against Stalybridge extended the Pilgrims’ streak to seven contests without defeat.

You will have to cast your mind back to March 8 and that bizarre contest at Workington to recall the last time Dennis Greene’s side have finished on the losing side.

Twice this campaign, United have managed to go five games without being beaten, but this is their best run yet.

In fact, scrap that comment, this is their best run since the 2010-11 season.

That season - where the Pilgrims were eventually beaten on play-off penalties by Guiseley in the Conference North - also saw them go on a run of a magnificent seven games without losing... culminating with Rob Scott and Paul Hurst walking out on the club to join Grimsby Town.

You have to go back as far as 2009 to find a better run. That was nine straight victories, although - taking nothing away from the achievement - that included two UniBond Challenge Cup victories against lower league opposition and a Lincolnshire Senior Shield success at Grantham Town.

Of course, there are many reasons why the Pilgrims are currently in such hot form.

You can give the thumbs up to United’s defence and keeper Lewis King.

You can relish the goals of Ricky Miller and Zak Mills, when defeats looked certain at Barrow and Colwyn Bay.

You can also, perhaps, think back to a few moments of good fortune - Omar Bogle’s poor penalty at Solihull Moors springs to mind.

But I think there’s one constant which is more than just chance - the arrival of Jay Dowie.

Greene brought in the holding midfielder from Histon with one eye on next season.

But Dowie arrived with the belief that - if he was to earn himself a contract this summer - he had to do the business straight away.

And that he has.

Dowie made his debut, and his first start, in the 2-1 victory over Oxford City, the first game in this undefeated run.

I must admit, I wasn’t particularly impressed. Nothing special. That’s what I thought.

But the more I’ve seen of the midfielder in action the more appreciation I’ve had for his game.

Dowie came in as a replacement for Kyle Dixon, who returned to Notts County. He may not have the same full-throttle box-to-box approach as the lad they nickname Scholesy.

I’m certainly yet to see him jink past three opponents and let fly with a powerful strike at goal.

But Dowie’s game is a lot more subtle.

He sits in front of the back four, cleverly biding his time, waiting to pounce and win back possession.

And when that goal is achieved, there’s a simple pass to a teammate who can look to build an attack.

It’s not the type of style that will bring you to the attention of all observers, it’s not a style which will win you a Ballon d’Or.

But it will win you plenty of Skrill North matches.

Dowie’s football’s answer to a ninja. He goes about his business ruthlessly effective, while seemingly in the shadows.

I reckon he’s done more than enough to already secure that deal next year.

Then it will be interesting to see what kind of a run the Pilgrims can go on from there.