CURZON ASHTON 4 BOSTON UNITED 2: Pilgrims end season with forgettable defeat

Joe Burgess.
Joe Burgess.

A second-half capitulation saw Boston United end the season with their first-ever defeat to Curzon Ashton.

After four straight wins against their opponents, the sub-standard Pilgrims were put to the sword at the Tameside Stadium.

Matthew Warburton’s brace and goals from Jonathan Hunt and Ryan Hall ensured Boston ended a miserable season in miserable fashion, while Daniel Shaw’s own goal and Kark Hawley’s late finish was as good as it got for the away side.

Whether, in parts of the Boston squad, minds had switched to beach mode or hearts had started longing for other clubs will be irrelevant now Adam Murray turns his attentions to his summer rebuild.

But, for the record, United were lacklustre and poor in the first half and calamitous in the second, while Curzon brought the exciting freedom we should be expecting from a side with little else to play for.

Murray made three changes to the side which lost 3-0 to Fylde the previous week, but each introduction was equally as eyecatching.

Long-term injury Joe Burgess took his place in the team for the first time since breaking his foot on October 8, Charlie Gatter made his first appearance for the club in 11 matches and Liam Adams was handed just his second start for the club - almost eight months after his first.

Kalern Thomas and Louis Briscoe dropped to the bench while Jay Rollins didn’t make the squad after missing training through injury.

The Nash didn’t start like a team who were without a win in six, Niall Cummins hitting the crossbar with a looping header, Jordan Wright drilling wide and Warburton beating Ross Durrant and seeing his shot rebound off both posts before the game had reached the 13th minute.

But with 19 minutes on the clock the hosts made the breakthrough, Hunt gifted far too much space at the back post, where he gratefully headed beyond Durrant.

Boston were not finding their stride and it took 37 minutes for their first effort at goal, but when Nat Brown met Adam Chapman’s corner he headed wide of the mark.

The Pilgrims did draw level in first-half stoppage time in fortuitous circumstances courtesy of Shaw’s own goal.

Adams’ cross into the box saw the Nash defender make a hash of his clearance, slicing the ball beyond the previously untested Hakan Burton and into his own net.

Normal service was resumed after the break, Hall dragging an effort wide of the United post before Warburton netted twice in as many minutes.

In the 50th he dinked an effort over Durrant, finding the net despite the best efforts of Tom Batchelor.

And in the 51st Warburton was the gifted the simplest of tap-ins after Cummins was allowed to dispossess Brown far too easily.

Brown attempted to make amends with a header which was held by Burton, before Hall made it four.

Breaking free he outpaced the United defence before giving Durrant the eyes and tucking home.

The scoreline could have been even greater had Cummins not volleyed wide and Hall not scuffed an effort the wrong side of the post.

And, in fact, it was the Pilgrims who had the final say, substitute Hawley collecting Adams’ pass and slotting home an 87th-minute consolation.

Nash’s victory means they retain 14th place and Boston have to settle for 15th.

Still, there’s always next year.

NASH: Burton, Thornley, Guest, Hunt, Shaw, Brown (Jennings 79), Wright, Rowney, Cummins (Baillie 75), Warburton (McKenzie 88), Hall; Subs (not used): Mason, Ennis.

UNITED: Durrant, Gatter, Batchelor, Brown, Yeomans (Thomas 60), Chapman, Broadhead, Burgess (Briscoe HT), Adams, Dieseruvwe (Hawley 60), Hilliard; Subs (not used): Clarke, Bishop.

Ref: Peter Gibbons.

Att: 390.