Teenage stopper Sam Vince marked his Boston United debut by winning the Lincs Senior Shield... and taking some ribbing for his haircut.
The 16-year-old reserve keeper claimed the number one jersey for last night’s 3-1 victory over Gainsborough Trinity, after Dan Haystead was ruled out with a back injury.
But while the youngster was making the saves to catch the eyes of the travelling Pilgrims fans, something very different was registering with the Trinity supporters who stood behind his goal throughout the first half.
“I was getting a lot of abuse from behind the goal about my haircut, I just tried to block them out and luckily I didn’t let it get to my head,” said Vince with a smile.
“It’s the first time I’ve had to deal with fans like that.”
However, Vince - who like fellow youngster Charley Sanders is giving a very modern meaning to short back and sides - had the last laugh aftert marking his debut with a string of fantastic stops to help his side to victory.
“I feel relieved I didn’t have a shocker,” he added.
“I don’t think I couold have done a lot more than I did really.”
Vince’s heroics more than impressed manager Dennis Greene, who put his faith in the youngster.
“He’s only young and he’s going to have some crazy haircuts,” said Greene, making it clear it’s a player’s performance that stands out to him most.
“You only have to look at Charley. But it doesn’t matter what haircut they have as long as they can do it on the pitch.”
The Boston manager certainly believes Vince has what it takes.
The keeper may still have two years left at youth team level, but Greene has already promoted him to number two.
“He was absolutely different class tonight,” the manager continued.
“Some goalkeepers make me edgy and some don’t.
“At 16 years I had total confifdence in him and he didn’t put a foot wrong.
“Next year I’m going to bring a goalkeeper in, but after seeing him, he’ll be my second choice keeper.
“If my number one gets injured, he’ll be playing. He’ll only get bigger and stronger.”
Greene’s statement suggests that Haystead and Ricky Drury - who has been on loan at Sleaford Town - could be on their way out of York Street.
Before last night’s match, Greene met with an unnamed keeper and agreed terms for next season.
“I’m not going to say his name in case someone else comes to him with a better offer. He’s not signed anything yet,” Greene said.
However, he did drop some hints, adding: “I’ve agreed a deal with a goalkeeper.
“That’ll come out this week, but I’ve just signed the best goalkeeper in non-league football.
“He has played against Boston United this season.
“I know that he is an exceptional keeper and we are very pleased to have him.
“He’s a colossus and he’s played league football not very far down the road.
“He’s 6’4” and commands his area. He catches, talks, stop shots and does everything you want from a goalkeeper.”
The fact that Altrincham, Brackley, Guiseley and Halifax were in play-off action last night rules Stuart Coburn, Billy Turley, Steve Drench and Matt Glennon out.
Meanwhile, Chester’s Jon Danby is unlikely to want to leave a championship-winning side.
The keeper many Pilgrims fans would love to see in goal is the ever-impressive Jas Singh of Solihull Moors.
However, he does not fit Greene’s description and travelling from the West Midlands would be a big ask.
One man who does fit the bill is Gainsborough keeper Jan Budtz. Could he have met with Greene last night ahead of the match, where he was an unused sub?
Hinckley duo Rob Peet and Ashley Timms both impressed against Boston this season and both have league experience.
Bradford’s Tim Deasey and Paul Walker of Corby have also dropped down the pyramid.
United haven’t faced any Blue Square Bet Premier of Blue Square Bet South sides this season.