Boston United fans once threw pints of beer at Ben Middleton... but now they’re showering him with praise.
The Pilgrims loanee has made quite an impression since arriving at the Jakemans Stadium on loan from Harrogate Town.
His heroics during Boxing Day’s 2-0 derby win against Gainsborough Trinity - when he left the pitch with a smashed nose, broken finger and injured hip - saw him earn an instant place in the supporters’ hearts.
But it wasn’t like that two seasons ago when his North Ferriby side came from 2-0 down in the first leg to beat the Pilgrims 3-2 in the National League North play-offs, before securing promotion.
Prior to that second leg north of the Humber, Middleton and teammate Tom Denton stopped off at a nearby shop, only to be confronted by some boisterous United fans drinking next door.
“We’d been to get cash out near the pub near the ground and all the fans were in there,” Middleton remembered.
“We came back out and they were booting the car.
“We got some pints thrown over us, but that just got us up for the game.”
Middleton cracked a smile when he remembered the story and said there were no hard feelings, preferring to concentrate on doing a job for Boston.
“It’s a massive club and I’ve played them a few times before,” he added.
“It was a big interest to me (when I was approached).”
Middleton says his main focus is getting game time and impressing on the pitch.
And he says he would not be against the idea of extending his loan, which runs out on January 20.
He added: “I’m a Harrogate player and doing well for them is the aim. But whether it happens or not, who knows?
“I’ll do my bit here and if Harrogate want me then that’s it.
“I want to do well here and if they (Boston) want to extend my loan here then I’d be happy with that as well.”