Scott Garner has revealed how Boston United turned Saturday’s trip to Hednesford Town into a ‘home game’.
The Pilgrims turned the formbook on its head as goals from Carl Piergianni and Dayle Southwell saw United win 2-1 - earning just their sixth away win of the Vanarama North season and ending the Pitmen’s seven-game unbeaten streak at Keys Park.
And the club captain told The Standard how manager Dennis Greene and his assistant Martyn Bunce redecorated the away dressing room to look like United’s regular surroundings at the Jakemans Stadium.
A selection of photos of this season’s squad celebrating goals - as well as the slogan ‘big victories are made up of very small ones’, which appears above every peg at York Street - were stuck up prior to the squad getting kitted up.
“We had pictures up around the changing room of when we’ve scored goals and messages we have in our home changing room,” Garner said.
“It made it feel like we were at home. Just little things like that build up the percentages in your confidence.
“We recognised our home form’s really good and we wanted to replicate that.
“We turned it into a home game. We were all buzzing and lively.”
And it is that all-for-one attitude which Garner believes can give Boston the advantage as they push for the play-offs.
“The gaffer and Bunny have to get some credit for it,” he added, before also praising the travelling support for playing their part in the success.
“The atmosphere in the changing room is ridiculous.
“Before a game I’ve never been in one like it - everyone’s bouncing, everyone wants to work hard for each other and we get our rewards from that.
“It’s almost as if we came and took over the place, you can only hear our fans and they’re cheering us on, drawing us into the goal.”
Piergianni headed the Pilgrims in front in the ninth minute as he showed the most desire to meet Zak Mills’ long throw-in.
But a near-carbon copy of that goal saw the hosts draw level.
With 25 minutes on the clock, Marvin Robinson powered Ben Baily’s delivery into the United net.
However, Southwell had the final say of the contest as he coolly slotted home his 24th of the season.
Kyle Dixon and Mark Jones linked up well as Boston swept into the Town penalty area where Southwell needed just two touches to set himself and guide the ball beyond the outstretched arm of Dan Crane with 63 minutes played.
The tall, powerful and athletic Town side enjoyed more of the possession but found Max Stryjek a tough nut to crack, the keeper holding on to Baily’s header and Tom Thorley’s free kick.
Southwell had a golden oportunity to wrap things up when he rounded Crane following a mazy run, but his effort nestled into the side netting.
This set up a nervy end to the game, but Town’s Glenn Hurst fired a golden opportunity over the bar and the hosts were denied a last-gasp penalty when a strike appeared to hit Piergianni’s arm.
But that final whistle did finally come and United ended Saturday just two points shy of the top five - enough for Greene to celebrate with a victory jig in front of the Boston supporters.