Look out Blue Square Bet North! Boston United are promotion contenders, says Tom Ward

Tom Ward.
Tom Ward.

BOSTON United’s stunning 2-1 victory at FC Halifax Town has proved that the Pilgrims are promotion contenders, says Tom Ward.

The young defender was part of a solid line which frustrated the Shaymen, one of the favourites to go up to the Blue Square Premier this season.

And after previously recording a 3-2 home success against highly-fancied Chester FC, Ward believes United are turning heads… as they should always be doing.

“It was a massive result,” he told The Standard.

“It will make other teams think about what we can do, but we’re a big club and people should be taking note already.

“Who we play doesn’t matter. We’re Boston United and we expect to win games.”

Strikes from Mark Jones and Marc Newsham granted the grafting Pilgrims their fifth win from six contests.

And that expectation Ward talks about is suddenly back.

The game plan – controlling the midfield and using the four attacking outlets of Jones, Newsham, Spencer Weir-Daley and Ben Fairclough to counter quickly – was a brave one.

But he who dares, wins.

Jones handed the Pilgrims a ninth-minute lead with what is becoming a trademark poacher’s goal.

Clever vision from Weir-Daley – back following his ankle injury – released Fairclough, whose stinging drive was parried by Matt Glennon.

But there for the third week running, to guide the ball into an unguarded net, was Boston’s big frontman.

Newsham made it 2-0 on 70 minutes with a finish that was as beautiful as it was direct.

Latching on to Ian Ross’ defence-splitting pass, the striker lured Glennon out before dispatching a lob that looped over the keeper before bouncing neatly into the net.

However, Halifax fought back.

Despite the United defence and their keeper battling bravely throughout the afternoon, there were some very tense exchanges at the end, following sub Gareth Seddon’s 85th-minute tap-in from a corner.

Those nerves were tested the most with seconds remaining as Dale Johnson saw a goalbound header hit Dan Haystead, bouncing off the crossbar and away to safety.

This wasn’t the first time United’s keeper had frustrated the hosts, denying strikes from Jon Worthington and Paul Marshall, also blocking Seddon’s overhead kick.

Worthington was also guilty of a glaring miss, scooping wide from inside the Pilgrims’ six-yard box.

Glennon too was a busy man, twice frustrating Jones from distance and pulling off a fantastic reaction block to tip Ward’s volley over the bar.