Mind games don’t worry Boston United’s in-form Dayle Southwell

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

Dayle Southwell won the mind games as he twice beat Curzon Ashton keeper Hakan Burton from the penalty spot as Boston United picked up their first points of the National League North campaign.

The Pilgrims striker had the odd task of outwitting the visiting stopper twice in the space of 17 minutes on Saturday.

And Southwell admitted that facing the same foe again so swiftly means spot kick number two often becomes a battle of nerves and wills.

“The first one I was confident, the second one I wasn’t quite so sure where to go,” he admitted.

“I was going to go in the same spot, but I thought he might read it so I decided to change it up.

“Luckily it worked.

“Obviously, you dont know if he’s going to stick to the same side or go different.

“I just waited for him to move and made my mind up late on.”

Southwell kept his cool and two goals later his personal tally stands at four goals in the opening three matches.

But more importantly, Boston grabbed their first three points of the campaign in a strange game.

A bizarre opening 45 minutes of football saw the away side take a 93-second lead through Gary Burnett.

But two penalties and two red cards saw the Pilgrims lead at the interval before also ending without a full 11 after Carl Piergianni picked up two late bookings.

Jamie McGhee replaced the injured Kaine Felix in the Boston starting XI but Dennis Greene also opted to shuffle his pack.

Liam Marrs joined Piergianni in central defence with Grant Roberts reverting to right back and Scott Garner pushed into midfield to add more of a physical presence.

With less than two minutes gone Marrs was drawn to his natural position, chasing down an attack on the left wing, allowing Burnett space to sweep home a close-range effort under Jason Alexander.

The big Boston keeper was selected ahead of Henrich Ravas, who returned to England following Slovakian under 19 duty - and a debut clean sheet in the 1-0 victory over Armenia - that morning, but was left with little to do after picking the ball out of his net.

Boston dominated proceedings and pulled level after Mark Jones was adjudged to have been fouled in the area by Alex Frost as he looked to guide the ball into an empty net with 25 minutes gone.

Before Southwell converted the defender was sent off.

Ashton’s second red came when referee’s assistant Dean Appleby spotted Jonathan Hunt stamp on Garner off the ball.

The red returned from Tom Bramall’s pocket and Southwell sent Burton the wrong way.

Boston failed to make the most of their numerical advantage after the break as Ashton camped men behind the ball.

Burton - who denied Jay Rollins with good first-half saves - twice denied Jones and pulled off top stops to deny Cameron Johnson and Southwell.

Rollins had the ball int he net from close range late on as he followed-up Jack Friend’s strike, which hit the bar, but an offside flag denied him his first Boston goal.

As Ashton opted for an all-or-nothing approach to final few minutesd, Piergianni picked up two bookings, was sent off, and will now miss the match at Gainsborough Trinity on August 29.