Points mean prizes! Sands happy to pass on Boston United hat-trick to help team to victory

John Sands.
John Sands.

John Sands says that three points will always be more important than three goals - after passing on the opportunity to net a Boston United hat-trick.

The striker admitted he was ‘over the moon’ to open his Pilgrims account with a brace during Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Lowestoft Town.

John Sands.

John Sands.

But with two goals to his name and the chance to claim the matchball from the penalty spot, Sands passed spot kick duties on to teammate Lewis Hilliard.

“I know I can put penalties away, but Lewis is an expert at them,” he explained.

“I was confident he’d score it. I’d rather get the points than the hat-trick.”

Indeed, Hilliard slotted home from 12 yards and Mark Jones put the result beyond doubt, but Sands, who had already made his mark on the game, believes that plenty more is to come after he broke his duck.

“I was buzzing to get the goal. Hopefully, more will follow now.

“I want to be a big player for Boston.

“Dennis has put a lot of faith in me, so I’m just happy to get the goals and help.

“But the points are more important than anything.”

Harvey Hodd had given the Trawlerboys a seventh-minute lead as his strike at goal took a deflection off Carl Piergianni and looped over the diving Jason Alexander.

But Sands struck either side of half-time to hand the Pilgrims the advantage and gain revenge for their 3-0 Boxing Day defeat in Lowestoft.

His first, arriving in the 26th minute, had a touch of class as he collected Liam Marrs’ cross on his chest before setting himself and volleying beyond Ben Killip.

“It was awesome. That’s big for me, I was over the moon,” added Sands reflecting on his celebration in front of the Town End.

After waiting seven weeks to open his United account, Sands’ second arrived just 28 minutes of match time later as he rose to meet Lewis Hilliard’s corner, powering his header into the net.

The Trawlerboys were left fuming as Sands’ initial strike, which led to referee Declan Ford awarding the corner, didn’t appear to strike a defender on its way out of play.

But with Boston in front there was only going to be one winner.

When Jay Rollins burst into the box and was grounded by Harry Barker and Jack Ainsley, United had the chance to extend their lead from the spot.

With regular penalty taker Dayle Southwell out injured, Hilliard picked his place, the ball finding the net despite Killip getting two firm hands to the shot.

With four minutes to go Jones had the final say of the afternoon, meeting Zak Mills’ long pass, cutting inside from the right flank and beating Killip with a clever low finish by his near post.