Roberts returns! Grant looks to earn a Boston United deal after two-year lay-off as Pilgrims are beaten at Basford

Grant Roberts.
Grant Roberts.

Grant Roberts’ long road back from injury saw him pull on a Pilgrims shirt for the first time in almost two years as Boston United began their pre-season schedule as Basford United.

The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League hosts secured a 3-2 victory over their higher-level guests, whose manager Craig Elliott gave the first minutes of the season to his newly-assembled squad and six unnamed trialists.

But the sight of Roberts playing for the Pilgrims for the first time since picking up his knee injury, hampered further by an infection and lengthy stay in hospital, at Chorley in August 2016 was a welcome sight to Boston supporters.

Basford’s record signing Nathan Watson handed them the lead with just 26 seconds played, former Alfreton Town striker Liam Hearn doubling that advantage in the 13th minute.

One of Boston’s trialists reduced the arrears from the penalty spot folloing a foul on Jonathan Wafula, before James Read’s free kick restored the two-goal advantage minutes after the interval.

Wafula scored the away sided’s second, firing home following a fine solo run.

UNITED (from): Parkin, Trialist, Gough, Middleton, Qualter, Jackson, Wafula, Roberts, Trialist, Trialist, Harris, Thanoj, Arnold, Abbott, McCombe, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Willis.