There’s no place like home! Can Boston United bounce back to edge past struggling Oxford City

Ian Ross.
Ian Ross.

Home comforts could well be the key for Boston United forcing their way back into the Skrill North play-off spots.

The Pilgrims return to York Street this afternoon to face Oxford City, looking for an instant turnaround following last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Workington.

And, to steal a phrase from Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, ‘there’s no place like home ‘ for United right now.

A look at the statistics show Boston to be twice as prolific at home than on their travels - both points-wise and goal-wise.

From their 17 matches at the Jakemans Stadium, the Pilgrims have cultivated a total of 37 points from an available 51 (more than two-thirds of their current 53-point haul).

They have also enjoyed netting 44 goals at an average of 2.5 goals per game at York Street.

Away from home it’s been a different story for United. On the road the amber and blacks have picked up 16 points from a possible 45.

From those 15 matches, they have netted 22 times - an average of 1.4 goals per game.

Eleven wins, four draws and just two defeats prove that United have managed to make York Street somewhat of a fortress so far this campaign.

Only three teams in the bottom half of the table have managed to leave town with any degree of success to date this campaign.

Bradford Park Avenue won 3-2, while Histon and Stockport both played out goalless draws.

The others have not fared too well. Gainsborough (6-0), Workington (5-3), Vauxhall Motors (5-2), Barrow (1-0), Worcester City (2-1) and Leamington (2-0) all heading home on the end of defeats.

Oxford arrive at York Street having just ended a terrible run of eight matches without a win.

However, Tuesday’s victory came in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup against Banbury United, who sit 18th in the Calor League Premier, one division lower than their Skrill North opponents.

And that 6-2 success needed extra time, against a team who could only field a bare minimum 11 players.

City have only won once on the road this campaign, and that was a 2-0 success at Worcester City on December 8.

However, they are no pushovers on their travels, having drawn six of their 14 games away from Marsh Lane.

The last contest between the two saw Boston and City play out a 1-1 draw in Oxfordshire back in September.

Tom Winters gave Oxford a stoppage-time lead, only for Ian Ross to level seconds later.

Second-bottom City’s last visit to Boston - during the 2012-13 campaign - saw the Pilgrims win 3-1, thanks to goals from Mark Jones (two) and Marc Newsham.

Kick off is at 3pm.

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