United want hot streak to beat the cold

Paul Hurst.
Paul Hurst.

THE Christmas and New Year period is looming large for Boston United — if the Pilgrims can overcome the current cold snap.

United have lost four league fixtures to the elements during the last month and more could follow if the current weather persists.

Saturday’s home encounter against Hyde FC was the latest to fall — with the Pilgrims now hoping to return to action with home and away clashes against Gainsborough Trinity, a home fixture against Harrogate Town and an away trip to Eastwood Town.

Boston boss Paul Hurst has been frustrated by the Pilgrims’ recent inactivity, but is backing United to come out strongly when they are afforded the opportunity to play.

Speaking to The Standard in the build-up to the Boxing Day trip to Gainsborough, Hurst said: “Obviously it is frustrating to lose so many matches to the weather recently. Having said that though, we cannot affect the climate and it is important to focus on the matters we can influence.

“We are preparing as well as possible for when we do eventually get back into action, which will hopefully be on Boxing Day.

“The players will look after themselves over Christmas and we will be raring to go come Boxing Day, weather-permitting.”

The Pilgrims are facing up to the prospect of losing on-loan goalkeeper James McKeown, who is poised to return to Peterborough United at the end of his loan spell.

McKeown will conclude his spell with United on New Year’s Day and Hurst and joint manager Rob Scott are currently assessing their goalkeeping options.

Teenager Aaron Butcher could be recalled from a loan spell at Deeping Rangers, while experienced duo Gary Montgomery and Chris Adamson are both still registered with the Pilgrims despite their availability being restricted.

It seems unlikely that any of the threesome would be utilised on a regular basis, meaning an incoming transfer is the likeliest solution to McKeown’s impending departure.

The Pilgrims are hoping defender Kieran Murphy will be fit enough for inclusion over the festive period, while it remains to be seen whether utility player John Williams will extend his loan spell from Scunthorpe United into a second month.

Following the Boxing Day clash, the Pilgrims will resume home action with a fixture against Simon Weaver’s Harrogate on Tuesday.

FIXTURES: December 26, Gainsborough Trinity (A) 3pm; December 28, Harrogate Town (H) 3pm; January 1, Gainsborough Trinity (H) 3pm; January 3, Eastwood Town (A) 3pm.