As Boston United prepare to head to Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground for the first time since their exit from the Football League, Duncan Browne looks back at that day in May, 2007...
It was the end of an era. Everyone who witnessed Boston United’s 3-1 defeat at Wrexham knew it.
The stakes were high before kick off as the two strugglers were thrown together on the final day of the 2006-07 League Two campaign.
It was winner stays up, simple as that.
For a brief while, the live league table had the Pilgrims out of the drop zone following Francis Green’s opener.
But the Dragons, spurred on by the majority of the 12,374-strong crowd, were always in the contest and, after Ryan Valentine levelled from the spot, your gut knew there was only going to be one outcome.
Chris Llewellyn confirmed Boston’s fate as he added a second in the 87th minute and striker Michael Proctor - who had seen his move to Boston earlier that season cancelled out due to their financial problems - added the final insult with number three.
Once referee Mark Halsey blew the full time whistle that distraction - the hope of pulling off the near-impossible - was gone and reality sunk in.
Boston United were financially screwed, entering into a company voluntary agreement before kick off.
Fans cried. Even Paul Ellender - the most stoic of captains - welled up.
Jubilant home fans took time to applaud the Boston support and wish them well, but nobody knew what that meant as a summer of uncertainty followed.
Chairman Jim Rodwell and manager Steve Evans offered some positives on the pitch at full time.
But they both left days later, never to return again, along with the majority of those players.
It was left to Chestnut Homes’s David Newton and Neil Kempster to pick up the pieces at a club that has suffered two demotions, totalling three levels, since that last meeting.
It’s been 11 years since Boston United last visited the Racecourse Ground.
In truth, it feels like a different world completely.
Let’s hope the return is worth the wait.