Boston United 4 Scunthorpe United 2
(Tom Clare 5, Jay Rollins 10, Jordan Thewlis 43, George Green 70; John McAtee 35, 89)
Boston United’s new-look squad began competitive action with a confident 4-1 victory over a youthful Scunthorpe United side.
Goals from Tom Clare, Jay Rollins, Jordan Thewlis and George Green ensured the Pilgrims progressed to the Lincs Senior Cup’s quarter-finals, where they will host Stamford.
Three trialists signed county forms to be eligible to feature in Craig Elliott’s squad, but striker Shaun Tuton and defenders Chris Robertson and Arlen Birch were all named on the bench as the manager gave the nod to his own players.
Paul Hurst’s return to York Street saw him name an Iron squad filled predominantly by the under 23s, a youth set-up where United’s Ashley Jackson, Peter Crook and Thewlis all cut their teeth.
It took just 10 minutes for the Pilgrims to show the young pretenders how it’s done, storming into a 2-0 lead courtesy of finishes from Clare and Rollins.
Clare headed home Jackson’s byline cross from close range after the left back was slipped in on the overlap by Thewlis, whose endeavour continues to catch the eye in pre-season.
United’s second saw Tom Platt’s perfectly-weighted ball set Rollins free on the right. But instead of picking out a teammate the winger smashed his effort across Adam Kelsey’s goal and into the top corner.
Rollins - looking back to his lively best following a series of groin issues - almost made it three moments later but his miscued cross clipped the Iron woodwork.
Scunthorpe were back in the game 10 minutes before half time when a low, deflected cross was allowed to bobble across the Boston penalty area before John McAtee coolly slotted beneath the dive of Crook, who had earlier been called upon to push away Kevin Van Veen’s free kick.
It was another cute ball that unlocked the Scunthorpe defence for Boston’s third, Thewlis making it three in three as he collected Andi Thanoj’s pass in his stride, edged past his marker and fired a rising strike inside Kelsey’s near post.
Tuton and keeper George Willis were introduced at half time for Clare and Crook, as United continued to turn the screw.
Thewlis rattled the crossbar while, at the other end, Willis had his palms warmed by Jordan Hallam’s strike.
As the game got a little more testy Birch, who replaced Ben Middleton, found his name in the book and Platt dished out a few robust challenges.
But George Green calmed things down by putting the game beyond the visitors, collecting Tuton’s pass and casually slipping the ball below the exposed Kelsey.
There was still time for the impressive Tuton to go close, dinking his effort over Kelsey but wide of the mark before McAtee added a consolation, squeezing his effort through the legs of Willis.
UNITED: Crook (Willis HT), Middleton (Birch 56), Jackson (Whittle 72), Thanoj, Ainge (Robertson 68), Shiels, Platt (Wafula 72), Abbott (Green 56), Clare (Tuton HT), Thewlis, Rollins.
SCUNTHORPE: Kelsey, Horsfield, Butroid, Hornshaw, Cummings, Rowe, Sanyang (O’Malley 7), McAtee, Van Veen (Jessop 75) Hallam (Pugh 71), Sinclair; Subs (not used): Potts, Barks, Baker, Collins.
REF: Martin Chester.