Only football can deliver you from the depths of despair to heaven in the space of three days. Entering this Lincolnshire derby off the back of Saturday’s debacle, I was apprehensive. I would have taken a point at the Northolme, trundled back to Sheffield with Andy and never spoken of it again.
But you should never underestimate a management and team scorned. This was a superb performance, earning the perfect riposte from Saturday and sweet revenge for their 3-1 win at York Street on New Year’s Day (or ‘whatever day it was’ when Robbo couldn’t remember the lyrics...)
The author of Ravings of a Boston Boy doesn’t skimp in branding everything about Gainsborough ‘tinpot’ and it’s very hard to disagree. The ground is icky, the town miserable, the programme amateurish, the football staid and the manager, Brian Little Football Genius, clinging on to his position as his team cling on to Conference North safety. They had good chips, however, which was about the only redeeming feature I could think of. Little wonder we sang ‘Gainsborough’s a shithole, I wanna go home’ with more venom than we would typically reserve for somewhere like Guiseley or Hyde.
Boston took the piss both on and off the pitch. 400 fans packed the terrace behind the goal, many with happy memories of Tony Crane’s goalscoring heroics in a 3-1 win on New Year’s Day 2008, our last league visit. The atmosphere was boisterous with the welcome return of many long-forgotten favourites in the chant-e-oke. The general gist was that the locals were of Romany descent, phobic of baths, moved on by the police all day long, were conceived on the carousel and feared Tony Martin’s gun. The hate-o-meter was turned up all the way for this one.
Lincoln weren’t spared either. As they slumped to a 5-1 defeat against Shrewsbury Town 20 miles down the road, Jambo gave a debut to his ‘One man went to laugh, went to laugh at Lincoln’ chant. It went on to eleven men, which is the same as the number of goals they’ve scored at home all season...
I was still searching for Gainsborough’s famous 26 when Boston opened the scoring after six minutes. United forayed forward on an amber tide, Weir-Daley and Yates pinging the ball about in a nauseating blur, before squaring across the goalmouth. Adam Boyes burst a blood vessel to reach the far post and finished for his first goal for the club. We should think of a song for him, since the Yoof had clearly thought of one for pretty much everyone else – “Duh, duh, duh, duh GARETH JELLYMAN!”
Tinpot squandered a few chances before Boston killed the game shortly before half-time. Yates and Weir-Daley were on the same wavelength once again and this time teed up Danny Sleath, who used the defensive cover to unsight the goalkeeper and bend the ball home. It was the perfect time to score.
Anthony Church struck the crossbar early in the second half as United continued to dominate, though the points were well and truly secure only when Boyes rounded goalkeeper Gavin Ward to stroke the ball into an empty net. Not a bad night for the striker, who probably doubled his career goal tally.
By this time it was a raucous atmosphere, the stand bouncing up and down to every song. Redemption. In the best possible way.
Next Match: Stalybridge Celtic vs. Boston United on Tuesday