GAINSBOROUGH Trinity clinched a ‘massive victory’ at the home of Lincs rivals Boston United on Saturday.
Their 2-1 win came as a timely boost in the play-off race for the Blues, and also ensured bragging rights came back to the Northolme from the Jakeman’s Stadium.
A delighted Trinity boss Steve Housham said: “In the first half we played some fantastic stuff. Bastock has kept them in the game with some great saves, but we didn’t let our heads drop when they pulled level.”
“We showed great spirit and gave a good account of ourselves.”
Leon Mettam and Darryn Stamp were both on target for the Blues, while Nathan Stainfield scored in between those goals to give Boston a sniff.
“It’s hard to single any off the players out but Stampy (Darryn Stamp) was superb today,” added Housham.
“He was a real handful for their young centre backs and special praise goes to him. And to Jason White at the end, what a save that was to deny Stainfield.”
Gainsborough, bolstered by 144 travelling fans, certainly raised a few eyebrows in the home dugout early on, dominating possession and carrying the greater threat. Paul Bastock, arguably Boston’s Man of the Match, was on form and made an excellent save to deny a rampant Stamp early on. Ex Pilgrim Jamie Yates, on his first return to the Jakeman’s Stadium, captained the Blues for the day, and his early effort fell marginally wide.
Ryan Kendall could have opened the scoring after 20 minutes, finding the ball at his feet on the edge of the Boston penalty area, skipping past two defenders and failing at the final hurdle, Bastock diving in and retrieving the ball.
Bastock was again on hand to deny another ex Pilgrim Shane Clarke, after Stamp tried to lob the experienced goalkeeper only to see his shot hit the woodwork. Ben Milnes had United’s first real chance when he blasted wide following a neat move. Gainsborough went ahead when they were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time, after Tom Ward had sent Clarke to ground inside the area.
Mettam, who replaced the injured Kendall, sent Bastock the wrong way and gave Trinity a deserved lead at the break. Boston United battled back in the second half, Milnes testing White’s ability in the Trinity goal, but the stopper pulled out a great save White to deny the 30 yard effort.
Boston levelled the game on 60 minutes, Ian Ross’ corner found Stainfield unmarked to head home from short distance, leaving White with no chance. Parity was short-lived though.
Ryan Williams went down the right and sent in a brilliant cross into the path of Stamp, who looped an excellent header beyond Bastock. Mettam was close to a third for Trinity, but he blasted wide, and the Pilgrims gradually stepped up their attack in the closing stages. Substitute Jason Lee, the Boston boss, looped a header against the crossbar following Ryan Semple’s cross, while Ross’ curling free-kick was only a fraction wide.
A late scare for Trinity came when a Kevin Austin cross found goalscorer Stainfield unmarked, and his header produced a fantastic save from White, high to his left .
Trinity held on and took three satisfying points back to Gainsborough.
Boston United: Bastock, Canoville, Jellyman (Austin 45), Milnes, Ward, Stainfield, Ross, Burge (Lee 64), Spencer Weir-Daley, Newsham, Fairclough (Semple 45). Not used: Reed, Marshall.
Gainsborough Trinity: White, Roma, Sandwith, Waterfall, Boyce, Clarke, D’Laryea, Williams (Leary 81), Kendall (Mettam25), Stamp (Connor 85), Yates. Not used: Watts, Paczkowski.
Star Man: Darryn Stamp.