To be completely honest, Terrace Chatter has absolutely no idea if you’ll be reading these notes this Saturday or on some random Tuesday night in the middle of April. At the time of writing the weather forecast appears to consist entirely of dire predictions of impending catastrophe: a dusting of snow on the hills, a bit of a frost and perhaps even a slight sleet. Still, with the club confidently tweeting photos of sheets laid on the pitch, let’s just press on and try and keep the topical references to a minimum. So let’s start with the events of last week.
AWAY DAY WOES: One game that did go ahead, seemingly against all the odds, was United’s midweek trip to Spennymoor – although frankly I think we all wish it hadn’t. I don’t know what it is about Spennymoor. Maybe it’s the sheer distance involved going there. Maybe it’s the fact we haven’t even scored a goal against them in what seems like five decades. Or maybe it’s just the fact they invested in pitch covers in enough time to ruin our little unbeaten run. Yeah, Spennymoor are rapidly turning into one of those teams you shudder when you see next up in the fixture list. A bit like Barrow in the mid-90s, or Runcorn before them.
GOALS GOALS GOALS: So United fell to narrow defeat but most observers agreed that they deserved at least a point from what was, despite the conditions, an eventful game. But what did for the Pilgrims was what has been doing for them all season: a simple lack of goals. But against Guiseley a week ago, Boston seemed likely to score every time they crossed the halfway line at Nethermoor Park. It was a truly remarkable ding-dong bout that rewarded every Boston fan who made the effort to attend with a game likely to top the ‘game of the season’ charts. The goals were rattling in with such unsettling frequency that you could have forgiven exiled United fans for thinking their livescore apps had malfunctioned. Not, it seems, a day for defenders to reflect on a job well done, but it did at least give Pilgrims fans hope that their side had perhaps suddenly transformed overnight into an entertaining, free-scoring, play-off hunting side – kind of like a Kevin Keegan-era Newcastle United tribute act. We’d have taken that. And then Spennymoor happened. Nope, I’m completely baffled too.
STRANGER THINGS: We continue a little to the south of Guiseley where, in a series of statements and counter-statements, the affairs of Bradford Park Avenue have been subjected to much scrutiny over the last week or so. With rumours flying about that much of the squad is available for transfer, only for the club to deny those rumours even as ex-players were confirming them, it’s certainly a confusing situation at the Horsfall – a bit like Look North does John le Carré. It all seems faintly ridiculous given it was Bradford, remember, who were cheekily tweeting season’s greetings to us all from the top of the table. It would be wrong to speculate exactly what’s going on, just as it’s inappropriate to wish ill on any club – not even Runcorn. It doesn’t even really feel right to hope that Bradford’s apparent implosion opens up another possible playoff slot for us to aim at. Or…. does it?
WROE DOWN: No, let’s not go down that road. We wish Park Avenue all the best in sorting their affairs out. United have, however, taken advantage of Bradford’s situation in the personnel department, nabbing combative midfielder Nicky Wroe on a permanent deal. The extra midfield option certainly won’t harm Boston’s chances of forcing their way back into the playoffs, and the fact it’s a permanent deal hopefully removes the need to ship in further short-term loan signings to shore up the position. At 33, Wroe is exactly the kind of grizzled veteran whose experience – and he has bags of it – can help knit together the squad, not just on the pitch but on the training ground and in the dressing room too. In an interview with local sports blog The Boston Standard, Wroe said Craig Elliott had tried to sign him in the summer. Better late than never, eh?
SPEAKING OF NEW SIGNINGS: The long-awaited return of Jay Rollins to regular first team football is long overdue, and very welcome. His two goals at Guiseley and a sprightly – if ultimately fruitless – performance at Spennymoor bodes well for the hectic run in. And while it would be unfair to expect Jay to provide all the answers to our lack of goals, his return to regular action will inject the side with another player willing to run at defenders and drive forward. It’ll take him some time to properly get back up to speed no doubt but unlike Spennymoor, I think we’re all pleased to see Jay again.
Enjoy the game.
This article originally appeared in The Pilgrim matchday magazine. Boston United won the game 2-1 in front of 1070 fans.