Terrace Chatter: Boston v Leamington

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Okay. Mea culpa. I did not see that result at Kidderminster coming. I’d have been happy with a draw, but given our recent visits to Aggborough (and thanks to fellow columnist Christian James for the depressing stats about those), not to mention being the instinctive pessimist that I am, I suspected the best we could hope for was a decent selection of exceptional home-cooked pies. But as it turned out, something quite special happened. Not only did we win, but get this: we actually really annoyed Kidderminster in the process.

ANGER MANAGEMENT: Boston laughed their way out of Worcestershire with three much needed and richly deserved points, closely followed by verbal tirades from upset locals who thought we were a ‘nasty’ team of ‘complete bullies’. I should qualify my glee by stating that I’ve never really been comfortable with my team being either of those two things, but I’m at the point now where I’ve abandoned all hope of attractive, passing football being the key to escaping this febrile mess of a division and am now of the opinion that I’ll take us being a grotesquely unpopular gang of anti-football mobsters if it means us fighting our way into playoff contention. More to the point, I’d forgotten how oddly pleasing it is to log on to Twitter to find a load of people moaning about Boston United. It’s been a long time since we got under anyone’s skin. Indeed, in recent months the indifference shown towards us has been nothing short of insulting, so I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt chest-swelling pride when we finally managed to really upset someone. Long may it continue.

HOME SWEET HOME: As anyone who has ever travelled to watch the Pilgrims in the reverse fixture can attest, Leamington Spa is a lovely little town. Granted, I used to live that way, so I’m probably biased, and I still have painful memories of going there to buy tickets for a Bon Jovi concert I really didn’t want to go to. Even so, it’s really quite nice. Aesthetically pleasing neoclassical architecture combines with old Victorian pump rooms and the serene River Leam to lend the place an air of grace and elegance you won’t find in, say, Shirebrook. It has a Debenhams. There’s even a branch of Wagamama. For context, in a few months Boston won’t even have a Marks and Spencer. Yep. Leamington’s dead nice. It’s just a shame that the football club don’t really play there.

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION: Somewhat reminiscent of Hinckley, which redefined the term “out-of-town” stadium, you could easily watch a game at the New Windmill ground and never come within four miles of a five-piece anodised kitchen pan set or a chicken katsu curry. The reason for Leamington’s displacement appears to be down to an all-too-familiar tale of property development gone wrong, but, like Boston United, today’s visitors are looking towards a brighter future in a community stadium that will see the Brakes moving back much closer to the town centre. The plans look very swish indeed. Terrace Chatter can only wish them the best of luck getting the thing built – not merely for their benefit, but for all of us who’ll end up visiting. The stadium is slated for completion in 2022 – a year which sounds like a sci-fi film starring Bruce Willis.

NETFLIX AND BRILL: Football and television often make uncomfortable bedfellows. You only have to look at the controversy raging right now over FA Cup kick-off times, the late switching of fixtures and the EFL’s decision to livestream games to see that it has an uneasy relationship with fans. Perhaps less contentious are football documentaries, irregular one-off series that provide us mere fans with fascinating, albeit very rare, insights into the inner workings of the football industry. Anyone who watched ‘Orient: Club for a Fiver’ will remember John Sitton’s dressing room patter fondly, and 1997’s ‘There’s Only One Barry Fry’ provided a chilling insight into how some chairmen conduct themselves behind the boardroom door. Graham Taylor became a cult figure after ‘An Impossible Job’. If you enjoyed any of those, then Terrace Chatter would urge you to catch ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’, a new(ish) documentary covering Sunderland’s disastrous relegation from the Championship last season. Revisiting the club covered by 1998’s ‘Premier Passions’, it’s a series tinged with sadness, touching on well-meaning but obviously out-of-their-depth staff and players, and Sunderland’s sense of local identity, intertwined as it is with the collapse of its once proud history of shipbuilding. Destined to be a classic of the genre, it’s streaming on Netflix right now – and it’s absolutely brilliant.

Enjoy today’s game.


This article originally appeared in The Pilgrim matchday magazine. Boston drew the match 1-1 in front of 885 fans.

Follow Trail of Dead on Twitter @TrailOfDebt. All content and tweets by Pete Brooksbank (@petebrooksbank)
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