Afternoon and welcome along to the Jakemans Stadium for this afternoon’s game against Curzon Ashton – a club renowned for their impressive statue, cheap pints, cup runs and posh in-pitch sprinklers. Show offs.
ON THE BEACH Terrace Chatter remembers Curzon less fondly thanks to its last visit up there on the final day of the 2016/17 season when we were thumped 4-2. It was a shambolic end to a shambolic season. Many players, already aware they wouldn’t be returning the following season, seemed more interested in their night out afterwards than the match itself. There were also unpalatable scenes as Boston’s Adam Chapman ended up arguing during the match first with Pilgrims fans and then his own players. Yeah, it was a bad day. Still, the Nandos was decent.
WHERE WE’RE AT Today is our first home game of the astronomical spring, something that should be obvious from everyone being grumpy about us not being in the top three, and from the sight of children across Lincolnshire spending their afternoons kicking daffodils to death. It’s alarming how fast time goes. With just a month and six games left to go, Boston sit seven points off the playoffs in ninth – although since The Pilgrim went to press before the Darlington v Chester game on Wednesday we may now be sitting tenth. Today’s visitors suffered a narrow defeat away at Guiseley on Tuesday and are just a point behind us. While Stockport and Chorley have eased away from the pack, tight little pockets of intrigue remain dotted around the league, which remains as crazy now as it was in August. Today’s game will be as unpredictable as all the rest.
SO CLOSE, AND YET… That said, the last playoff spot seems a long way off now. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that we’re simply out of chances now: if we want to remain in the Easter hunt then nothing less than a win today will do. No pressure eh? It’s a frustrating situation to be in, especially as Saturday’s 2-2 draw away at York is yet more proof that we’re now a more robust side than we were a few months back. But while coming back from two goals down at York may signal a team finally on the up, the point wasn’t really that useful. It’s wins we need now. But you never know – we may have been getting through strikers like Theresa May gets through meaningful votes, but we are still just about alive.
FENCE BOAST Despite the play-offs remaining tantalisingly close but still just out of reach, there are still a few laughs to be had. Ryan Cresswell’s confession that he’d spent the week prior to last Saturday’s game helping York’s Jon Parkin erect a new fence without mentioning that he’d signed for Boston wasn’t just an entertaining anecdote, but also the most amusing thing published by the Boston Standard since Duncan Browne updated his mugshot. Whether Cresswell sticks around the club beyond this season remains to be seen. That decision will probably be dictated by how healthy he can get himself, but if he can then he’s the kind of character people love to have around for a bit of light relief when things might be getting a bit too serious.
NORTH FERRI-BYE Last week saw more bad news from the banks of the Humber as the Northern Premier League finally confirmed that North Ferriby’s results would be expunged following the club’s liquidation a week earlier. You might reasonably ask why it took the league so long to confirm that Ferriby’s record would be struck given it is notoriously difficult for a club to fulfil its fixtures if it doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, the formal announcement was finally made and that was that: 80 odd years of history, and another of Boston’s ex-opponents erased from history, like 1984 crossed with the Non-League Club Directory. One mourner took to social media to bemoan the demise of a small, “well-run” club – although Terrace Chatter would argue a well-run football club probably shouldn’t end up being liquidated. Surprising? Not really. Ferriby’s spending was clearly unsustainable, and it’s time the authorities did more to protect clubs from irresponsible owners. Sad? Well, yes – despite our recent fractious history with Ferriby, it’s never nice seeing a club go to the wall. Not even one that employed Tom Denton.
ALL THE MEATS But never mind all that. It’s the big one tomorrow: the day everyone treats their mum to a computer-generated card from Funky Pigeon and a bad carvery. She almost certainly deserves better than frozen roast potatoes, but frankly £3.99 is too good a deal to turn down for a roast dinner with three different types of meat, even if one of them is a grey slab of reformed eyelids – a bit like York’s cheeseburger. Enjoy the game today, and don’t forget the flowers.
This article originally appeared in The Pilgrim matchday magazine. Boston United won the game 4-1 in front of 1406 fans.