STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
Last time Boston visited Field Mill, the fixture was preceded by a Nottinghamshire League Two derby at Meadow Lane. And this season, the roles are exactly the same.
But Boston, now fighting for their League status, have never won a FL game against the Stags, and at Field Mill, never even taken a point.
And last season's visit to Field Mill just about a year ago is one the Boston fans and players would like to forget as quickly as possible. On March 11, 2006, the Stags registered their biggest victory in the 2005-06 campaign as the Boston pilgrims were routed to a 5-0 scoreline in one of that season's Stags best displays thanks to goals from Barker, Greaves og, Reet, Uhlenbeek and Brown (from the spot) in front of 3121 (300 from Boston). After the rout, the controversial Boston manager Evans cancelled the Sunday break for his players and ordered them to take on extra training! Maybe that was effective, for in the game following the Field Mill roasting, Boston gained a 94th minute winner in the home game against Lincoln, a side Boston have beaten this season as well
By the time of last season's Stags v Pilgrims Field Mill game, Boston were in mid-table. Now the Pilgrims are fighting League survival and won their latest home game 2-1 against Bristol Rovers. But Boston's home gates have been appallingly low for most of this term, i.e. just 1697 last Saturday. More than half of Boston's home games haven't even attracted 2000 fans, but one of the Pilgrims' highest home gates during the current campaign was the one against the Stags on October 14, 2006, when 2314 found the way to York Street, the gate upped by 644 Stags fans. How had Boston's average gate looked without the games against Lincoln (4327), Peterborough (3528) and Grimsby (2915)? In October 2006, the Stags gained a point thanks to a Richard Barker penalty twenty minutes from time. In that game, an ex-Stag, Jamie Clarke, figured for Boston (see also played for both sides below).
Apparently, the Stags reserve side played Boston several times in the Midland League after World War II. One such game at Boston, on August 27, 1949 in the 1949-50 season, ending 1-1, was mentioned in the programme for the 2-2 game at York Street 56 years later to the day! Any information on other eventual games between Boston and the Stags reserve side, as well as home and away, should be much appreciated by the writer of these lines, as the Stags reserves played in the Midland League from 1936-37 and some twenty years on, interrupted by the 2nd World War.
Another one mentioned in the same programme for the corresponding game at York Street for last season on August 27, 2005, was highlighting a game between Boston United and Mansfield Town Reserves in the Midland League, played on December 21, 1946, which ended in the Stags second string being routed 7-0. In the Classic games section, it was written: "Two players in the Mansfield side that day would later play for Boston. Harry Everett signed up for Boston the following season, and winger Alan Daley joined in 1950". By the way, there is NO mention on Harry Everett having joined Boston in neither the centenary book nor on the history CD. In the played for both sides section below, Alan Daley is mentioned as Digger Daley.
The Stags have won their latest two home games, the most recent against Chester attracting only 89 away fans, surely the lowest-ever away following since records began around the 2001-02 season. Even though Boston's home gates all season have been low, the lowest 1571 against Shrewsbury, the Pilgrims surely will have more than 89 fans at Field Mill on Saturday. The relatively short distance between the towns may be a factor, too.
The teams played each other very frequently in the 1920's, the decade prior to the Stags' election to the old division 3 (S) way back in 1931. And our opponents then wasn't the current Boston United FC, as there prior to the formation of the current Boston side a Boston FC existed. That club went bust early 1933 – details on that weren't known by the time of doing the 2003-04 previews – and only known a few days before the game at Boston in November 2004 due to visiting the Boston United website – and the current club was founded later in 1933.
On the Saturday after the Cheltenham home game in the 2003-04, the Boston United “Pilgrims” visited Field Mill for the first time ever. And the Stags earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory. After Weatherstone had given Boston the lead midway through the first half, Mendes equalized a few minutes later – and early on in the second half, he also got the winner – two cracking strikes. And the return fixture at Boston on April 17, 2004, was also won to a 2-1 score-line (all goals coming in the second half) thanks to Larkin and an Ellender og challenged by Lawrence, Balmer then pulled a goal back for the Pilgrims.
This was the first time since 1930-31, then in the Midland Counties League, that the Stags have faced a Boston side in league fixtures. In those days, the Stags did score at least once in their 10 home fixtures compared to a measly five away goals, one win and one draw at Boston.
In the 20's, the biggest Stags win was a 7-2 on October 22, 1927 and the scorers were Morfitt 2, Keetley 3, Fisher and Roe. When the Stags notched their only non-league victory at Boston on September 8, 1923, Death and Donovan hit the back of the net once each.
The teams last non-league meeting at Field Mill took place on September 27, 1930 when the Stags won 3-0 courtesy of strikes from Murphy (2) and Hargreaves. When the teams drew in the last non-league fixture at Boston on January 17, 1931, Goddard was credited as the Stags scorer.
And during that period of time, they also crossed their FA Cup swords on one occasion. This happened on November 28, 1925 when goals from Heathcote and Hart weren't enough to see the Stags progress as Boston ran out 5-2 winners at their place. The worst Stags reverse in the Midland Counties League days was a 0-5 on May 3, 1930.
There have also been lots of players figuring for both sides. Among them are some 1970's stalwarts such as Kevin Bird and Barry Foster. Bill Curry, starring in the 1964-65 Stags side that nearly were promoted to the 2nd division, managed Boston when they in 1973-74 fixed a very creditable FA Cup 3rd round goalless away draw at Derby County. But the replay was lost 1-6 in front of 12000 at York Street (surely an attendance record for that ground). Another 1960's Stag, goalie Colin Treharne, also appeared for the Pilgrims. And Ernie Moss, a player who should easily fit in the writer's all-star XI of Stags / Spireites player connections, saw off his excellent playing career at Boston. More recently, Gareth Jelleyman started the 2004-05 season at Boston as a loanee – and finished it at the Stags, but did not feature in the game on April 30, 2005.
Played for both sides (including Boston FC before 1933): Keith Alexander, Craig Allardyce, Russell Allen, Brian Bates, Kevin Bird, Jack Bunting, Neville Chamberlain, Bernard Chambers, Stephen Chambers, Steve Charles, John Coleman, Oliver Copestake, Charles Croft, Bill Curry, Digger Daley, George Darwin, Bert Davis, Paul Evans, Harry Everett, Greg Fee, Barry Foster, Reginald Goodacre, Michael Hopkinson, Lee Howarth, Walter Hoyland, George Kennie, Mick Laverick, Noel Luke, Jim Lumby, Les McJannet, Lawrie Madden, Arthur Mann, Ernie Moss, Eddie Munnings, Kevin Noteman, Noel O'Brien, James Pearson, Brendan Phillips, Reginald Simms, David Smith, Ian Stringfellow, Colin Treharne, Imre Varadi, Mick Vinter, Albert Wilson, Chris Withe, Ernest Wright, (while in FL), Jamie Clarke, Mark Clifford, Gareth Jelleyman, Andy White.
Played for Stags, later managed Boston: Bill Curry, Greg Fee, Arthur Mann, Peter Morris, Ernie Moss.
Stats file, covering the old Boston FC and current Boston United:
Non-league fixtures as Boston FC:
Home: P 10, W 6, D 2, L 2, GF 27, GA 15
Away: P 10, W 1, D 1, L 8, GF 5, GA 24
1921-22 2-1 1921-10-29 1-4 1922-04-06 Midland Counties League
1922-23 2-2 1922-09-30 0-1 1923-04-14 Midland Counties League
1923-24 2-1 1923-09-15 2-0 1923-09-08 Midland Counties League
1924-25 3-2 1925-03-01 1-2 1924-09-13 Midland Counties League
1924-25 3-0 1925-04-25 0-3 1925-04-18 Midland Counties League, secondary competition
1925-26 2-3 1925-10-17 0-2 1925-10-03 Midland Counties League
1927-28 7-2 1927-10-22 0-2 1927-09-10 Midland Counties League
1928-29 2-2 1928-10-03 0-4 1929-05-02 Midland Counties League
1929-30 1-2 1930-02-08 0-5 1930-05-03 Midland Counties League
1930-31 3-0 1930-09-27 1-1 1931-01-17 Midland Counties League
League fixtures as Boston United:
Home P 3, W 3, D 0, L 0, GF 10, GA 3
Away P 4, W 1, D 3, L 0, GF 5, GA 4
2003-04 2-1 2003-11-01 2-1 2004-04-17 Div 3
2004-05 3-2 2005-04-30 0-0 2004-11-20 League Two
2005-06 5-0 2006-03-11 2-2 2005-08-27 League Two
2006-07 (at Boston) 1-1 2006-10-14 League Two
1925-26 2-5 1925-11-28 (1st round at Boston as Boston FC)
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Vastly updated players file courtesy of the history CD, some other details courtesy of the centenary book – and the Boston United website
Latest | March 2007