| If the Kids are United
Part 25- Appeared in the Mag, November 2003
Things got off to the
worst possible start at York Street when Whitley-Bay born defender Ramage
received a straight red card after only five minutes for his last-man back
challenge on the much-travelled Peter Duffield.
And when Redfearn
netted with a powerful swerving 25-yard shot from the resultant free kick, it
looked black for Wharton's side.
The Newcastle coach
acted quickly to sacrifice striker Bates, replaced by substitute centre back
Farman, while Gate continued in centre midfield rather than his more
accustomed full back slot.
The reshaped visitors
sought to get back on equal terms and on 9 minutes a good run down the left
from O'Brien saw him deliver a centre that just eluded sole striker Guy.
Another disaster in
the Newcastle area three minutes later though saw the Pilgrims extend their
advantage. Duffield's through ball presented Brough with a shooting chance and
although he was denied by Bartlett, Redfearn again was on hand to convert from
close range for his and Boston's second.
Newcastle continued to threaten the home defence and within six minutes could
easily have been level, Guy seeing one shot blocked and flashing another one
Despite our numerical
disadvantage the game continued to ebb and flow, with toon Captain Ferrell
blasting over from the edge of the box, while at the other end Redfearn went
looking for his hat trick with two more howitzer-like free kicks that whistled
past Bartlett's goal.
And they weren't the
only dangerous things flashing through the air, with the game being halted in
the 36th minute after a small firework was thrown onto the pitch from outside
the ground. Mercifully, play was going on in a different section of the field
at that moment.
With half time
approaching, Newcastle's Eire youth International redoubled his efforts to try
and reduce the deficit, seeing one goal attempt ruled out for offside and then
flicking the ball over the stranded Boston 'keeper, only for a retreating
defender to appear and block his goalbound flick.
The second half began
with the Magpies pushing forward in a major effort to try and pull at least
one goal back - a measure of our enterprise coming in the 50th minute when
both central defenders Taylor and Farman were involved in an almighty scramble
in the home area before the ball was hacked away.
If a goal was to come
from anywhere for Newcastle, a Guy finish from an O'Brien cross would have
been a short-odds bet and the two combined on numerous occasions without
However Boston still
threatened to increase their lead, with toon 'keeper Bartlett denying Duffield
twice in as many minutes, bravely diving to smother a cross then blocking a
low shot at full stretch.
The visitors continued
to up the pressure, forcing three successive corners before finally reducing
the arrears in the 56th minute.
There were guffaws
from the home crowd when Martin Brittain completely missed his attempted
volley from an O'Brien cross, but these were silenced when Brittain recovered
to centre from the right for Guy to head home.
It was all Newcastle
now as Guy, Brittain and in particular O'Brien poured forward at every
opportunity, the latter in particular tormenting the home defence with his
Just after the hour
Brittain unleashed a dipping thirty-yarder that the 'keeper touched away from
under his crossbar, that was nothing to his effort in the 77th minute to
square the match.
continued to press forward, with O'Brien and Guy prominent and it was the
latter who won a free kick in a position just right of centre, some 35 yards
from the Boston goal.
Up stepped Brittain to
direct a memorable effort round the right hand of the defensive wall,
exploiting the fact the Pilgrim's 'keeper had started edging towards the
opposite post. An outstanding conversion from distance that looked in as soon
as it left his foot and shaded Brit's recent long- ranger at Kingston Park
pressed, with Boston increasingly ragged and aimless, especially since the
replacement of Redfearn not long before the equaliser.
On 83 minutes the
winner looked to have arrived courtesy of Alan O'Brien, who streaked away down
the right and worked his way to the byline before pulling the ball back to the
Sadly the young
striker was unable to keep his shot down and blazed it over the crossbar. But
in the 89th minute, it was his short ball that released O'Brien and
he looked a certain scorer as he raced into the Boston box, only to hit the
'keeper with his shot.
The ball span up as a
result and when it came down, there was the figure of Ben Webster to guide it
into the roof of the net with his knee, just beyond the despairing jump of a
home defender on the line.
The referee added four
additional minutes, during which effectively kept the ball, Andy Ferrell
reprising the first team captain's role by heading for the corner to run down
The ten men of the
toon held out though, to record a second successive away win. They left the
field to the familiar strains of "Local Hero" over the tannoy
- an entirely suitable tune for those black and whites in the ground.