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Report: Boston 1 v 0 Lincoln City >> 2006/07 >> Boston v Lincoln match report

Boston 1, Lincoln 0

This 'report' was written for and originally appeared in a Grimsby Town fanzine we can't remember the name of

Boston v Lincoln. In any other county in England, it would be just another fixture, but in the vast rural expanse of desolate Lincolnshire, this is what passes for a local derby.

Hey, it beats Gainsborough Trinity, or Kings Lynn, but there’s something missing. Probably an intense, all-consuming hatred of the Imps. We’re too busy hating our own these days, and who can blame us. Besides, the Yellow Belly derby is a historically inert fixture. We simply haven’t been competitive rivals of City long enough to really get that fired up.

For their part, the Imps like to deride their county cousins as a bunch of inbred, carrot munching cattle lovers. Horrifyingly accurate this assessment of Bostonians might be, the end result is that Lincoln fans tend to pity Boston rather than fear them, even though we do have the better record of the nine fixtures played since our promotion four years ago.

The derby offers the usual contrast between crisis club and high fliers. Boston are in turmoil for a whole host of reasons, some of them very public and very criminal. The chairman, ‘Crazee Jimmy’ Rodwell, broke his silence on BBC Radio Lincolnshire before the game, saying, incredibly: “It could be worse. We could all have leprosy.”

After the drama of Evans’ guilty plea at Southwark Crown Court, that really was the best he could come up with. You can get away with saying that kind of thing down in Boston, because no-one will ever stop you to ask what the hell you’re playing at.

The game itself was a surprisingly entertaining affair. The Pilgrims hassled and harried the Imps, winners of seven away games on the trot, and in doing so managed to stifle the huge travelling support on the Town End.

The promised character assassination of soon-to-be-convicted-fraudster Steve Evans failed to materialise, disappointing even the home fans, although there was a ripple of applause to support one anti-Evans chant, the not exactly creative but quite accurate ‘Same Old Evans, Always Cheating’. ‘You’re going down with the Evans!’ also surfaces at one point.

Conversely, Boston fans haven’t chanted for years now, but sparked belatedly into life once the Pilgrims took the lead. A small huddle of supporters, the last sad remnants of the hundreds that used to occupy the Town End, gathered at one end of the Spayne Road terrace to hurl the odd insult at the visiting fans.

And the goal? It was ex-Imp Franny Green, of course, who stole the show. His deflected volley squirmed embarrassingly under Alan Marriott on the hour mark to settle the derby in the Pilgrims’ favour.

As the disappointed Imps filed out at the final whistle, one disgruntled Neanderthal, snarling ‘hoofball wankers’, carefully sat his two young children on a wall before setting off in search of an amber and black shirt he could grapple with. He found nothing but a sea of Imps fans and five police officers, returning frustrated.

Pilgrims fans are indeed a rare, endangered species.

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