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Ten Questions.... Duncan Browne >> 2011/2012 >> Season Review >> Duncan Browne

Boston Standard 'journalist' Duncan Browne looks back at the disappointing mess of a season that was 2011/2012. Could he pick out any highlights from a thoroughly miserable few months? Surprisingly, yes. Yes he could. Read on....

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Was this season really the unmitigated catastrophe that some Boston fans have claimed, or was it simply a season of transition? 
It's definitely been a season of transition. Not only for the squad - after the spine of the team (Pearson, Church, Weir-Daley, Yates) were lured away by evil promises of full-time football, success and better pay - but also the management.

Jason Lee and Lee Canoville took over a team of square pegs in square holes. Shaun Pearson meant no disrespect when Rob Scott and Paul Hurst left for Grimsby and he said: "The players all know what they're doing and we're playing for each other."

But he did make it clear that Lee and Canoville inherited a side in full flow.  This summer, beginning from scratch, signing new players, getting them to gel in a new 4-3-3 formation -this was never going to be a task that would replicate the previous season's success.

Building a side takes time, hence the Wilkinsons, J. Faircloughs, Suarezs, Joachims and Holsgroves of this world saying their goodbyes and others replacing them. However, this does raise the question why the five players released after the campaign were among the most experienced.

But, on the pitch at times, performances have been poorer than a church mouse which signed up to Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

The home defeats to Vauxhall Motors and Solihull (their first points of the campaign) were more embarrassing than that dream I had involving Dawn French and a hot tub.

Starting the untested duo of Sam Mulready and Jordan Burrow together at Altrincham wasn't the cleverest decision either and, with their lack of link-up play, there was no wonder the ball kept coming back up the other end and the Robins stuck six in.

Finishing the season with one victory in nine isn't particularly mindblowing, neither was going 180 minutes unable to score past Kidsgrove in the FA Cup.

There were some highlights (Hyde in the FA Trophy, winning twice at Gainsborough, smashing Vauxhall motors), but not enough in all honesty.

So yes, in parts, the season has been drivel, but there has been positive transition and you most hope that better days are to come.

In summation, it'd been a lot easier for all had I just answered 'both'.

In a season that contained a wild and wacky variety of embarrassing lows, will you remember any part of 2011/2012 for the right reasons? 
Of course. Grimsby Town may have nicked Boston's managers and best players, but on a level playing field, when it's one against one, in court, you'd never bet against David Newton. He smashed the Mariners in both legs, with an aggregate score of something like £40,000 v 0!

Visiting Histon is always an absolute pleasure as they (and to a similar extend Dartford) know exactly how a football club should be run.

Paul Bastock reaching 650 appearances for the Pilgrims was also a moment to savour.

But the stand-out moment was 100 Gainsborough fans singing "Scotty Dalton, what a wanker!!" at the BBC radio box.

Gainsborough Trinity: the new Fleetwood, or the next King's Lynn?
I am writing this before the play-off semi-finals. Personally I don't think Gainsborough will get promoted (for the 187th year running).

So, with my neck on the chopping block, I'd say they are more like the same old Trinity (or Rochdale, circa 2008).

Spencer Weir-Daley likes to unwind by making music. If you could pair up with him and record a song for next season’s inevitable appearance in the FA Trophy final, what tune would you cover? 
Funny you should mention this. Me and 'Souljah Swizz' (as I call him) have been in talks to do a David Newton tribute track.

We'll do an Adele cover, renamed 'Chasing Payments' which pokes fun at Grimsby Town and HMRC, but features a phat-ass two-step dub-stylee beat. Brrrraaaappp!

The only hitch we currently have is our outfits. Swizzy wants us to go for the whole LMFAO sunglasses, medallions and thongs ensemble. I'm plumping for the Elton John and Kiki Dee big glasses and dungarees look. I think we all know which one of us is the gritty urban artist and who was raised on the mean, crack-infested streets of Sibsey.

At which of the nation’s many fine service stations and roadside eateries did you experience your culinary high point of the season? 
The choice has been very, very poor this season. However, Boston United club press officer Craig Singleton did make sure the trek to Hyde was finished off with his stag do.

He had the option of where we kicked off our evening, and he chose..... drum roll..... a Harvester!

Have you ever tried looking a teenage waitress in the eye and asking for a 'spitroast chicken'?

If a gun was pointed at your face and you were forced to pick between having the entire, unabridged text of Ulysses read to you by the grating guff-tones of either Jessie J or Adele, who would you pick? 
Jessie J. Purely because this frees Adele up to give me a slow, sensual massage. 

Why was Chris Hall forced to pen the hilarious, yet at times heart-breaking, #benchreview from the sidelines and not given more game time? 
I think Douglas Adams pondered this question in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where Deep Thought, the super computer, came up with the answer '42'. And to date, that is the best answer I can think of. 

Logic states that if you sign a striker and then stick him in central midfield you probably won't get the best out of him. When Ian Ross was signed, he clicked instantly with Ben Milnes and Danny Sleath and, quite fairly, Hall slipped out of the starting line-up. But he was always a hard-working and tireless servant to the cause who, although not the best at shooting from 35 yards, was a solid member of the midfield.

I can understand blooding in James Reed towards the end of the season, but omitting Hall from the squad after the signings of Josh Burge and Kallum Smith is akin to cheating on Rihanna with Hazel Blears.

So, I can only guess someone was jealous of his tattoos.

At which game this season did you meet the most obtuse, rude and grotesquely unpleasant club official (not counting Boston United)?  
The problem is that, at this level of football, most clubs aren't even used to their own local press wanting to bother watching them, let alone some balding big-nosed twerp from the Boston Standard.

So when you turn up at grounds, inevitably people on the gates become mesmerised and dish out the red carpet treatment as if you were someone special like the King of the Universe... or H from Steps. 

Duncan Browne and Scott 'Wanker' Dalton arrive at Colwyn Bay

What does Jason Lee need to do to get the Pilgrims back in contention for fourth place next season? 
I hear there's a good blueprint in place at Crawley? Apart from that, he could always sign an experienced keeper, centre back, midfielder and striker.

Finally, imagine you’ve been asked to sum up United’s season via the medium of hugely popular smartphone application “Draw Something”. What would you draw? 
A cute, friendly, likeable little shi tzu puppy with a bow in his hair, a cheeky innocent grin and welcoming eyes... being pecked to death by a seagull from Colwyn Bay! 

That, or the one I sent to an ex colleague. She hasn't spoken to me in two weeks.

So, there you go! The season was crap, and Duncan Browne is a sex pest. Nothing new there then. Have you got a favourite/worst moment of the season? E-mail your suggestions to and we'll publish the best ones. If we get any.

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