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Saturday 30 December - League Two
Kick off 3.00pm

Rochdale 4
Doolan 43
Dagnall 62
Mocquet 65
Murray 70

Boston United 0

Rochdale: Gilks, Ramsden, Stanton, McArdle, Goodall, Mocquet, Doolan, Jones, Rundle, Dagnall, Murray
Subs: Crooks, Brown, Thompson, Warburton, Rigby

Marriott, Clarke, Canoville, Ellender, Miller, Greaves (Holland 75), Rowson, Kennedy (Galbraith 43), N'Guesson (Maylett 54), Elding and Broughton
Subs: Green, Galbraith, Holland, Stevens, Maylett

Referee: Russell Booth
Att: 2159

Reflections - So, farewell 2006, farewell. I can't remember a worse year for football, at any level - the only problem is that the whole 'New year, new start' tripe doesn't wash. England will still be managed by a man hopelessly underqualified for the job, and Boston United will be managed by a man, er, well, hopelessly underqualified for the job. I wonder how our mystery 'saviour'* has got on with the due diligence process?

*Most likely another property developer (insert frying pan joke here). I'm off to eat some dinner. Thanks for your e-mails, Pete.

The final whistle blows and United troop over to the few remaining Boston fans to applaud them. Yet another heavy away defeat to add to Evans' mounting collection, we await his excuse-laden interview with interest as ever.

90+1 mins -
Hurry up Brand, blow your whistle.

90 mins - ARRRGHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Torquay 0, Macclesfield 1

88 mins -
Manchester United are now completely unpredictably winning 3-1 at home, so my smug indignation at how piss-poor the Premiership is can be restored.

86 mins -
Four more minutes of this bilge to endure. Chelsea 2-2 Fulham.

81 mins -
'Sack the manager before we go bust!' roars one irate BBC Lincs texter. If only it was THAT easy....

78 mins -
The Gift That Keeps on Giving plugs Andy. The old codger supports Goole AFC, likes Leeds a bit, pitys me for following Boston - and has a soft spot for Town. Hmmmm. good call there.....

75 mins -
"I meant buffer, I think it's a word. If not, replace with 'knock'," says Adam Hildred. Holland on for Greaves. Watford v Wigan has been adandoned due to a water-logged pitch, in case you give a shit.

73 mins -
Come on you bastards, help me out. He's 65 (or is it 63?), he likes real ale and pub quizzes. Surely I can buy something off the internet that means I don't have to venture into Nottingham.

70 mins - GOAL etc etc -
Rochdale four nil up. I'm now browsing Amazon for my father's birthday present so I'm not sure what happened, who scored or even what time it is. Let's have an e-mail:

" an attempt to liven up Impstalk and make it appeal to that crucial 14 to 21yr old demographic, you should change the referee's name from 'Russell Booth' to 'Russell Brand',
suggests Andy.

I'm currently sitting here in New Jersey drinking a big mug of tea, dunking McVities digestives that cost $4 a packet and watching Boston Utd lose on the internet while listening to old Asian Dub Foundation albums. Can any of your readers beat that?

Will Evans refuse to speak to the media again now he's back losing games?

68 mins - Since I'm running out of words in the Microsoft Thesaurus to describe just how bad Boston United are, feel free to send in your own suggestions for adequete adjectives. The more syllables the better. Made up words also welcome. 'Grulastic' was one word I made up for Forest fanzine LTLF two years ago.

66 mins - GOAL!!!!!!!!
Boston are pathetic. They really are. Mocquet free header. I think, but I'm not sure, I THINK, it was from a Rochdale corner.

63 mins - GOAL!!!!
Dagnall scores, but who cares, we're shite. Take a look at this: Lisa Stansfield. “There has been talk that Lisa is Rochdale’s successor to Gracie Fields. She may have the same name but Lisa has a style all of her own.” Her 'own style'? You've got that right. Cheers to Andy for the link.

59 mins -
The rain continues to pour down and with Accrington's game reportedly called off, Dalton and Cookie are speculating that this fixture could be in danger. Guess what jus happened? Go on. Guess. Yep, you're spot on: Rochdale have a corner.

56 mins -
A meteorological-minded Adam Hildred says: “I believe that our recent upturn in form is directly linked to the winter solstice. Now that it has passed, and it should start to get progressively warmer, the warm air particles rising upwards should 'bufer' the ball further up into the hair from a hoofball. This of course means that there is, crucially, a few extra seconds of it being possible to score for the opposition, greatly aiding Boston's 30+ year olds who are practically dead after half time.” Is 'bufer' a word you've made up, or a typo?

54 mins -
Broughton, still not sent off yet, spanks a long range screamer that Gilks is forced to tip over the bar. That's the closest Boston have come. Again, nothing comes of the corner. Maylett is now on and Cookie's favourite lumbering loser N'Gage is hauled off.

51 mins -
2159 fans. Cookie reckons 50-60 from Boston, but there's no official figure. Cookie is criticising Evans for playing N'Gage as a centre-forward. "He doesn't know the right runs to make," he moans, pointing out the Rangers player is simply too static to spark any kind of life in the attacking line. "Still," he tuts sarcastically, "manager know best." Good on ya Cookie.

50 mins -
Julian Joachim scores for Darlington. He's cost them a mere £50000 per goal thus far

49 mins -
Boston win two quick corners themselves and the score is cut to 8-4.

47 mins -
If Rochdale keep winning corners at the same rate as the first half, they'll probably have more of those than socks received by me at Christmas.

Hibs 0, Dunfermline 0 -
It's just the worst kind of cynical, heart-string tugging, that's what it is. Christmas is a powerful brow-beater. Take Farepak for example..... no, let's not go there. That's a whole different story. Boston kick off the second half.

Brentford 1, Chesterfield 0 -
And that his/her family were 'really looking forward to Christmas'.

Cambridge 0, Burton 0 -
How many times do newspapers report that the unfortunate victim's Christmas presents are still underneath the family tree, to remain forever unwrapped?

Other scores of note -
Boston Town 0, Potten 2

Off-topic musing -
Why is it that, when someone meets a sticky end in the latter part of December, people always say: 'Our thoughts are with the family, particularly at this time of year'? I understand the whole festive thing, of course, but if I were to die in a tragic car crash in June would anyone actually say 'Our thoughts are with his family at this time. Although not as much as they would be had Pete been mown down in December'? Crewe 0, Yeovil 2 by the way. Come on, don't pretend you don't care.

Half-time at Spotland. Rochdale have had 64% of possession and a year's worth of corners. Not surprisingly, they lead.

45+2 -
Corner number EIGHT for Rochdale. Cleared by Ellender, but the ball ends up with Rundle who has a fantastic opportunity to finish off the Pilgrims, but Boston are saved by a brilliant stop from Marriott.

45 mins -
Three minutes of injury time.

43 mins - GOAL!
Doolan takes advantage of some piss-poor defending to spank the ball low into the left corner past a helpless Marriott. Rochdale deserve the lead. Although if football games were settled on some mythical 'Most Deserved' algorithm, Rochdale would be 4,021,124 - 0 ahead already.

42 mins -
I'm a sarcastic idiot: Reading equalise against Manchester United in The Most Predictable League in the World™. Galbraith on for Kennedy.

41 mins -
And that's the end of Miller's afternoon. he hobbles off aided by N'Gage and that Flying Mullet bloke.

39 mins -
....but it amounts to nothing, except an injury to Miller. Shock! Horror! Manchester United take the lead against Reading and Chelsea equalise against Fulham in The Most Predictable League in the World™.

39 mins -
Boston break from Rochdale's awful corner. This is almost end-to-end stuff.....

38 mins -
Corner 5,125.....

37 mins -
Oooh, that'll teach us for showing a sprinkling of ambition, Rochdale run up the other end of the pitch and ALMOST score. They have to settle, instead, for their 5,124th corner of the afternoon.

36 mins - CORNER! For Boston!
I don't even know how it happened, I wasn't paying attention.

28 mins -
Cape Canoville wins a tackle on Mocquet - his first of the afternoon! But in doing so he concedes a fifth corner. A small price to pay, keep motoring Cape.

26 mins -
Boston make a rare foray up front, which obviously amounts to feck all, but, oddly, moments later the referee calls both Broughton and Elding over and forces them to shake hands. Er. Hmm.

23 mins -
Rochdale win their fourth corner. Nothing happens.

22 mins -
After that first ten minutes, I was under the impression that this game might actually turn out to be milding interesting.

15 mins -
Hold that thought. Evo has just switched the side to 4-4-2.

12 mins -
The game has settled down somewhat. Having survived that initial ten minute onslaught, it will be interesting to see the extent of United's ambition over the remainer of the half given that they're set up with that 5-4-1/4-3-3 formation favoured by Swagbag.

10 mins -
It's been an eventful first ten minutes. Rochdale are tearing into Boston, Mocquet is tearing into Canoville, Evans is tearing in to Elding, Elding is tearing into Evans and Ellender is tearing into anyone who is unfortunate to get in his way. No yellow card for him yet, however.

7 mins - CHANCE
Doolan's effort flashes just wide as the Pilgrims cling on. Elding is receiving a torrent of verbal from the touchline - and he's giving it back.

6 mins -
Make that three.

5 mins -
An extremely bright for Rochdale, who are trying to play the ball in behind Boston's high defensive line and have forced two corners already.

3 mins - Goal disallowed!
Doolan beats Canoville on the left and puts over a great cross. Dagnall bundles the ball home, and fans celebrate the home side taking the lead.... but referee Booth rules out the effort for a push on Miller! Close call.

1 min -
Dagnall stabs an effort that's held easily by Marriott. It's the first attempt at goal as the rain pours down.

Kick off -
Torrential rain is falling at Spotland as the game gets underway, and Rochdale immediately attack thier hosts.

Rochdale's team:
Gilks, Ramsden, Stanton, McArdle, Goodall, Mocquet, Doolan, Jones, Rundle, Dagnall, Murray Subs: Crooks, Brown, Thompson, Warburton, Rigby

Watch the York Street exits -
Evans has revealed that 'some bloke' is currently completing the due diligence stage of a takeover bid, i.e he's looking over the books/wreckage of Lavaflow's tenure of ownership. With any luck, the mystery backer WON'T flee from the stadium screaming, although you never know....

Boston United team news:
Marriott, Clarke, Canoville, Ellender, Miller, Greaves, Rowson, Kennedy, N'Guesson, Elding and Broughton.

Off-topic -
Venturing out of the realms of this particular League Two dogfight bubble, there's an interesting blog thing on the BBC website asking neutrals who they support in the Manchester Utd-Chelsea Premiership title race. Here's an idea for football fans. How about we support neither? How about we all stop living in thrall of a competition with vastly over-inflated sense of its own importance and quality, a division that's as competitively interesting as a Garry Kasparov v Nikki Grahame chess match.


That was impsTALK's reaction to the season's earlier home encounter with Rochdale, which saw the visitors brutally put down Boston's meek resistance with a tyrannical ease reminiscent of the way Saddam Hussein dealt with those pesky Kur-.... er, yeah, well, we'll leave that one there. You know where that’s going. Hey, speaking of death sentences, if Boston United lose today’s Six Pointer™, their 21st of the season, then they'll be embarking on their own tortuous walk to the gallows. The gallows, of course, being a not-very-subtle metaphor for life in the Conference. You know what they say about enough rope, right Steve?

Oddly, despite the Pilgrims suddenly remembering what that white ball-shaped object thingy is actually for, they’re probably in their most perilous state yet. Why? Well, having been considered deader than Uday Hussein by the vast majority of the League Two loving public, Macclesfield have performed a veritable festive miracle by dragging themselves back onto level terms with the next worst team in the division, Torquay. Hey Santa, give the Guvnor a bottle of Coke!

The upshot is that Boston, having assumed Macclesfield would inevitably fall through one of the two relegation trapdoors, now have two spots to steer clear of. With the annual January firesale literally days away, and a mere three point gap, I’m pessimistic about the odds of our favourite amber and black insolvents avoiding the drop. Unless….. unless…….. Unless what? Got any ideas? Nope. Me neither.

League Two's dank, sweaty nether regions

Mansfield 27pts
Boston United 24 pts
Accrington 23 pts
Rochdale 21 pts
Torquay 20 pts
Macclesfield 20 pts

Rochdale Celebrities
Anna Friel - Mr Shattocks' patio re-arranging idol
Chappers (incidentally, was spotted by impsTALK parking his car in the vast, dustbowl opposite the stadium in Stuttgart prior to England's game with Ecuador at the WC)
Bill Oddie - Come on Bill, calm down - it's just a rat with wings.

© impsTALK 2006