Is Ian Culverhouse is trying once more to return to his successful days with Kings Lynn? The Linnets were his first job as a manager, following an inglorious exit from his assistant role at Villa Park. He first left Lynn in 2018 explaining “things are going on behind the scenes which I had to question.”
His next role was at permanently hopeless Grantham. He bailed after three months citing “personal reasons.” He returned to Lynn but following 8 straight defeats in 2021 left “by mutual consent.” Culverhouse then secured the Kettering gig, a role which lasted only 22 games with the former Norwich man citing “fundamental differences.”
A gaffer with a recent history of not seeing eye to eye with Board members, becomes United’s 3rd manager in 8 months. The previous three managers lasted 10 years. Patient no more!
The Pilgrims 3-man board, consisting of 2 housebuilders and a former player have run the club for 14 years and won’t be leaving any time soon. And unlike Kings Lynn’s one-man board, the Boston three have invested serious capital and expect a return. No doubt victories in the new Gaffer’s first 4 games have had the owners grinning broadly.
Last season, the Pilgrims confounded play-offs expectations. Clubs who finish in the last play-offs spots play all their matches away and are not there to make progress. In addition, as we will shortly remind ourselves, Boston is a long way from anywhere. Yet they triumphed in a night game at Kidderminster thanks to rugged defence and inspired attacking football. They followed that with a 2-0 victory at AFC Fylde before wearily just missing out in the Final at York. The near miss raised expectations, aspirations which became even more unlikely when they lost their top scorer (Danny Elliott with 31 goals) to a full-time club and inevitably couldn’t replace him.
The Pilgrims are starting their 12th season at this level. Five times they have reached the Play-offs. They lost three Semi-Finals (two of them on penalties) and were defeated in Finals by Altrincham and the aforementioned York City. All very Hotel Californian for the men from Lincolnshire “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Its more than a feeling that Boston are now a team with Pollocks. There you go – got both of the cheesy lines out in one sentence. Ben Pollock is a mainstay of United’s back four while his namesake Scott has an impressive 6 goals from midfield before the end of September Pantomime villain Jaaanai Gordon is being his usual cameo self. Only one 90 minutes to date, a few sub appearances and a red card at Scarborough. His only goal was a penalty v Kettering but he missed another spot kick later in the same game. He’ll no doubt be on the move again after Christmas. During our visit, he will surely wish to exchange pleasantries and biscuit recipes with our Gaffer.
The Pilgrims early season home results:
Lost 3-5 to Southport how?
Lost 1-4 to Chorley how again?
Drew 1-1 with Kettering
Won 3-0 against Buxton
And this week the Pilgrims somehow managed to lose at home to Basford United in the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round. Admittedly this was 4-2 on penalties but drawing 3-3 after being two-nil up is hardly encouraging for the Boston faithful.
Our visit to United’s 3 sided out of town stadium will only be our second, following the home side’s 2-0 routine victory in November last season. Everything still looks new, view lines are first class, catering modern and yet in reality, this is just another soulless out-of-town concrete box. I was impressed but not impressed if that makes any kind of sense. Fields on two sides, a new housing estate on the third with a few scattered any town chain fast food outlets. Wind whistling in from the surprisingly close coast over the flatlands… Despite the distance this is not a fun weekender venue. I made that mistake last time. The unrelenting bleakness of the town Washed all over us so we left a night early.
The Ellenders club bar/restaurant is literally the only venue for over a mile so trades well seven days a week. There is none of their gourmet food when the riff-raff football supporters are in, though the seating is comfortable and the beer decent. Away fans are welcome but only 3 ventured inside last time pre-match last time.
Tickets/Hospitality Terrace tickets priced at £14, concessions £11 and a fiver for any Under 16s sufficiently bribed to travel. you can pay on the turnstile with plastic. There are no seats allocated to away supporters, however travelling Bulls genuinely needing to sit down can go to the ticket office who, based on our precious visit, were very helpful. Apparently, they “use their discretion” according to one club official. Unlike one club earlier this season.
Car Parking Pre-booked car parking at the stadium is a fiver but many choose to park on the housing estate just the other side of the island because its free and easier to get away.
If you are blue badged, do contact the club in advance on (01205) 364406. They can reserve parking and seating. Bizarrely for a new ground, there are only 4 drop kerb access points for the entire stadium with careless parkers often blocking one or more.
I would say “see you there” but Boston will be my first missed away league game this season.