York Street – Boston United

30 Oct

Editors Note: Due to the nature of this game I’ve refrained from commenting on pictures as usual.

Boston United – 2

Colwyn Bay – 2

Football Conference North – 29th October 2011

Nothing could’ve prepared me for the day trip to Boston.

I woke at stupidly early o’clock on Saturday, to head to one of my longest away trip, joining the team coach for the trip to Lincolnshire. I was due to visit the parents over the weekend but took the Saturday to visit Boston United, home of the Pilgrims and an ex league club. After picking up the players, fans and staff along the way to the club, we stopped in Blyth and Birchwood service stops, the former of which were full of Hull City fans who were away at Nottingham Forest. Quite why they felt the need to stop one hour outside of Hull and one hour away from Nottingham I have no idea. Anyway they were there.

Two hours later we arrived at Boston, and headed straight to the pub around the corner, which answered my question of “Just which Premier League team do teams from Lincolnshire support?”. The answer is “Mainly Arsenal”, judging by the pub response of Arsenal putting five past Chelsea. There were a few Boston fans there, who confidently predicted an easy Boston win. I remained calm and answered “we’ll see”. The pub was cordial and enjoyable. With half an hour before the game, I headed to the ground. On the way into the ground, I received the first rude comment of the day of “Bloody hell! An away fan who is actually paying”. Surprised by the response I brushed it off, and chatted with the three stewards that were assigned to our section – they were friendly and made us feel welcome.

The game kicked off and the atmosphere was loud with the thousand-odd Boston fans in fine voice. They had plenty more to sing about after 10 minutes with Jason Lee heading in from a cross to the far post from Ryan Semple. It was unfortunate, as Colwyn Bay started brighter. The goal lit a fire under the Seagulls, who seemed to play a lot more attacking football, but were unable to get any reward until the 44th minute, with Danny Lloyd crossing in to Lee McEvilly who fired in to the bottom corner. One minute later, Karl Noon was bundled down in the box. Lee McEvilly scored from the spot to give Colwyn Bay an unlikely lead at half time.

Then the game became ugly.

Boston, unsurprisingly pressured for an equaliser and thought they had a penalty of their own when Ben Milnes appeared to be brought down by Chris Sanna. However the referee gave Colwyn Bay a free kick and booked Milnes for diving. It was right in front of me and it was a dive. Danny Lloyd had a similar situation, but it was instead a fabulous tackle by the Boston defender, which saw Danny fall over. Again, that incensed the fans as Lloyd wasn’t booked, but it seemed more of a great tackle that saw Lloyd lose his footing, rather than a dive.

Luke Denson had a sweet volley saved superbly by the keeper which was counter attacked brilliantly by Boston, but Marc Newsham shot over with the goal gaping.

Then the game got incredibly ugly.

Matty Hughes, our centre back, clashed heads when going up for a header. After the clash of heads the referee stopped the game rightly. Whilst down and visibly having blood pour from an open wound, Boston fans beside us began hurling obscenities at Matty, who obviously needed treatment. Both Danny Meadowcroft and Danny Lloyd had words with the fans, to try and calm them down, which was treated by further abuse. Once it was decided that Matty Hughes was safe enough to leave the pitch, he was stitched up and cleaned up off the pitch, to which he received further boos and abuse, before returning to the pitch with a Terry Butcher esque bandage.

As time was ticking on, Colwyn Bay were adjudged by many of the Boston fans to be timewasting, which was odd for two reasons. The first was it was no worse than other forms of timewasting I’ve seen in my years of supporting Colwyn Bay, and the second was that we were 2-1 up, away from home, in a difficult location. What else did they expect?

A moment came on the 88th minute when Damien Allen had a few choice words with either the officials (which is indefensible), he was shown his second yellow and was sent off. Again, I can’t comment on it as it was the other side of the pitch, but it seemed a fair decision. However, Boston fans seem to wish to sully the clubs reputation by reporting that Damien Allen swore at young fans. These fans obviously knew what the words meant, as minutes before they were shouting them at our direction.

Stewards seemed to manhandle Damien off the pitch, and a few of the fans let them know what they thought of him due to the length of time it took him to leave the field with unbelievable torrent of abuse. Matty Hughes also had to leave the pitch deep into stoppage time to tend to his head wound (which was also was greeted with obscenities, despite blood being present again) and on the 97th minute, a brilliant strike by Ben Milnes saw Boston get their equaliser, sending the home fans delirious, which seemed to result in further obscenities thrown at us. Obscenities that were apologised for by the stewards of Boston United.

We entered the clubhouse after the game, after clapping off our team. A few of the fans were quite vocal – bordering on rude – on our performance, which saw me leave the clubhouse and sit on the bus. It was then reported that we were escorted off the premises by the police, after speaking with the people who were supposedly escorted out, it was decided that we would leave as it was quite clear that our presence wasn’t welcome. Once again we were sullied by a group of idiot fans who didn’t know better.

I’ve genuinely never been to a place like it. The fans of the club we encountered were rude, offensive and generally nasty pieces of work. I felt angry as well as their fans seemed to want to drag us down to their level, I’d love to think we’ve quite a good reputation in non-league football, with plenty of larger clubs such as FC Halifax and FC United often saying they look forward to the away trip to Colwyn Bay.

It was a damn shame, but it was a good away point. The coach back was quite jovial so the horrible abuse we suffered was quickly forgotten.

About Rhys Wynne

Rhys Wynne is the editor & creator of You're Supposed To Be At Home. For his sins, he is a Colwyn Bay & Liverpool fan, and a serial blog creator. You can follow Rhys on twitter here.

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