First Team - Report
Droylsden 0-1 Boston United
Striker Marc Newsham scored the decisive goal as Boston United started their campaign with a sixth successive opening day victory.
The Pilgrims could have won by a greater margin, but were nevertheless satisfied with an excellent day’s work on Tameside.
It was Newsham’s sixth competitive goal of the season — following five Lincolnshire Senior Shield strikes in pre-season — and his 11th minute breakthrough was full of quality.
Home keeper Paul Phillips had already denied Mark Jones from distance — but he was powerless to stop United moments later. Jones slipped the ball through for NEWSHAM who steadied himself before coolly firing the ball past Phillips from 12 yards.
Droylsden mustered a quick response and Mike Phenix was denied by successive last-gasp challenges from left-sided duo Gareth Jelleyman and Kallum Smith.
Dan Haystead made a comfortable save to deny the dangerous Carlos Logan, while Mike Connor headed wide following a Tom Baker free-kick.
United closed the half strongly and Newsham curled an effort wide when well-placed.
Droylsden enjoyed plenty of possession during the second half but failed to seriously trouble Haystead. The United defence — brilliantly marshalled by league debutant Kern Miller — gave their keeper superb protection.
Phillips produced a terrific save with his legs to deny Jones, who had raced onto Newsham’s clever throughball, while Ben Fairclough was seemingly upended in the box by Connor, although no penalty was forthcoming.
As it was, United had to see out four minutes of stoppage time to claim a deserved three-point haul on what has proved to be a notoriously unhappy hunting ground for them over the years.
Droylsden (4-3-3): Paul Phillips; Chris Brown, Mike Connor, Phil Bolland, Shaun Holden; Lee Rick (Tom Fisher 77), Tom Baker (Rob Sissons 57), Steve Hall (Ryan Hopper 57); Carlos Logan, Joe O’Neill, Mike Phenix. Subs (not used): Nat Kerr, Lewis Killeen.
Boston (4-4-2): Dan Haystead; Conor Marshall, Kern Miller, Nathan Stainfield, Gareth Jelleyman; Ben Fairclough, Matt Wilson (Gary Silk 64), Ian Ross (Ben Milnes 83), Kallum Smith (Jason Stokes 81); Mark Jones, Marc Newsham. Subs (not used): James Reed, Ricky Drury (gk).
Referee: Alan Young