When the draw was made for the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup was made, the tie between Boston Town and Hyde United certainly was the one that jumped out as far as I was concerned.
One of the lower ranked teams left in the competition against a big name in non-league football who are regrouping after three relegations in three years, which took them from the Conference National to the Northern Premier League Division One North. The phrase "potential banana skin" definitely sprung to mind!
Myself and another couple of groundhoppers made our way east to Tattershall Road (renamed The DWB Stadium under a sponsorship deal) the home of The Poachers. For a step 5 ground it certainly is a fantastic set up, far better than I imagined. There is cover on three sides of the ground, including a stand with 450 seats, and behind the goal on the remaining side there is a large clubhouse.
Boston Town was established in 1964 (as Boston FC) by former officials of Boston United, concerned that United's financial problems, which had led them to resign from the Midland League, would ultimately lead to them folding.
Due to the geographical location of Boston the football club has been members of various leagues throughout their history, having played in the Lincolnshire League, Midland League, Northern Counties East League and Central Midlands League. They are currently members of the United Counties League Premier Division, which is step 5 in the pyramid.
Boston's best run in the FA Cup was in 1976 when they reached the 1st round proper, losing to 3-1 to Barnsley at Oakwell. They last reached the 3rd qualifying in 1980, losing 1-0 to Corby Town.
So, it was the first time in 37 years Boston had got this far in the FA Cup. So the big question pre-match was could The Poachers shoot down The Tigers?
In an incident packed game, it was Boston who started the brightest and they took the lead through Simon Ashton after 9 minutes, when he pounced on a loose ball in the area.
There was a nasty clash of heads between Hyde's Kyle Harrison and Boston's Ben Davison which left the Poachers midfielder out cold. It was a couple minutes before he eventually came round and was, fortunately, able to walk off the pitch.
Harrison picked up a yellow card for the challenge and he soon he recieved another for a rash challenge on Ollie Pinner and was promptly given his matching orders by referee Sarah Garrett.
Ironically though the red card galvanised The Tigers and they began to take control of the game. Soon they were level through Matt Beadle's fine strike. Boston goalkeeper Harry Payne made two world class saved to keep the game all square at the break.
Danny Maddison scored from the penalty spot soon after the restart to restore Boston's lead. Just minutes later though, Hyde were level courtesy of a spot kick of their own, Beadle netting his second goal.
The game ebbed and flowed but as the game entered the latter stages it was Hyde applying most of the pressure as Boston began to tire. It took some more fine stops from Payne, and some assistance from the woodwork, to keep the scoreline level.
With three minutes remaining however Hyde's Big Khamsuk broke clear and rounded the Boston goalkeeper but Jason Field blocked the strikers effort on the line with his arm. Red card and another penalty. Beadle made no mistake to complete his hat-trick and put Hyde in the hat for the next round. Cue pandemonium amongst the 100 or so travelling Hyde fans as they celebrated behind the goal.
The Boston players sank to their knees but they can be immensely proud of their display, their efforts certainly deserved a replay. It was a great game to watch and a fine advert for the non-league football.
The magic of the cup indeed!
Danny Maddison scores from the penalty spot
to put Boston Town 2-1 up.
Matt Beadle completes his hat-trick with another
penalty kick to send Hyde United into the next round