Boston United
York Street

Ground No. 54
Visited - Monday 3rd January 2005
Result - Boston United 2-2 Leyton Orient
Competition - Coca-Cola League 2
Attendance - 3183

Wolves’  game with Wigan had originally been scheduled for the Monday, but on police advice was moved back 24 hours, leaving me with the opportunity to visit a new ground for the 92, so after looking down the fixture list I had initially settled on Hartlepool vs MK Dons, but with the train being quite expensive, I instead decided to go to York Street to see Boston United play host to Leyton Orient.

There had been rumours of train strikes, but after getting to the station, I was reliably informed that I would be OK, so after buying the ticket and getting on the train, I was soon on my way. The journey went quite well, changing in Birmingham and Derby, although the leg from Derby to Boston seemed to take an age, with the train moving extremely slowly, and seeming to stop at just about every station in between, but we arrived there at just gone 1pm, and after leaving the station I made my way up to the ground.

On the way I stopped off to take some pictures of the local church, which looked quite interesting, towering above everything around it, apparently it is the second tallest spire in all of the UK, and it really does look picturesque, especially when in the ground with it poking up behind the away end. The town itself, despite being a bit on the small side looked a nice place, with all the people I spoke to being quite friendly. 

Once at the ground, I had a walk around, taking pictures, and from the outside it was quite neat and tidy, although the stands themselves didn’t exactly stand out, being hemmed in by surrounding houses, but the floodlights were good being a stubby type design, helping to give the ground a lot of character, and are certainly better than the spotlights on top of roofs that adorn most grounds now.

Before going in, I went into the club shop, which was quite possibly the worst that I have ever seen being little bigger than a portaloo! (although I was later informed by Whiskey and amber army that this was in fact just a smaller scale version of the main shop in the centre of Boston, open for the convenience of fans coming to the ground) The service in there was fine, which is what counts, and I bought myself a pin badge and programme, before going into the ground, choosing to stand on the Spayne Road terrace.

Despite being quite new, the facilities weren’t great, having one entrance/exit in the corner, where the food outlet and toilets were, which caused a little bit of congestion at half time, without knowing, I'd imagine they were still there from a previous stand. The other stands looked slightly older than the Spayne Road, with the Town End Terrace to our left, which was a good sized covered terrace, and opposite, the all-seated Finnforest Stand, which was raised above pitch level. To our right was the York Street Stand, which was where the tunnel was, and was quite an interesting design, having a small section of terracing at the front, before a fair sized wall on the back of that with a tier of seating above it. The sloping roof helped give it a bit of character, and with being roughly the same height as all the other stands gave the ground a good, well balanced look about it. It helped that the club had obviously taken care of it, and all in all it was a nice ground.

I was in early enough to take some pictures of the ground empty, and after waiting for it to get closer to kick off, some of it full as well. Before the game started there was a minutes silence for the Asian Tsunami disaster, which as expected was observed well.

The first half was pretty scrappy, with the standard of football being quite poor from both sides. There were no real opportunities of note until Orient took the lead after half an hour, with Daryl McMahon poking home a scrambled effort after some poor defending. Having had striker Daryl Clare stretchered off just before half time it wasn’t looking too good for Boston, but they came out after the interval, and took it to Orient, looking much the better for having Jason Lee introduced in place of Clare.

The injury was a stroke of luck when on 50 minutes Lee used his height to his advantage, excellently heading a cross down for Andy Kirk who fired home from close range. The home side then had the best of the game, although never really made anything of it, until in the 88th minute Captain Paul Ellender, who had been impressive all game, scored a great header from a free kick, which seemed to be the winner. A surprising, or if I'm honest, a shocking 4 minutes of injury time was announced shortly afterwards, and buoyed by the unexpected amount of time added on, Orient went on the attack to try and get something from the game, and with virtually the last chance they did. After more poor defending, the unmarked Daryl McMahon get his second with a close range header. The referee soon blew for full time after that, leaving the home fans mostly disappointed and angry at losing what seemed like all 3 points.

Due to the scrappy, and fairly uninspiring nature of the game the atmosphere hadn't been brilliant, although in the second half, sensing that they might get something the home fans started to get behind the team, but the one thing I was surprised to hear was the attendance. The ground had looked pretty full, especially the part of the terrace I was standing in, so to announce it as just over 3000, only half of the capacity, was surprising as I was expecting much nearer 4-5000. As expected there weren’t any signs of trouble, with there being a nice family feel around the club, which was nice to see.

On leaving the the ground I walked straight back into town without any problems, although then spent an age trying to find somewhere to get some food from, before getting back on the train at just after 6pm for the journey home, which went quite well.

Overall it was quite a good day out, it's a great ground, even if you can understand why the club want to move to more modern surroundings, but despite its lack of facilities it's certainly not by any means a bad place to watch football, and even accounting for its limited capacity, is probably one of the better grounds in League 2 that I've been to (although admittedly that’s not many!)

Rear of the Spayne Road Terrace

Rear of the York Street Stand

Rear of the Main Stand

The Club Shop

The Spayne Road Terrace

The Town End Terrace

The Main Stand

The York Street Stand

The York Street Stand

The Main Stand

The Town End

The 'Boston Stump'

York Street Panoramic


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