BROWNE ON THE BALL: Boston United preparing for four games which could define their season

They don't get much more important than this.

Brad Beatson had played for Boston and Trinity.

While many of us are winding down for Christmas, it’s the opposite at the Jakemans Stadium.

Boston United are gearing up for four matches which could play an instrumental role in their bid for National League North survival.

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It’s not make or break, but the outcomes could play a definining role in who goes down and who stays up come April.

Up first are Southport, the visitors to York Street this Saturday in a match where the message to United is simple: win and you’re out of the bottom three.

Southport - who stuffed Boston 4-0 on the opening day of the season - are struggling to recreate their early form and will board the bus without a win in 15.

But nothing is set in stone in this league, and the Pilgrims must be at their best to overcome their rivals, especially as the stakes are so high.

If Boston - making the most of Nuneaton’s week without league action - can clamber up the table then consolidation will become key.

If they don’t get three points then they get a second bite of the cherry at struggling Alfreton on December 23.

Forget the last-minute shopping trip, there will only be one thing on the wish list that day.

Then comes the derby double - Gainsborough Trinity home and away on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

With both these squads packed with players who have pulled on both amber and blue and that tetchiness that always comes with an-all-Lincolnshire clash, it was always going to be a feisty few festive days.

Even more so with the recent county cup final and the way the league meetings between the two last season ended with Josh Robinson sneaking a last-gasp winner at the Northolme.

But add in the fact that both these sides are now scrapping for survival and the Christmastime derbies have rarely been so vital.

It certainly beats a trip to Eastwood.

Manager Craig Elliott got his first taste of victory with the Pilgrims against York City in their last outing, as did a number of his squad.

He had a taste. He liked it. He wants more.

And there’s certainly no better time than the present.