BROWNE ON THE BALL: That refusal to give up or be overawed gives young Pilgrim Vince an edge

Duncan Browne heaps big praise on the smallest player on the pitch...

Harry Vince. Photo: Ken Fox.

If I didn’t know any better I would have laughed.

Midway through the second half of Boston United’s draw at FC Halifax Town on Saturday the ball was cleared for a throw-in.

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Harry Vince, the 17-year-old Pilgrims midfielder, looked over his shoulder, spotted an unmarked rival and sprinted to him.

Harry Vince.

That rival was Tom Denton, the home side’s 6ft 5ins striker and general Pilgrims botherer.

Even for his age, Vince is hardly the tallest lad going.

Watching the two line-up against one another was comical.

It looked like the cover of the Twins DVD.

Hary Vince. Photo: Ken Fox.

Had the ball been chucked their way there would undoubtedly have been only one winner in that aerial dual.

But you know what, it didn’t stop Vince from trying.

He didn’t think ‘lost cause’ and give up.

He just looked to do his job as well as he possibly could, and that has to be something which summed up his performance on Saturday.

Harry Vince.

‘Outstanding’ was how manager Adam Murray - himself a player who made a career out of refusing to be bullied by often taller opponents in the middle of the park - described the teenager’s first start for the Pilgrims.

And the manager wasn’t wrong.

From the first whistle Vince, the younger brother of one-time United keeper Sam, refused to be overawed.

Playing his own game he chased and won balls that looked to be lost, threw himself into tackles, showed more experienced teammates how it’s done and generally made a massive nuisance of himself.

Hary Vince. Photo: Ken Fox.

And in the midfield scrap, where you learn fast that you have to take it as well as dish it out, he brilliantly outsmuscled big Shaymen defender Matty Brown off the ball in the first half, and found himself lying in a heap after being smashed by Kevin Roberts in the second.

But Vince didn’t give either a second thought - no basking in the moment and no whingeing about the foul.

He just got on with it.

You’ve been watching football long enough to have heard all the cliches.

You know that 11 versus 11 out on the pitch is always the great leveller.

On Saturday young Vince proved just that.

Perhaps it’s wrong to dwell on his height so much.

But I’m not picking on the little guy here, not attempting to detract from the talent which saw him earn his chance.

If anything, his stature only emphasises his ability when on show against bigger, more experienced rivals.

Harry Vince won’t win every battle - but at least he’ll give it his best shot.