The worrying statistic that Boston United need to cut out as Paul Green leads the Pilgrims to Gloucester City

There has been a pattern throughout all of the side's defeats this season
United fell behind to Alfreton on Sunday. Photo: Oliver AtkinUnited fell behind to Alfreton on Sunday. Photo: Oliver Atkin
United fell behind to Alfreton on Sunday. Photo: Oliver Atkin

"We're giving teams too much of a start," said Paul Green after Boston United' s 3-2 defeat to Alfreton Town on Sunday.

Back then he was speaking as a player, unaware he'd be taking over managerial duties six days later following the departure of Craig Elliott.

But if the Pilgrims fall behind at Gloucester City on Saturday, Green will be tasked with putting an end to a mind-boggling statistic from this season.

Indeed, the new year heralded the same old Pilgrims as conceding the first goal proved all-too costly.

Alfreton's Conor Branson got free of Green too easily for goal number one while there was a stroke of good fortune as Bobby Johnson's hopeful 20-yarder took a deflection on its way past Marcus Dewhurst.

But nonetheless United began 2022 as they ended the previous year, trailing 2-0 to a rival with promotion hopes.

In both games spirited fightbacks fell short as Craig Elliott's side left themselves with too much chasing to do.

Before those 3-2 and 3-1 defeats to Alfreton and Brackley respectively, came the 2-1 home reverse in the National League North to Kidderminster Harriers where the Pilgrims again conceded first.

They also trailed 2-0 at Kettering in the league match prior to that before turning the game on its head.

But that result was an anomaly. The only time this season in a match involving Boston where the team who scored first lost the game.

All of the Pilgrims' league defeats this term have seen United concede the first goal.

Spennymoor, Fylde, Leamington, Gateshead, Chester, Southport, Kidderminster, Brackley and Alfreton all scored first. All finished the match with three points.

But, with the boot on the other foot, if Boston score first, they tend to win.

Victories against Curzon Ashton, Bradford Park Avenue, Guiseley, Telford, Blyth Spartans, York City, Hereford and Darlington all saw Elliott's side draw first blood.

The only time this has not been the case came in Boston's only draw of the league campaign - the 2-2 stalemate with Chorley.

Amazingly, factor in the cup matches and it's much the same pattern.

Boston's five knockout victories this season have all seen them score first on their way past Lincoln United, Corby Town, East Thurrock, Brackley and Kidderminster.

Their only cup defeat to date was the 3-2 reverse at Stratford where, once again giving themselves a hill to climb, United fought back from 2-0 down only to lose out 3-2 in the replay.

Again, like the Chorley game, Boston struck first in the opening meeting between the two, playing out a 1-1 draw - meaning United have lost every single game in which they've conceded first. Ten in total.

Score first and you don't lose, conceded first and you lose is by no means a regular rule of football, but trailing has seemed to have affected Boston mentally this term.

Paul Green would love to turn that around. But he'd probably much rather score the first goal and claim the victory.

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