Football / Non-League Notebook: Moss puts Boston on a roll

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The Independent Online
WHILE Wycombe Wanderers demonstrate few signs of vulnerability as they protect their 15-point lead at the top of the GM Vauxhall Conference, predicting the three sides that will eventually occupy the relegation places is far less clear-cut. With three points for a win, every club in the bottom half of the table is in danger. Bath City, occupying 11th place in a 22-team league, are a mere nine points away from the drop zone.

Boston United looked as good as doomed at the start of December, when they were eight points adrift at the foot of the table. Now, after four wins in their last seven Conference games, they are one place off the bottom and within two points of safety. Guiding the fortunes of The Pilgrims is Peter Morris, the experienced former Mansfield, Southend, Peterborough, Crewe Alexandra and Kettering manager.

Since arriving at York Street last summer, Morris has assembled a new squad. Success was elusive at first, but they have at last found a consistent run of form. The most significant signing has been David Moss, a 22-year-old striker from Worksop, who scored eight league goals in his first eight games to join the highly rated Gary Jones - 27 GMVC goals last term - as the Lincolnshire club's leading scorer. Another recruit is Ian Knight, the 26-year-old former Sheffield Wednesday and Grimsby centre-half, who is rebuilding his career following two broken legs.

Tomorrow, Boston entertain Farnborough Town, who are one place behind Bath, also on 30 points. The Hampshire club are in deep financial trouble, and this week they cancelled the contracts of three long-serving players: Brian Broome, Simon Read and Andy Rogers, with over 900 appearances to their name.

Stafford Rangers - 10 games without a win - have replaced Boston at the bottom of the table, but they have as many as 11 games in hand on the clubs above them. Their trip to Northwich Victoria tomorrow is their first Conference fixture of the year. The highest relegation place is presently occupied by Runcorn, who are behind Macclesfield Town on goal difference but have played five games more than their Cheshire rivals.

Runcorn entertain second- placed Dagenham and Redbridge tomorrow, while Macclesfield meet Yeovil Town at Moss Rose. Altrincham, Kidderminster Harriers and Witton Albion, who have gone 13 matches without victory, are all just two points ahead of Runcorn and Macclesfield.

Unlike the destination of the title, the relegation issue is highly unlikely to be settled before the last day of the season.