Football: Pilgrims set sail with Power deal

Non-league Notebook
SIX YEARS after losing their place in the top flight of the non- League game, Boston United are making a bold effort to rejoin the elite.

The Pilgrims from Lincolnshire are by far the best placed of the leaders of the Nationwide Conference's three feeder leagues. Tuesday's 2-0 win at Rothwell Town took Boston six points clear at the top of the Dr Martens League Premier Division.

Last week Boston emphasised their determination to stay on course for promotion by breaking their transfer record to sign the much-travelled centre-forward Lee Power from Halifax Town for pounds 15,000. The 27-year-old was once Chris Sutton's striking partner at Norwich City, since when he has seen service at Bradford City, Hibernian, Dundee and Plymouth Argyle before ending his League career at The Shay.

"This is a massive signing for us," the Pilgrims' manager, Steve Evans, said. "We fought off the likes of Macclesfield, Woking and Stevenage to get Lee's signature. He has a proven pedigree and can lead the line well.

"Any side intent on success always has to strengthen their hand when they are in a position to dominate. We are at the top of the table and we want to stay there." Evans has added Power to an experienced squad which includes the former Leeds United midfielder David Rennie and Steve Charles, once of Sheffield United.

Playing alongside Boston's previous record buy, the former Wycombe Wanderers striker Mickey Nuttell, Power marked his debut for his new club by grabbing the second goal in last weekend's 3-0 home win over Dorchester Town, after Nuttell had opened the scoring.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of trying to help Boston get promotion," Power said, "because this is a club with plenty of potential to go a lot higher. Because of that, dropping into non-League football doesn't bother me."

While most football fans will be concentrating on events at Hampden Park this weekend, 128 teams will be setting their sights on Wembley as they contest the second round of the FA Carlsberg Vase. Tiverton Town, the winners for the last two years, have moved up to the FA Umbro Trophy, so their former Screwfix Direct League rivals Taunton Town are widely tipped to claim the Vase this season. The Somerset side travel to Salisbury tomorrow to take on Bemerton Heath Harlequins.