FARNBOROUGH Town's see-saw season continued on Saturday as they were comprehensively defeated and outclassed by a solid Boston United outfit — who now move two points clear of Dagenham & Redbridge at the top of the Conference.
Boro, who have netted four times against two of their last three opponents, were on the receiving end of some four-star treatment themselves and were hit early on as Boston pushed for the essential three points to boost their chance of League football next season in front of over 3,700 fans.
Despite the result Boro saw a superb performance from Gary Holloway, who came on as a second half substitute.
"He made a big difference," said Boro chief Graham Westley. "He's been out for a couple of weeks with this ankle problem and he was a little bit hesitant about starting as he's had two weeks off and hasn't trained so I left him on the bench. But when he came on I thought he was magnificent. He imposed a lot of class on the game, he always seems to have time on the ball.
"He's very strong, he's very confident in his game, confident in his ability, he's got great legs, I thought he caused them all sorts of problems and that was a very positive not out there.
"I thought Joff (Vansittart) for a target man today, did a very good job. He was running the channels well, he was getting in beyond people, he put in a good aerial battle and he earned himself the chances.
"You can look at some of the younger lads over the 90 minutes and think have they performed better, have they looked more confident in games, have they imposed themselves on situations better in recent weeks? And they certainly have.
"Did some of the younger players get affected by the noise and the environment? Maybe they did and I think some of them will be stronger for the experience.
"So that's the positive, that's the good thing. You look at some players and think in a game where there isn't silverware at the end for us, in a game like that, that's a good time for them to be learning."
The home side had taken the lead on two minutes, when Mark Angle's ball in from the left was met by the unmarked, and seemingly off side, Simon Rusk, who side-footed past the diving Darren Bonfield from close range.
Just three minutes later Boro should have equalised but Barry Laker was adjudged to have been offside — a decision which also angered Westley.
Boston's Jim Rodwell had headed back to keeper Paul Bastock but Laker nipped in to fire his initial shot onto the post. Vansittart then pulled the rebound back for Laker to fire in from off the line, before referee Simon Habgood consulted his assistant and blew for offside.
Graham Benstead, in goal for Boro after Bonfield was stretchered off on 13 minutes after colliding with Rodwell, was called into action almost immediately when Mark Angel's curling free kick from 25 yards soared into the back of the net, while referee Habgood was still moving the wall back.
An off the line clearance from Nathan Bunce in first half injury time denied Boston their third, after last weekend's hat-trick hero Chris Piper and Vansittart had gone close for Boro.
Benstead produced an excellent save soon after the break from Boston's top scorer Daryl Clare, but the rebound fell to Anthony Elding, who fired over from ten yards. Clare, however, made amends two minutes later, when he went one on one with Benstead and placed the ball neatly past the stand in keeper.
Substitute Lenny Piper forced a good save from Bastock on 78 minutes and Vansittart fired over from close range, but Boston wrapped up the scoring with four minutes left on the clock.
Having scooped the board at the Boston end of season awards, which were presented on the pitch prior to kick off, top scorer Clare finally netted his 25th goal of the season and one that had been eluding him all game — a fantastic left foot volley from the edge of the box.
And as Boston boss Steve Evans praised Boro on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Westley added: "We got hit by the man in black early on. The early goal from the off-side situation was not what we wanted and the referee has got to take notice of the linesman in that particular situation.
"Then you've got the referee still moving the wall back as they put the ball in the net for the free kick to go two-nil. So we should be one-nil up and we're suddenly two-nil down and I think it was a different game at that stage.
"I'm very disappointed with those early decisions I think it made a big difference and the game was never the same after that. Every single decision went against us, I found some decisions out there very strange today.
"In the second half we probably had the better of the play and out of nothing they get the two goals with some class finishing, they certainly did very well."
BOSTON: Bastock; Clifford, Gould, Ellender, Costello (sub Beesley 8mins), Rodwell, Rusk, Elding (Cook 80), Clare (Tarrant 86), Weatherstone, Angel.
BORO: Bonfield (Benstead 13), Warner, Gregory (Holloway 56), C Piper, Bunce, Laker, Watson, Green, Lee (L Piper 56), Vansittart, Taggart.
Ref: Simon Habgood Att: 3764