From disaster to triumph? Elliott hoping FA Trophy shock can help Boston United overcome cup heartbreak

Craig Elliott. Photo: Eric Brown
Craig Elliott. Photo: Eric Brown

Craig Elliott believes that an FA Trophy shock could be just the medicine he neeeds to help soothe the pain of his Boston United cup record.

Elliott described this season’s 2-0 FA Cup exit to Peterborough Sports as a ‘disaster’.

And the Pilgrims boss wasn’t much happier following July’s Lincs Senior Cup defeat to Lincoln United, which saw five players make their first and only appearances for Boston as he pledged sweeping changes to the squad.

“After the FA Cup disaster it was important we tried to do well in the FA Trophy,” Elliott told The Standard, admitting the mouthwatering tie at National League highfliers Wrexham wasn’t his first choice of opposition.

“I’d have picked a different opposition, if I could.

“They are the hardest one we could have got, but its good to be underdogs.

“We’ve got great away record this year, so you never know.”

While Elliott may have fancied a less tricky task, he admitted that there’s no point having ambitions of winning at Wembley unless you’re able to topple the best teams in the competition.

“If you want to do well in the FA Trophy you need a few big wins against National League sides, that’s what we look to try to do,” he continued.

United’s 5-0 win at Ashton in the qualifying round was Elliott’s first cup success with Boston, his other experiences being a draw and replay defeat to Kidderminster in last year’s FA Trophy and a county cup shootout defeat at Gainsborough.

But he has a proud record in knockout football, taking Shaw Lane to the FA Cup first round last season, eventually being defeated by Mansfield Town.

So what’s is the secret?

“A bit of luck,” he said.

“You do need a bit of luck, the bounce of the ball and everyone to be available.”

Interim boss Graham Barrow looks set to take charge of the Dragons on Saturday following the departure of manager Sam Ricketts, who has joined Shrewbury Town.

And Elliott fears that means the hosts will most probably be offering United few favours.

“It changes it,” he said. “(Ricketts) might have tried to look at the rest of his squad.

“But with a new manager I say he’ll pick his strongest side and want to make a point.”

Saturday’s match kicks off at 3pm.