‘He’s in a bit of a way!’ Battling Ben Middleton picked up three injuries - including a broken bone - in Boston United’s derby victory over Gainsborough Trinity

Ben Middleton.
Ben Middleton.

A ‘smashed’ nose was just one of Ben Middleton’s worries as the Boston United defender left the Jakemans Stadium with three injuries last night.

Manager Craig Elliott confirmed that the impressive Harrogate Town loanee also picked up a hip injury and a has a suspected broken finger following his battling performance in the Pilgrims’ derby day victory against Gainsborough Trinity.

“His hip’s hurting, he thinks he’s broken his finger and his nose is smashed up,” Elliott said.

“He’s in a bit of a way.

“He was briliant I thought. I thought he was man of the match.

“He’s struggling in there at the minute, but to play like he did, the clean sheet was massive today.

“It gives everybody a bit of confidence.”

Middleton was left with a bloodied nose in the opening 10 minutes after being struck in the face by former United defender Nathan Stainfield’s arm as the two competed in an aerial duel.

Referee Amy Fearn booked Stainfield, but Elliott believes the Blues defender should have walked.

“It’s a nasty challenge and he (Middleton) is not too pretty in there, I’ll be honest with you,” Elliott added.

“I am a bit away, but you’ve got to say ‘why has she booked him?’

“If she’s seen it then it’s a sending off for me.”

The Pilgrims are without a match on Saturday and are back in action on New Year’s Day with the return contest against the Blues at the Northolme.

Elliott is hoping his Pilgrims will be patched up by then.

But reflecting on Boxing Day’s 2-0 win - courtesy of goals from Jay Rollins and Brad Abbott - Elliott added: “I think the result was a good one.

“Maybe we could have played better, but that makes it more pleasing knowing you can win games when you’re not at your best.

“I think they started better, putting balls into better areas.

“It was always going to be an up-and-down game being a local derby, but we gradually grew into it and got a good result.”

Elliott described Middleton as his man of the match, but also gave praise to Rollins and Reece Thompson, whose energetic running continues to be a nuisance for opposition defenders.

“Jay deserves that (goal), he’s been working really hard in the past few weeks,” the manager said.

“I’ve just joked with him (Reece), saying he used to be a goalscorer. But he’s been brilliant for the team.

“As long as other people are scoring the goals, there are no doubts he’s creating the spaces and getting free kicks and just being a nuisance.

“He’s been fantastic again.”