Lack of ‘top striker’ costing Boston United, says manager Craig Elliott

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Craig Elliott has been left frustrated by Boston United’s lack of firepower this season, admitting his squad are missing a ‘clinical marksman’.

Speaking after yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to Alfreton, the Pilgrims boss conceded that being without a regular goalscorer has cost his squad vital points.

Despite using 11 recognised strikers so far in 2018-19, Elliott believes he is still in need of a goalscorer who can deliver the goods more regularly.

“It’s just deja vu. Nothing up front, it’s been like that all season,” he said.

“I don’t think we defended brilliantly but we did enough to stay in the game.

“You just feel we haven’t got that finisher, a clinical marksman at this level to make a difference.”

Winger Nicky Walker, who has been pushed up front at times this season, is currently the Pilgrims’s leading scorer with six goals, followed by target man Gavin Allott with five.

Out-of-favour Andre Johnson has three while Jordan Slew and Ahkeem Rose both have two, but fellow strikers Adam Marriott, Jonny Margetts, Craig Westcarr, Gregg Smith, David Parkhouse, Danny Rowe and Jordan Thewlis - who was injured on his debut - have mustered just two between them.

Wingers Nathan Arnold and Max Wright have added to the tally, along with midfielder Brad Abbott, all netting three times.

Jay Rollins, another attacking option, is returning from a long-term injury and is yet to start.

Allott has scored five times in 11 appearances since joining Boston, but he missed the Boxing day clash due to illness.

“There’s been a few people who have tried this season,” Elliott added.

“Gav’s done better than most but he’s ill.

“We lost him late in the morning. He’s been sick all night, these things happen.”

Former Blackburn Rovers forward Slew deputised for Allott yesterday, missing a golden opportunity as he forced Wright’s cross over from close range.

“There’s no excuses,” added Elliott, who has previously stated that the Pilgrims’s location, salary and the desire for full-time football has seen him miss out on a number of targets

“It was a good little move, we got the ball wide and that’s what number nines are there for.

“He’s not even hit the target, which is disappointing. I’m disappointed for him as he’s looked brilliant in training.

“But it’s about doing it here on the pitch. We just don’t have that top National League North striker.”

PILGRIMS ATTACKERS THIS SEASON: Adam Marriott P 9 (8+1) G 1; Nathan Arnold P 10 (10+0) G 3; Jonny Margetts P 6 (4+2) G 0; Andre Johnson P 10 (2+8) G 3; Nicky Walker P 23 (19+4) G 6; Craig Westcarr P 6 (1+5) G 0; Max Wright P 15 (9+6) G 3; Ahkeem Rose P 4 (3+1) G 2; Gregg Smith P 6 (5+1) G 1; Gavin Allott P 11 (11+0) G 5; Jordan Slew P 10 (4+6) G 2; David Parkhouse P 3 (0+3) G 0; Danny Rowe P 4 (1+3) G 0; Jordan Thewlis P 1 (0+1) G 0; Jay Rollins P 5 (0+5) G 0.

PILGRIMS SCORERS: 6 - Nicky Walker; 5 - Gavin Allott; 3 - Andre Johnson, Nathan Arnold, Brad Abbott, Max Wright; 2 - Ahkeem Rose, Jordan Slew; 1 - Ryan Qualter, Adam Marriott, Jonathan Wafula, Grant Roberts, Gregg Smith, Josh Hine.