No discipline problem! Elliott believes Boston United ‘harshly treated’ with red cards

Brad Abbott, right, is dismissed by referee David McNamara. Photo: Eric Brown.
Brad Abbott, right, is dismissed by referee David McNamara. Photo: Eric Brown.

Craig Elliott is adamant that Boston United do not have a problem with discipline – after Brad Abbott became the sixth player to see red this season.

The midfielder was handed his marching orders by referee David McNamara for foul and abusive language during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Ashton United.

Elliott believes a series of very different circumstances have led to his players’s dismissals this term.

“I think there’s been a lot of red cards in the league,” Elliott noted on Saturday, when a total of five sendings-off occurred across 11 National League North fixtures.

“I think that’s been obvious.

“A lot of teams are getting players sent off.

“I don’t think there is a discipline problem, I think we’ve been harshly treated on a few and a few have been right.”

Keeper Dylan Parkin was the first Pilgrim to be sent off this season, denying a goalscoring opportunity in the 3-2 county cup defeat against Lincoln United.

Ashley Jackson followed suit for a mistimed lunge against Nuneaton Borough, while his replacement, Jordan Gough, saw red in the defeat to Kidderminster.

Referee McNamara was again the man dishing out the dismissal that day, following two bookable offences.

Defender Ben Middleton and keeper George Willis were both taking early baths during the 1-0 defeat at Darlington.

Middleton walked for an over-zealous lunge while Willis’s attempt to clear a ball down the flank saw him second to the ball and second to be sent off that day.

Abbott’s late red on Saturday made it six reds in 18 competitive matches.

But Elliott believes his midfielder was hard done by at Hurst Cross.

“It’s one of them. For example, you see that (foul and abusive language) happen a lot and nothing happens, so it’s a bit of inconsistency coming in,” he added.

Abbott will miss Saturday’s trip to AFC Telford United (KO 3pm) and the following weekend’s visit of Southport as he serves a two-game ban.

Middleton and Willis will both be eligible to feature at New Bucks Head this week as their three-match bans have ended.

Gregg Smith has joined Tamworth.

The Boston United striker has made the permanent move to the Lamb Ground, where he will link up with former Pilgrims manager Dennis Greene.

Smith returned to York Street earlier this season after linking up with Brackley in the summer, scoring once in six appearances before moving on.