PILGRIMS FIXTURES: Boston United kick off campaign at Southport

Jake Hall (left) and Carl Piergianni (right) applaud the travelling fans after United's last victory at Southport. ENGEMN00120130212083455
Jake Hall (left) and Carl Piergianni (right) applaud the travelling fans after United's last victory at Southport. ENGEMN00120130212083455

Boston United will kick off their 2017-18 National League North season away at Southport on August 5.

The Sandgrounders have returned to the division after being relegated from the National League, and look set to pose a stern opening test for Adam Murray’s newly-put-together squad.

Although the trek to the north west will be one of United’s longest journeys of the season, Haig Avenue has been a happy hunting ground for the Pilgrims.

They have won three and drawn one of their previous four meetings at Southport, including 2013’s shock 2-1 FA Trophy win and a Kieran Leabon-inspired 2-0 FA Cup success in November 2008.

The two sides drew 2-2 in a Blue Square North contest in March 2008, while Boston took a dramatic leap closer to the 2002 Conference title with an injury-time fightback to secure a 3-2 win.

Southport’s last home win over Boston was a 3-1 success in September 2000.

United’s first home game of the campaign will be three days later as Alfreton Town visit the Jakemans Stadium for a midweek fixture, game number two in a hectic August which includes seven matches.

This will be hotly followed by August 12’s arrival of promoted Spennymoor Town, meaning two of the club’s opening three fixtures will be against sides they didn’t face last season.

Boston’s festive fixtures will see them host Lincolnshire rivals Gainsborough Trinity on Boxing Day, before travelling to the Northolme for the reverse fixture on New Year’s Day.

The Pilgrims will conclude their campaign at home to AFC Telford United on April 28.

United’s fixtures in full:

AUGUST:

Saturday 5: v Southport A

Tuesday 8: v Alfreton Town H

Saturday 12: v Spennymoor Town H

Tuesday 15: v Tamworth A

Saturday 19: v Chorley H

Saturday 26: v FC United Of Manchester A

Monday 28: v Nuneaton Town H

SEPTEMBER:

Saturday 2: v Kidderminster Harriers A

Tuesday 5: v North Ferriby United H

Saturday 9: v Blyth Spartans A

Monday 11: v Bradford Park Avenue A

Saturday 16: Emirates FA Cup 2Q

Saturday 23: v Darlington H

Saturday 30: Emirates FA Cup 3Q

OCTOBER:

Saturday 7: AFC Telford United A

Saturday 14: v Salford City H (also Emirates FA Cup 4Q)

Saturday 21: v Curzon Ashton A

Saturday 28: v Brackley Town H

NOVEMBER:

Saturday 4: v Leamington A (Emirates FA Cup 1)

Saturday 11: Stockport County H

Saturday 18: Harrogate Town A

Saturday 25: Buildbase FA Trophy Q3

DECEMBER:

Saturday 2: v York City H (Emirates FA Cup 2)

Saturday 9: v Southport H

Saturday 16: Buildbase FA Trophy 1

Saturday 23: v Alfreton Town A

Tuesday 26: Gainsborough Trinity H

JANUARY:

Monday 1: v Gainsborough Trinity A

Saturday 6: v Tamworth H (Emirates FA Cup 3)

Saturday 13: v Spennymoor Town A (Buildbase FA Trophy 2)

Saturday 20: v North Ferriby United A

Saturday 27: Blyth Spartans H (Emirates FA Cup 4)

FEBRUARY:

Saturday 3: v Brackley Town A (Buildbase FA Trophy 3)

Saturday 10: v Curzon Ashton H

Saturday 17: v Leamington H (Emirates FA Cup 5)

Saturday 24: v Stockport County A (Buildbase FA Trophy 4)

MARCH:

Saturday 3: v Harrogate Town H

Saturday 10: v York City A

Saturday 17: v FC United Of Manchester H (Emirates FA Cup 6/Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Final 1)

Saturday 24: v Chorley A (Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Final 2)

Saturday 31: v Kidderminster Harriers H

APRIL:

Monday 2: v Nuneaton Town A

Saturday 7: v Darlington A

Saturday 14: v Bradford Park Avenue H

Saturday 21: v Salford City A (Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final)

Saturday 28: v AFC Telford United H

Play-off dates (all May): Wednesday 2 - Play-Off Qualifying Round; Sunday 6 - Play-Off Semi-Final; Saturday 12 Play-Off Final.