The fight to be number one! Boston United keepers Willis and Stewart told to battle it out for the shirt

George Willis. Photo: Russell Dossett.
George Willis. Photo: Russell Dossett.

Craig Elliott says his two goalkeepers will have to battle it out for the jersey.

The Boston United manager finds himself in the enjoyable position of having two number ones that he feels happy to select for the Pilgrims.

And now he believes it is down to Jon Stewart and George Willis to raise their games and compete for a place in the starting XI.

Summer signing Willis had played every minute of the club’s opening 34 matches this season, from August until New Year’s Day.

But after Elliott signed Stewart from former club Shaw Lane in January, he got the nod for the next 10 contests.

However, Willis was recalled for Good Friday’s victory over Kidderminster Harriers and the manager now has some decision making to do.

Jon Stewart. Photo: Eric Brown.

Jon Stewart. Photo: Eric Brown.

“He’s been terrific behind the scenes. He’s not missed training, he’s worked really hard in training and he deserved his chance and he’s done well,” Elliott said of Willis following the 3-2 win.

“He deserves his chance. The keeper is like every other position, we want people fighting for their place.

“That’s what it’s about. Keeper’s can’t think ‘I’m number one and nothing else will happen’.

“I’m very lucky to have two good keepers and they’ve got to battle it out for that position.”

George Willis.

George Willis.

Willis admitted he had found it frustrating not featuring for the first team in recent weeks, but believed he would return between the sticks for the Pilgrims.

“It’s frustrating. I can think of a lot of words to describe it. But It’s not in my nature to throw the towel in,” he said.

“I didn’t think I did much wrong in terms of losing my place in the first place.

“The gaffer knows that and we had a chat about that, but that’s how football works.

Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart.

“It’s about getting my head down and working hard, like I always do, and getting another chance.”

And now he is back in goal, Willis doesn’t want to let Stewart get another sniff.

“I’d be really disappointed if I didn’t (keep my place),” he added.

“But it’s not up to me, it’s up to the manager and I respect that. But I feel pretty confident.”

So far this season, Willis has played 35 games for United in all competitions, winning 13, losing 13 and drawing eight.

He has conceded a total of 52 goals (1.48 goals per game) and kept eight clean sheets.

George Willis.

George Willis.

Stewart has made 10 appearances for the Pilgrims.

Those contests have included four wins, four defeats and two draws.

He has kept one clean sheet and shipped 17 goals (1.7 per game).

The Pilgrims return to action on Saturday when they travel to face Darlington (KO 3pm).

They will face a further trek up the A1 to meet Spennymoor Town on Tuesday (KO 7.45pm).

They were without a game on Monday when Nuneaton Town’s Liberty Way pitch fell foul of the heavy rainfall.

A new date will be arranged.

Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart.

George Willis.

George Willis.

Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart.