Three is a magic number! Elliott praises midfield for ‘setting the tone’ as Boston United hit Altrincham for five

Brad Abbott.
Brad Abbott.

Craig Elliott gave Boston United’s midfield three the thumbs up as the Pilgrims thrashed Altrincham 5-0.

The central trio of Tom Platt, Andi Thanoj and Brad Abbott ‘set the tone’ in the manager’s eyes as their energy and rugged battling prevented the Robins from going on the offensive.

Platt - who played through illness in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Gloucester City - netted twice and chipped in with two assists.

Dominic Knowles also scored a brace and Luke Shiels had the final say.

“He was sick off the bus and it was one of them days,” Elliott said of Platt.

“He’s been very good in every game and he and Brad did well getting into the box today.

“Those three set the tone today. I feel very sorry for (unused sub) George Green, but we needed those three to do what they do for this result.”

Elliott rested Abbott on Saturday, knowing he’d need the midfielder’s energy to combat Altrincham.

But when the trio were reunited, Boston were back to their best.

“We needed a lot of energy from him (Brad),” Elliott added.

“He was my man of the match today. You need performances like that against them or they play you off the park.

“Andi had a really good 20 minutes in the first half when he broke up a lot of play and set up some good attacks.

“I’m a massive fan of Andi’s. It shows, he’s played most of the games since I’ve been here.”

After a frustrating start to his Bank Holiday, Elliott says he can wrap things up a happy man with victory over a side he expects to be in the play-off spots come the end of the season.

“I think it’s nice to have ended it like that. It started horrendously,” he said.

“I had two bad days but I can’t fault the lads, some big performances from the lads today.

“These are a top-five team. I still believe that despite the score today. I’ve got a lot of respect for them.

“To beat them in the manner we have, I’m pleased for the players to get the confidence.

“They’ve been missing that 20 per cent and you could see once they got a couple of goals they looked different players. I’m just happy.”

Knowles opened his account with two strikers’ goals.

Elliott, however, believes he brings much more to the table.

“I think Dom’s been playing well and I fancied him to score today,” the manager said.

“He was brilliant, but not just his goals. He’s a very silky player and looks after the ball. I’m really pleased for him to get off the mark.”

There was also a first start for Jordan Adebayo-Smith.

Elliott again: “What I liked was he got into goalscoring opportunites and we haven’t been doing that enough.

“It didn’t always come off but he’ll learn and improve.”