Boston United's play-off destiny is back in their own hands after results go their way

Pilgrims down a place but position strengthens thanks to late drama

There have been a few memorable Tuesday nights for Boston United this season. Shane Byrne's late winner in the victory over York City, Jake Wright's early show as Darlington were put to the sword and Paul Cox announcing himself to the Jakemans Community Stadium with a 3-0 success against a woeful Farsley Celtic side.

But few Tuesdays may end up being quite as important in the Pilgrims' quest for a play-off spot as last night. And they didn't even kick a ball.

The Pilgrims began the day in sixth but few would have been surprised had they ended the evening ninth as three rivals for a top-seven slot kicked off.

But in this bonkers National League North campaign, where the next surprise is only a matchday away, last night managed to throw up more shocks.

Southport looked to be back in the play-off spots as they led Leamington 1-0 into stoppage time.

But the Brakes, who had only won one and drawn five of 17 away games as they arrived at Haig Avenue, left with a point courtesy of Dan Turner's late, late penalty.

Three points would have moved Kettering Town above the Pilgrims, but they were stunned 2-0 at Latimer Park by basement boys Guiseley, whose decision to put the management team on gardening duty and bring back former Lions boss Steve Kittrick brought instant gratification.

Danny Elliott scores in the 3-0 win against Farsley Celtic. But was that Tuesday as important as last nigh? Photo: Oliver Atkin

Proving that nothing can be taken for granted, Guiseley had claimed just one point from their previous six matches while the Poppies were unbeaten in five, having claimed the scalps of York, Southport and Chorley on the way.

The only side to leapfrog United last night were York, who left Chorley with a 2-2 draw, meaning Boston ended the evening in the final play-off spot.

But - most importantly of all for Cox's side - the games in hand of the teams directly below have all been played and for the first time since November, Boston's destiny is back in their own hands.

The top 12 have all played 36 times going into the final three weeks, barring sixth-place York who have played 35.

Win their final six games - or equal the points tallies of the teams below them - and Boston's promotion dream remains alive.

Sounds simple enough, but as last night's results proved, nothing can be taken for granted.

Just four points separate Boston in seventh and 12th-placed Hereford (if Alfreton win their game in hand they could move level on 48 points with the Bulls) and each side has the possibility of claiming six points this Bank Holiday weekend.

No fat ladies are singing yet. But for the time being the Pilgrims can concentrate on the job at hand.

They'll still be looking over their shoulder, but maybe not quite as frantically.

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