Boston United beat Farsley Celtic as Paul Cox era begins with victory and a return to the play-offs

Boston United 3 Farsley Celtic 0

Luke Shiels opened the scoring. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Luke Shiels opened the scoring. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Carlsberg don't do first games in a new job, but Paul Cox would be more than entitled to raise a glass and enjoy a tipple after kicking off life at Boston United with a victory that takes the Pilgrims back into the National League North play-off spots.

Luke Shiels, Fraser Preston and Danny Elliott got the goals as the hosts beat second-bottom Farsley Celtic 3-0 at the Jakemans Community Stadium.

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The one disappointment - a minor one at that - for Cox would be that his side, hampered by injury and suspension, weren't more clinical in front of goal against a side who looked every bit the team in freefall.

But let's not get bogged down in the negatives, the new manager will have plenty of time to nitpick as he sets about moulding the team in his image.

Paul Green, back to playing duties following his recent interim manager role, was the latest to join the list of walking wounded, ruled out with a shoulder injury picked up in Saturday's draw at Spennymoor Town.

Connor Dimaio came in for Green, while Preston jnr got the nod in attack with James Hanson ineligible to face his parent club.

The first half was little more than glorified shooting practice for the Pilgrims as they made the most of the one-way traffic, but somehow only led 1-0 at the interval.

Danny Elliott hit the side netting after bullying his way past Will Sutton far too easily before Scott Duxbury's jinking run from the halfway line ended in a save from Kyle Trennery.

More quick feet from Elliott saw an effort fizz across the face of goal, inches wide of the top corner, a strike from Dimaio going the same way.

Elliott slapped a strike wide on the turn before skipper Shiels grabbed the first goal of the Cox era and his first in over a year - that came on a Tuesday night in January against a Kettering side managed by you know who.

Meeting Shane Byrne's deep corner Shiels volleyed home to give Boston a deserved lead.

Ollie Broe was in the right place to block Joe Leesley's drive on the line before Trennery tipped Preston's close range effort over to keep the lead down to one at the break.

The second half began with more of the same, Byrne's free kick deflected wide and Leesley heading a corner over from almost underneath the crossbar.

That much-needed second arrived in the 64th minute.

Preston's drive was pushed away by Trennery a far as Leesley. His cutback was wildly scuffed by Elliott, but the ball fell kindly for Preston to slot home at the back post to record his eighth of the season.

The first 82 minutes saw Celtic reduced to two hopeful blocked efforts but that changed when Matt Tootle was called upon to clear Jimmy Spencer's goalbound strike after the attacker - the visitors' standout player - worked space for himself on the right.

Elliott had the final say, converting from the spot in time added on after being pulled back - his 18th goal in 29 games.

PILGRIMS: Dewhurst, Tootle, Duxbury, Platt, Shiels, Ferguson, Elliott, Dimaio, F. Preston, Leesley, Byrne; Subs (not used): J. Preston, Armond, Lalkovic, Crook.

CELTIC: Trennery, Tserpes, Turner, Clayton, Atkinson, Spencer, Parkin (Fialdini 80), Kabeya (Drake HT), Vaughan, Broe, Sutton; Subs (not used): Akiotu, Drake, Alasttal, Westcarr.

REF: Tom Danaher.

ATT: 1,371 (11).