Boston United boss Craig Elliott expects a tough start to the campaign at Leamington... and suggests this year's title race could be more open
The Pilgrims will play their first league fixture of the 2020-21 campaign at the New Windmill Ground against a Brakes side he expects to be raring to go, and who offered feisty opposition in the early stages of last season in a game which saw four red cards brandished.
While Leamington may not be too long a trip from Boston, it’s a long haul for the United squad which is predominantly based in Yorkshire and the north west.
“It is what it is. People say it’s not a bad start but I think any game’s difficult in the first month in this league,” Elliott said.
“Everyone’s highly motivated and keen to start well. It really doesn’t matter who you play. We have to concentrate on us doing things right.”
BOSTON UNITED'S 2020-21 FIXTURES: HereAction will get underway on Tuesday, October 6, three days after United’s first competitive game of the season in the FA Cup. Boston’s opposition are yet to be decided.
“The only strange thing is starting the season with the FA Cup,” Elliott added.
“There’s no room for error straight away and you need to make sure you’re on it straight away.
“We want to do well in the cup.”
The Pilgrims’ first home game will be against Guiseley on October 10, while the campaign concludes in Lincolnshire against Curzon Ashton on May 29.
Boston will be at home on Boxing Day as they face Alfreton Town, while the return fixture takes place on January 2.
This week National League chairman Brian Barwick wrote to the Government requesting up to 1,000 fans be allowed to attend matches.
Elliott is hoping supporters will soon get the all clear to return to Step Two football and create a much-missed atmosphere.
“Fingers crossed we can have fans back and get that atmosphere back,” he said. “It was superb on Saturday (the 2-1 friendly win at Gainsborough) to see fans and get that feeling again.
“I just hope things don’t take a step back, we want fans in and that atmosphere. We all know how good Boston fans are.”
Last season Elliott tipped York City to win the title. His pick looked on course to do just that before the campaign was ended early and settled on points per game and King’s Lynn overtook the Minstermen.
This year Elliott believes things may be a little more open.
“A few teams look strong, Spennymoor have recruited well,” Elliott said.
“But like I said, there’s always a surprise team who start well. It’s important you look after yourselves and see where it takes you.”