Boston United into National League play-off final after Danny Elliott double

AFC Fylde 0 Boston United 2
Danny Elliott. Photo: Oliver AtkinDanny Elliott. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Danny Elliott. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Danny Elliott was Boston United's two-goal hero as the Pilgrims booked their place in the National League North play-off final.

The striker took his tally to 31 for the season with two finishes in the final 10 minutes.

United - the lowest ranked side in the play-offs - will now head to York City on Saturday.

While James Rowe's side were unchanged from May 7's 1-0 victory over Leamington, Boston arrived on the Fylde coast down to the barest of bones.

With 11 first teamers out, Paul Cox made three changes to the side which won 2-1 at Kidderminster Harriers in Thursday's eliminator.

With Jake Wright snr unavailable and two games in three days too much for jnr as he continues his return from injury Connor Dimaio - back from his Curzon Ashton loan - and Ntumba Massanka made rare starts.

Keenan Ferguson also got the nod after Scott Duxbury, who needed more than 30 stitches to a facial injury in midweek, dropped to the bench.

Boston began brimming with confidence while Fylde looked every bit a side whose last contest was a dead rubber eight days ago.

But as they grew into the game it became an open, end-to-end battle that had everything but clear-cut chances.

Danny Elliott couldn't steer Massanka's stray volley beyond Chris Neal from a tight angle while the Coaters' opportunities came from distance.

Haughton sent a free kick swerving over the bar and a 20-yarder into the arms of Marcus Dewhurst, while Tom Walker's hopeful strike failed to trouble the Pilgrims stopper.

That all changed after the interval.

Minutes into the second half and Neal pulled off a top stop to palm Shane Byrne's goalbound free kick over the bar and Paul Green flicked a close-range effort the wrong side of the woodwork.

In response Walker refused to give up a lost cause and his byline cutback was met by Doug Taylor who could only find the side netting.

Back came Boston. Ferguson's 20-yarder cleared the stadium, but Dimaio went closer with a blocked effort and Green's header lacked the pace to trouble Neal.

Neal was forced to work to parry Danny Elliott's flying effort from the edge of the box, before Elliott put the Pilgrims ahead with 10 minutes to go.

Byrne's deep corner was nodded back across goal by Luke Shiels and, as it was returned, Elliott was on hand to fire home from close range.

The shirt came off. The away fans were on the pitch.

Celebration turned to worry moments later as Byrne dropped to the floor after taking Haughton's free kick direct to the face. But the midfielder returned to the pitch after some swift treatment.

But Boston doubled their advantage in the 89th minute as Elliott slotted home from the spot after Kyle Morrison tripped Wright jnr.

Refusing to give up, Stephen Dobbie saw an effort fly wide of the Boston goal.

But that was the hosts' final chance. Boston are in the final.

FYLDE: Neal, Davis, Morrison, Whitmore, Philliskirk, Hatfield (Whitehead 40), Walker 80) (Dobbie, Conlan (Burke 69), Haughton, Osborne, Taylor; Subs (not used): Jones, Tollitt.

PILGRIMS: Dewhurst, Garner, Shiels, Green, Ferguson, Elliott, Dimaio, Abbott, Byrne, Massanka (Wright jnr 58), Seriki; Subs (not used): Duxbury, Thanoj, Preston, Sault.

REF: Ben Atkinson.

ATT: 2,050.