"Embrace it. We've created something special!" Craig Elliott tells Boston United squad to enjoy that winning feeling as they reach play-off final

Boston United 5 Gateshead 3

Jordan Thewlis scored twice for the Pilgrims.

Craig Elliott had told his Boston United squad to enjoy the moment as they booked their place in the National League North play-off final with a stunning 5-3 victory over Gateshead.

Following two 3-0 defeats against the Heed this season, the Pilgrims delivered when it truly mattered to set up a mouthwatering final against Altrincham next Saturday... the final ever game at York Street.

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"I'm not going to play it down. Embrace it," Elliott told his squad.

"It's why we worked hard all season. Enjoy winning against a good team

"We've created something special for next week,. There's thousands of fans wanting us to have that last game, now that last game's probably the biggest game in a long while."

Jordan Thewlis netted twice from the spot while Jake Wright added a brace of fantastic finishes to match the thunderbolt from club captain Jay Rollins.

JJ O'Donnell headed the Heed ahead in the 19th minute as memories of Guiseley, Chorley and North Ferriby - United's previous three semi-final defeats - jumped to mind.

But the game was flipped on its head with two Thewlis penalties.

Robert Massey-Elliss pointed to the spot in the 34th and 43rd minutes.

The first looked soft as Wright went down following close attention from Heed player-manager Mike Williamson.

Number two was an off the ball incident where Williamson was adjudged to have held back Wright as Jay Rollins looked to get into the box.

"The first one was a definite penalty for me," Elliott added. "I'm not sure about the second one as I thought it was for pulling Jay Rollins.

"You need refereeing decisions to go for you in big games and it's nice to be on the right end of them. There will be decisions that go for or against you."

Wright won the penalties but Thewlis converted them, taking his season's tally to 18... eight of them from the spot, his first drilled high and second squirming under the body of Bradley James.

The third penalty of the game saw Alex Nicholson draw Gateshead level six minutes into the second half. The number two coolly dispatched his strike beyond the dive of Peter Crook after being upended by Alex Whittle, the defender's momentum and the soaking surface seeing him clatter into his opponent.

That slick surface certainly played its part as Rollins met Brad Abbott's pass to drill home alow fizzer from the edge of the box to restore United's lead in the 62nd minute.

Normally a strike into the Town End on a big game would be received by a roar from the magnificent kop. But behind closed doors - with flags instead of figures - it remained silent.

But the noise of the celebrating Pilgrims could still be heard across York Street.

Wright put the game beyond Gateshead with goals in the 72nd and 79th minutes.

An audacious strike from close to the corner flag - reminiscent of Andi Thanoj's finish against York - left James scampering.

This was followed by a breakaway from the half way line. Wright could have squared for the unmarked Rollins but instead he opted to finish, beating James with a neat effort.

The game looked done and dusted but there was still time for Elliott Forbesd to get the final touch on a Greg Olley free kick and give the Heed hope.

Further chances fell to Gateshead but Boston held on for a magnificent victory.